Doctor's Note

How about improving athletic performance more directly? See my video series on performance-enhancing vegetables described in my blog Using Greens to Improve Athletic Performance.

What about reducing the immediate burning sensation during strenuous exercise? See my last video Reducing Muscle Fatigue with Citrus.

Mushrooms (Boosting Immunity While Reducing Inflammation), nuts (Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell), and purple potatoes (Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes) may also reduce inflammation (along with plant foods in general, see Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants and Aspirin Levels in Plant Foods). In fact so well that plant-based diets can be used to treat inflammatory conditions. See, for example, Dietary Treatment of Crohn’s Disease, Diet & Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Potassium and Autoimmune Disease. Animal products on the other hand may increase inflammation through a variety of mechanisms, including endotoxins (How Does Meat Cause Inflammation?), arachidonic acid (Chicken, Eggs, and Inflammation), and Neu5Gc (The Inflammatory Meat Molecule Neu5Gc).

For more context check out my associated blog: Citrus to Reduce Muscle Fatigue and Berries to Prevent Muscle Soreness.

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  • Brandon Klinedinst

    Think this may apply to raisins? I frequently eat raisins before a workout, mostly for the carbs. However they’re technically a berry. I don’t know if their anthocyanidin content is affected from the processing from grapes to raisins.

    • David Pollock

      I do know that raisins have a high glycemic index and will shoot up your blood sugar, which increases inflammation. It would be better to eat the raisins after your workout when the sugar will be quickly absorbed by your muscles and your blood sugar will not rise. Working out on an empty stomach will force your body to burn more fat, if you have a long workout. Consider switching to grapes for better nutrition.

      • I don’t think the anthocycandin content should be affected by drying. Eating whole plants works better as the sugars in the fruits (glucose, fructose and sucrose) will be absorbed somewhat slower in whole plant form. The exercise also routes blood away from your GI tract when exercising. The problem with trying caloric restriction to force the body to burn fat is that it also burns protein when the glycogen and sugar stores have been depleted from your liver and muscles. Grapes would provide the nutrition plus the hydration. I wouldn’t worry too much about the glycemic index. When your duration of exercise is long you will want to make sure you eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty to avoid performance problems.

        • Thea

          Dr Forrester: I may (easily) be missing your point. I just wanted to ask this question: I think I remember Dr. Greger saying that green, seedless grapes are sort of like the wonderbread of the fruit world – ie, that they aren’t very nutritious compared to many other fruits/berries.

          If I remember that correctly, then wouldn’t it be better to recommend that a person snack on whole berries of something other than grapes?

          I’m sure I’m missing your point. I’m just curious what you think about having a sports person eat say cherries or blueberries vs grapes. Why not eliminate muscle soreness and get other benefits too like max anti oxidants? That’s where my question comes from.

  • Name

    Would certain fruits that are called berries (blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, etc.) also help reduce muscle soreness caused by exercise? Also I’ve watched your video about anti-inflammatory effects of purple potatoes, would that mean that those might help as well?

  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    The power of fruits and plants are amazing !
    I have provided an acquaintance of mine with a lot of informations about WFPD, and the first thing she noticed during the transition, was that she felt much more energetic. I have the same experience – 6 hours of sleep and I am ready for the day! (well after the cup of coffee…..:-) )

  • LynnCS

    I am looking for help with Fibromyalgia. Would the same treatment hold true for Fibro? I have heard that blueberries have something in them that irritates fibromyalgia. Do you know about that?

  • Sage Marie

    To be effective, what quantity of cherry juice (or whole cherries) or whole blueberries would be recommended? Only post exercise – or daily? My personal training clients often do their strength training 4 days a week with cardio on the other days. They would be thrilled to discover an effective treatment for muscle soreness…..since I make sure they are always sore…

    • skyjs

      Jo Robinson, in her book “Eating on the Wild Side”, said that grapes lose a lot of antioxidants in becoming raisins. Concord grapes have a lot, but raisins, not so much.
      John S
      PDX OR

  • David J

    only time and conditioning truly eliminates soreness, this stuff is marginal at best

  • Megan Manson

    Thanks for including the transcript. I rewound a few times and could not tell if the narration was 4 to 5 or 45 cherries.

  • I’ve searched on the website, I can’t find information on how to prevent/cure muscle cramps. Any info on that? Could citrus have beneficial effect like with muscle fatigue?