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Chinese Herbs In Support Of Speedy Workout Recovery

TCM herbs for workout recovery

Exercise does wonders for body, mind and spirit. But if you don’t allow your body to recover properly, your Kidneys can leak Qi, thus weakening your immune system and making you feel more lethargic. That’s precisely the opposite of what recreation is intended to do. 

Even if your only form of exercise is going for a leisurely walk, certain Chinese medicine may support your joints. So whether you want to support your body’s ability to recover from intense exercise or to support your joints for everyday movement, let’s take a look at how herbs may help…

TCM And Muscle Soreness

Nearly everybody is familiar with the sensation of sore muscles caused by weight lifting or something more pedestrian such as moving heavy furniture around. Muscle soreness isn’t just caused by resistance training. Cardiovascular exercise such as distance running can also lead to stiffness. From a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) standpoint, pain isn’t caused by tortuous CrossFit classes or running a marathon. Rather, stagnant Blood and Qi pooled in the muscles are the culprits. 

In order to run, jump, swim or lift for longer, without experiencing soreness (or less severe soreness), your muscles need to transform and transport Qi through your musculoskeletal system. Qi tonic herbs accomplish this action. 

In order to run, jump, swim or lift for longer, without experiencing soreness, your muscles need to transform and transport Qi through your musculoskeletal system

Ren Shen (Ginseng) and Dang Shen (Codonopsis) are two examples of potent overall Qi tonics. Either of two herbs is used to supplement a powerful Qi in the formula Pulsegenic.

Pulsegenic is one of the most well-regarded TCM formulas for supporting physical strength and activity, and is suitable for all levels of exercise intensity. You can use pulsegenic as a prophylactic measure. Or you can use it to boost Qi if you feel depleted. 

Chinese Herbs To Support Exercise Stamina

Your energy reserve is sufficient for a 5-mile run. But let’s say you want to increase your distance and run time. Not only do you need to support your muscle’s ability to transform and transport Qi, you also need a boost of Qi to maintain enough energy throughout the run. But unlike a savings account that allows you to draw extra funds in case of an emergency, you can’t tap into extra Qi out of thin air. 

So how can you exercise for longer without depleting your Kidney Qi? 

Again, certain Chinese herbs possess properties that support Yin/Yang balance and fortify under-performing organ systems. One of the best herbs for supporting a graceful aging is Hong Jian Tian, better known as rhodiola rosea root. Rhodiola has received a lot of attention in western alternative medicine media outlets because of its adaptogenic properties.

Adaptogens help normalize the body’s response to stressors of all kinds. And remember, exercise, especially prolonged bouts of cardiovascular endurance is a stress to the body. 

Indeed, according to TCM theory, rhodiola supports the two organs most associated with intense physical activity: Lungs and Heart. In addition, rhodiola also nourishes Qi and invigorates the Blood. 

If you’re looking for an all-around TCM formula to support recovery and a healthy aging process, AllTonic may help.

Featuring 17 herbs, including licorice root, turmeric, Siberian ginseng, goji berry, and horny goat weed, AllTonic is ideal for middle-age people who have experienced a decline in overall athletic performance.

Before supplementing with Chinese herbs, it’s ideal to identify the root cause of your imbalance. However, AllTonic may be used as a starter formula for people who are new to Chinese herbs. 

Support Your Joints With TCM 

Having an abundance of Qi may help you go the extra mile. But running farther, for longer may come at the expense of your joint health.

Here again, is where Chinese herbs that have been used for centuries may help. However, not all joint discomfort is related to athletic overuse alone. Sometimes, it’s caused by weather and over exertion. If you’re training for an Ironman in Seattle in the winter, the cold, damp, windy conditions can penetrate the body and obstruct Qi and Blood flow. If you can relate to stiff, numb joints that lose mobility, consider the formula JointsJoy.

Like your muscles, your joints can also accumulate stagnation. TCM herbs may help support joint health by resolving Blood stasis. (This is when fresh blood is no longer flowing but rather is pooled around the tendons and ligaments.) There are other patterns that give rise to joint discomfort besides Blood stasis. For a full list of our herbal joint formulas, check out here.


There’s nothing wrong with supplementing with protein powder for muscle recovery—besides the chalky taste and bloating that many users experience. Although Chinese herbs aren’t the most popular type of supplement for athletic recovery, they are successfully time-tested for supporting a graceful aging process. Modern Chinese herbal formulas are fine-tuned to specifically address the root causes of muscle soreness, cardiovascular endurance and joint health. 

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