Choosing the right recovery products for your body can be overwhelming. In addition to nutritional support products, which we will not be discussing here, there are warming and cooling products, with and without CBD, with and without Arnica and a wide variety of essential oils. Also, you can choose a balm, a lotion, a cream, or a gel.
In this guide, you'll get some insight into why certain ingredients help with specific recovery goals, and why different bases -- lotion, cream, gel, balm - can make a difference as to how and when to apply them.
Recovery from muscle and joint stiffness after exercise, daily activities, and general life muscle strain and distress is critical for getting back out and doing what you love. When selecting a recovery topical product you'll want to look for ingredients that help reduce antioxidants, provides anti-inflammatory properties, muscle-relaxing properties, and provides temporary relief.
INGREDIENTS THAT SUPPORT RECOVERY
The FDA has strict guidelines for what we can and can't legally say about these ingredients. So while we will tell you the truth, we cannot always tell you the entire scope of benefits for these ingredients. We suggest talking with your health and wellness team members to learn more.
You'll want to make sure the ingredients are natural or organic, do not include silicone, dimethicone, parabens, phthalates, and other ingredients that have high toxic scores. Bottom line: read your ingredient decks and research what you don't know.
Ingredients in Alphabetical Order
Aloe Vera is used as both a base to infuse the other ingredients and on its own is a powerful source of hydration and antioxidants. Aloe contains Vitamins A, B, C, and E and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Arnica Flower Extract - is a traditional herbal used to soothe, calm and support strained, overworked muscles. It can reduce discomfort and speed recovery.
Black Pepper Essential Oil is used to provide warmth, relaxation, and soothing to muscles and joints. It aids circulation and can reduce discomfort.
Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil, also known as Rapeseed Oil, is high in omegas 3, 6, and 9, vitamin K and contains a good amount of anti-oxidant Vitamin E. It aids in muscle recovery, flexibility, and reducing inflammation.
CBD Isolate does not contain THC and for many athletes - and people who get drug tests - is a safe alternative to CBD/THC combinations.
Eucalyptus has a cooling effect on muscles and joints, and the scent alone offers aromatherapy properties for calming and relaxing. Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Is especially effective when blended with chamomile and lavender.
Helichrysum Flower Oil is an uplifting and comforting oil with anti-inflammatory properties and a soothing, gentling aroma.
Lavender Essential Oil provides anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties for treating muscles stress and tension. The aromatherapy benefits include calming and relaxation properties that help reduce distress. Lavender oil improves blood circulation.
Lemongrass Essential Oil has a lovely citrus/herbaceous scent that helps with relaxation and reducing mental stress. It also offers effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to calm reduced muscles and joints.
MSM is known to help physical recovery from exercise. It has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps boost the properties of the other ingredients in the product. Note: we use OptiMSM(r), the only USA produced MSM. When combined with CBD, MSM boosts the benefits for faster and longer relief.
Mint Essential Oils boosts the cooling properties of menthol and eucalyptus. In addition, it also offers anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and relaxation benefits.
Menthol is a counterirritant; it works by causing the skin to feel cool and then warm. This distracts you from feeling the aches/pains deeper in your muscles and joints.
Turmeric is a traditional ayurvedic herb. It is one of 12 or so adaptogens that help the body adapt to stress, including muscle strain and soreness. It is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Tulsi (Holy Basil) is a traditional ayurvedic herb with high antioxidant properties. Like Turmeric, Tulsi is an adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stressors, including muscle strain and stress.
Vitamin C is high in antioxidants and helps muscles recover faster.
Vitamin E is high in antioxidants and helps muscles recover faster. It also helps extend the shelf life of a product with anti-rancidity benefits.
White Camphor Bark aids in improving circulation and reduces inflammation by cooling the skin and reducing inflammation.
How to Decide
Often times, people have two or three go-to relief options. One cooling, one warming, and if they use it, one with CBD.
Gel-based products are good for large areas and work well on skin with hair. So if you're not shaving your legs, an aloe-based product like CHILL might be your favorite go-to. I like this on my lower back and on my neck. The cooling sensation is good for those 'hot spots' that pop up like on my hips.
Oil-based products are good for massages. You'll want to look for oils like Jojoba, Heliychrisum, and Coconut. Meadowfoam Seed Oil is also wonderful for the skin as is Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil. Oil products can stain clothes and sheets so we recommend a fast-absorbent oil and then to let it absorb before putting on your favorite shirt. If the oil includes Arnica or CBD, that can extend the recovery and relief benefits.
Cream/Lotion products are good for joints, calves, and backs. I also use this on my feet, layering with a foot cream like FOOT.
In the end, it comes down to personal preference and personal effectiveness. Check out our RECOVERY products and build out your own recovery collection.
|Raised in Northern Colorado, just 34 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Dave played many conventional team sports, including basketball, baseball, and tennis. But with RMNP and the outdoors beckoning, as a teenager he started downhill skiing, XC skiing, backpacking, fly fishing, and rock climbing. Mix in some road cycling and mountain biking and you have the stew of Dave’s teen years.
Dave moved to Eugene, Oregon in 1988 to return to school and was introduced to Track Town USA. He kept skiing and cycling and climbing but at this point also added running into the mix regularly running 5 and 10Ks and graduating to half and full marathons in addition to trail running.
Dave moved back to Colorado in the Fall of 2017 and shortly after purchased bluerub from the founder. Dave continues to tele and skate-ski, trail run, and mountain bike. In 2020 Dave is training for his first triathlon.