Snacks, Naps, and Food Fights: 3 Ways to Treat Training Stress

From IRONMAN.com

Make post-workout nutrition a priority. (Photo by artursfoto)

Reverse the negative effects of exercise with this protocol even a 5-year-old could follow.
by Susan Kitchen

Endurance athletes such as runners and triathletes are the first to tout the benefits of exercise, or “training,” as the more serious among us call it. Surely, the purpose of training is to improve aerobic endurance, muscle adaptation, and strength, resulting not only in performance gains, but general health and well-being as well.

But like all medicines, training—especially at the level seen in long-course endurance sports—also puts stress on the body. This is knows as oxidative stress, or more colloquially, inflammation.

Inflammation is a bit of a buzz word in health these days, but put simply, it has to do with the effects of stress on the body. Exercise causes micro traumas to our muscles, connective tissue, joints, and bones (which allow our bodies to adapt and our fitness to improve), but also the release of cortisol, the most prominent stress hormone. All of these natural responses have their place, but without the proper recovery, sleep, and nutritional support, the inflammatory response can persist over time and lead to injury or illness.

The market is flooded with tools to combat inflammation, and it’s easy to throw money at the feel-good quick fixes. The most powerful antioxidants can be found right under our noses, however, and don’t cost a fortune. In fact, you probably have some laying around in your kitchen right now.

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