Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) generally causes pain, swelling, and reduced muscle function. This can cause discomfort and negatively affect the performance or quality of subsequent training, particularly in people who have limited time to recover between training sessions or competition.
In recent years, a multitude of techniques including massage, cryotherapy, electrotherapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and stretching have been employed to combat the signs and symptoms of EIMD, with controversial results. In addition, some nutritional interventions and supplementation aimed at treating outcomes related to DIDD have gained prominence in the literature.
Initial evidence suggests that long-term consumption of antioxidant-rich foods (tart cherry juice, pomegranate juice, beet juice, and watermelon juice), as well as various chronic supplementation strategies (creatine, omega-3, fatty acids polyunsaturated and vitamin D3) can help reduce symptoms of muscle-induced muscle damage and improve muscle function in a variety of populations.
More information is required on the magnitude of these strategies in female populations, as well as the efficacy of many promising supplements such as proteases derived from pineapple, ginger, ginseng, curcumin, taurine, β-hydroxymethylbutyrate, and caffeine.
Finally, reducing the symptoms of EIMD may improve training adherence in untrained individuals (greater muscle damage) or older adults who may perceive muscle stiffness or pain as a negative consequence when starting an exercise program.
Decisions on nutritional strategy should be used taking into account the multiple physiological effects of the substance. For example, endurance athletes in addition to requiring adequate recovery would likely benefit from multiple mechanisms of action when choosing beet juice as a recovery strategy, as it acts on EIMD-related symptoms and also improves endurance exercise performance. when consumed chronically.
Similarly, a strength athlete seeking to improve recovery based on a nutritional strategy would benefit from the well-supported ergogenic effects of chronic creatine use, in addition to the substance’s effect on EIMD.
It is possible that prophylactic multi-nutrient supplementation acts by different physiological mechanisms resulting in a synergistic effect on EIMD symptoms beyond the individual nutrients alone. For example, a combination of sufficient doses of tart cherry juice (which confers antioxidant effects), curcumin (which influences COX-2 signaling), β-hydroxymethylbutyrate (which improves muscle protein synthesis), and vitamin D3 (which regulates skeletal muscle function and inflammation) may facilitate recovery from EIMD greater than any supplementation strategy alone. Although it remains to be cautious and more information is required regarding the interaction between the different nutritional strategies.
In addition to all this, there are other substances such as the different polyphenols produced by plants and they fulfill a series of functions, including the defense of pathogens and antioxidants. They contribute to the flavor and color characteristics of fruits and vegetables, but ~ 90% of dietary polyphenols escape absorption in the small intestine and then become bioavailable by the actions of intestinal bacteria in the colon.
Recovery of muscle strength and exercise performance after intensive exercise is enhanced by polyphenol supplementation, probably due to protection against oxidative damage.
Polyphenol content is determined by different species, growing conditions (sunlight, water, nutrient availability, temperature), post-harvest process, transportation, and storage conditions.
Consumption of fruit-derived polyphenols, including those from cherries, blueberries, black currant, pomegranate, and cocoa, reduces plasma markers of oxidative damage and inflammation.
Therefore, there is strong justification to suggest that polyphenols may enhance exercise performance and recovery from intensive exercise due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and vasoactive properties.
The conclusion to improve recovery is clear “Eat fruit and vegetables and periodize the supplementation with antioxidants” according to the time of the competition with the help of a professional so that it does not interfere with the different adaptations.