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The Best Food for Magical Muscle Cramping Relief

This isn’t some fancy, difficult to acquire food or ingredient. Nothing you have to search tirelessly for around your nearest health food store. You probably even have it sitting on your counter or in your freezer right at this very moment… 

I’m talking about bananas! This fruit is used worldwide to soothe stomachs, balance digestion, and provide necessary amounts of potassium and magnesium that the body needs to function. 

Potassium and magnesium are essential for keeping muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy and lubricated. Creaky, squeaky joints can be helped tremendously by ensuring the correct amount of magnesium and potassium are getting into your diet. Potassium helps treat muscle soreness, part of the reason why it’s never a bad idea to reach for a banana after you’ve worked up a sweat or done some mobility training. 

The glycogen contained in bananas also helps to rebuild and regenerate muscle, making it useful for muscle growth and recovery, while diminishing muscle aches post-workout. 

Bananas make an excellent post-workout recovery option. And, even more apeel-ing (see what I did there?) bananas are so versatile – eat with your favorite nut butter, add to oatmeal, whip up a smoothie – you can do almost anything with fresh or frozen bananas. 

My recipe for a delicious Post-Workout Muscle-Hydrating Smoothie is super simple: 

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cup coconut water

1 ripe banana

1 cup pineapple (frozen or fresh)

1 cup mangoes (frozen or fresh)

1 lemon wedge (with skin)

1-2 scoops protein powder (I use Dr. Forest Organic Raw Cold Pressed Vegan Plant Protein Powder)

  • Add all ingredients to blender and mix until you’ve reached your desired consistency. If it’s too thick, add more coconut water and blend more. Enjoy!
  • Best for after workouts to rehydrate, replenish, and repair muscles.

 

Do you have a favorite style of banana consumption? Share your best banana recipes and snacking tips with me and the #yogaprehab community on Instagram!

Want to receive even more exclusive wellness wisdom? I update my tribe weekly on all the latest and greatest tips & tricks! 

The 4 Most Effective Methods for Tension Relief 

Tension can strike at any time of year, am I right? Any time, any season, any given day your body may feel tight and tense, leaving you uncomfortable. Maybe you’re finding its worse during the winter or even just during this hectic holiday season. Whenever you’re feeling tense, put these methods to good use to experience some fast-acting relief for all your tension symptoms!

Stretch It Out

As a Physical Therapist Assistant over the last 7 years,  I have always told all my patients to take the time to stretch, no matter when or where. And now, I am telling you! Push whatever fears or concerns about looking awkward aside and get down to business by stretching anywhere and anytime you feel necessary.

You can make stretching look good, I swear. Honestly, whoever has the pleasure of seeing you will probably just assume you’re an athletic person, doing normal things that athletic people do. So go for it! I always celebrate anyone I see on the street stretching and releasing discomfort. Stretching is something everyone needs in order to stay healthy and maintain their best mobility. 

Sip, Sip

Sipping on a soothing beverage has powerful benefits for both mind and body. Mint, lavender, or chamomile are all teas that are well known for their calming properties and relaxing scents, but one of my personal favorites is rooibos. I love rooibos for it’s delicious, warming, fragrant qualities, but also because it is beneficial for blood pressure and circulation.

A lot of tension and inflammation problems can be caused or worsened by poor circulation, and oftentimes when you feel super stressed you’re blood pressure and heart rate are probably higher than normal. Rooibos works to lower blood pressure, helping relieve problematic manifestations of tension and stress in the body. My favorite rooibos blends are from Tea Sparrow; they come up with the most inventive, healthy, and delicious flavor pairings each and every month. 

Turn Up The Heat

Heat can be a great way to combat tension throughout various muscle groups in the body. If you have access to a sauna or steam room, those are great options, but you can also achieve the same results by taking a warm, luxurious shower or bath. You can even heat things up internally by doing a quick, energetic yoga sequence (with me)! 

Special Neck-nique 

Sometimes tension that originates in the neck will be symptomatic as pain in your shoulders and head. Nowadays with everyone straining their necks working at computers and looking at their phones, it is so important to address neck pain quickly and consistently. Letting neck pain linger can cause chronic headaches and migraines as well as knots and prolonged tension in your shoulders and back. 

I’ve observed this evolving trend of increasing neck trouble throughout my career, and love teaching people new techniques to get their necks right.

Try this in just three easy steps:

  1. Sitting on a chair or on the ground, stretch your left arm down by your side
  2. Then, tilt your head to the right until you feel a nice, gentle stretch along the left side of your neck
  3. Hold for 20 seconds or more, and then switch and do the other side

Super, simple stretches like this have a tremendous benefit when done consistently. To really get to the root of tension extending from your neck, get The Text Neck Fix, which I created as a tool you can use literally anywhere to quickly and effectively relieve neck pain and improve your posture (mega bonus -it’s currently on sale, because I love you all so, so much)!

Looking for more safe and effective methods to combat tension, increase mobility, and sleigh all day? Take a look at today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram to learn more!