Herbs and Spices that will Assist with Muscle Recovery

3 min read

Herbs and Spices that will Assist with Muscle Recovery

Are you bored of your typical bodybuilding "bro" foods for your muscle gains or weight loss goals?

I know that we can only eat so much chicken, rice and broccoli before we start to dread the next meal.

What if I told you, you can still stick to your macro goals just by adding a little extra? Same meal. Same macros. Same calorie content. But whole new taste. 

Just by adding some spice will give your chicken and broccoli meal some extra delicious flavour that will help the meal go down.

Not only are these 4 spices I am about mention delicious, they are extremely low in calories and are shown to have a beneficial impact on muscle recovery, and performance.


Turmeric helps prevent against diseases and is also known to have curing propeties also. It owes these characteristics to its active ingredient curcumin, a compound rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can help to alleviate muscle soreness and also lessen the stress response to exercise.

Turmeric is shown to improve blood vessel functioning, promoting the dilation of blood vessels which increases blood flow and reduces blood pressure that can be caused by exercise induced stress.

It is known for its powerful flavour, enhancing dishes like curry with its pungent taste and electric orange colour. Turmeric is part of the ginger family and can be added into foods such as:

  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Soups
  • Smoothies
  • Tea 


Much like Turmeric, Garlic also has immense anti-inflammatory benefits and is powerfully rich in antioxidants.

The sulphuric compounds found in garlic, the ones that give it it's distinct smell and flavour, are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. These agents help aid and protect against infection, virus, fungus, and helps to calm the inflammation caused by exercise induced stress.

Secondly, Allicin found in Garlic may help relax the smooth muscles in your blood vessels. When those muscles relax, your blood vessels dilate, increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure which will help with exercise recovery.

Garlic is known for its strong, pungent and heated taste. It is a staple in many dishes from Asian to Mediterranean.  Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family and can be added into foods such as:

  • Meat dishes
  • Sauces
  • Salads
  • Pasta
  • Roasted vegetables 

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne is used not only for an additional flavour to dishes but for medicinal purposes. Cayenne Pepper assists with pain relief by acting as a counter-irritant. It is shown to reduce the amount of a type of chemical that carries pain messages to the brain. By fewer pain messages reaching the brain, less pain is felt.

Cayenne Pepper is said to be unequal for its ability to boost circulation (important for muscle recovery and growth), and can also help with VO2 capacity. The pepper exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire cardiovascular system which will enhance cardiovascular performance. 

It has been traditionally used for overcoming fatigue and restoring stamina and vigor (the energy and strength for continuing to do something over a long period of time).

Cayenne is a shrub that originated in Central and South America and now grows in subtropical and tropical climates. The Cayenne pepper is a type of Capsicum annum and is usually a moderately hot chilli pepper. It can be added into foods such as:

  • Hot Sauces
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Meats
  • Rice 



Rosemary like the other spices, is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds but the only difference is that Rosemary is a herb.

Rosemary is known to boost the immune system and improve blood circulation which is great for muscle recovery.

It is known to help with a person’s concentration, performance, speed, and accuracy, according to Therapeutic Advances in psychopharmacology.

Rosemary is a member of the mint family native to the Mediterranean. It is used as a culinary condiment, to make bodily perfumes, and for its potential health benefits. It can be added into foods such as:

  • Meats
  • Cakes
  • Yogurt
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Cookies 

While these dietary solutions do not alone hold the key to muscle recovery, they can help prime the body’s response to muscle soreness due to induced exercise stress. These herbs and spices are an excellent add to your kitchen and should be utilized for their benefit in your diet. You will not regret it. 

Co-founder, Freak Athletiq

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