In a study at the University of Vermont, students who were given 12 ounces of tart cherry juice before and after strenuous exercises suffered only a 4 percent reduction in muscle strength the next day compared with a 22 percent loss found in subjects given a placebo. “Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules in tart cherries suppress and treat the micro-tears in muscles,” says Declan Connolly, PhD. These molecules are also found in blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Stock up on frozen berries, and add them to smoothies, yogurt and cereal. Or, defrost a few in the microwave for a sweet postride snack.
This study was reported in The Journal of Pain. A daily dose of raw or heat-treated ginger is effective for relieving muscle pain following strenuous exercise.
Ginger may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In one study, four to 36 weeks of daily ginger doses (30 to 500 mg.) achieved reductions in knee pain from osteoarthritis. Be consistent in taking ginger daily especially if you get sore muscles or pain from eccentric muscle exercises.
The ginger can be raw or heated. Heat treating ginger, did not increase the analgesic benefit.