When most of us are done working out at the gym, outdoors, or even at home, we usually experience soreness in our musclesafterwards. The soreness can least for several hours to several days. This is our body’s natural way of telling us to chill so that it can repair itself to get bigger and stronger. Part of this healing process is inflammation, and it can occur all throughout the body.

One crucial mistake that many lifters make is marginalizing the inflammation process and the effects it has on the body. Inflammation is the immune system’s protective mechanism against injury, foreign substances, and infection; it can be acute or long term. This inflammation is necessary—we need it to heal our muscles, so we can come back and do it all over again. Conversely, if we have too much inflammation, it can be devastating to our body, and actually break down the healthy tissues’ diminishing gains. (Not the best outcome for muscle-seekers.)

So in lieu of extended rest—usually not an option for gym lovers—or an overuse of anti-inflammatories, what can we do to keep inflammation at bay? You can eat for it. Along with specific foods that you can eat to blunt your body’s inflammatory response, there’s also a time of the day you should be eating to minimize inflammation: morning.
A small study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that though breakfast-skippers burned slightly more calories during the day, they showed signs of insulin resistance and their biomarkers for inflammation rose significantly higher than on the days when they had a healthy breakfast. The morsel, er, moral of the story: Eat breakfast!