Hurt So Good

Muscle soreness after exercise is partially a result of oxidative stress, a condition in which your body produces more free radicals than it can remove. Antioxidant-rich products such as cherry juice and vitamin C and E supplements promise quick recovery by attacking the excess free radicals. And while those products can make you feel better, research published in PNAS: The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America suggests they might actually negate the benefits of your workout. Unchecked, exercise-induced oxidative stress trains your body to fight off harmful free radicals naturally and improves insulin sensitivity. The takeaway? Maintain a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to get plenty of antioxidants, but after your workout, ride out the ache—you’ll be healthier in the long run.