Exercise is a stressor, and all forms of stress increase production of free radicals. These are charged atomic particles that bounce around your system causing little sparks of damage. Getting in antioxidants, either from food sources or supplements, helps neutralize these micro terrorists.
A recent study (Nutrition Journal, January 2014) showed that consuming walnuts is a great way to reduce this oxidative stress. Walnuts contain nutrients that help reduce the stress caused by intense workouts. This means that you’ll push through the recovery phase more quickly, leading to faster repair of lean muscle, allowing you to train harder, sooner.
One great way to take advantage of this is to consume 1 to 2 ounces of walnuts before bed. They are a slow-digesting source of beneficial fats and protein in addition to their antioxidant advantages.