8 Foods That Help Your Body Recover From A Long Day At the Beach

Watermelon

This summertime staple works overtime to keep your body at its peak. The high water content helps keep you hydrated and the lycopene, which gives watermelon its red color, is an antioxidant that helps repair damage and protect your skin from getting burned in the first place (though you still need sunscreen). Make your melon a bit fancier—and flavorful—by slicing it and tossing with feta, fresh mint, and arugula, then topping with a balsamic or citrus vinaigrette.

Tomatoes

Juicy, late-summer tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene and Vitamin C to help fight damage from UV radiation. Lycopene levels are highest in cooked tomato products, though, so mix up a quick sauce with onions, garlic, basil, and oregano to reap the highest reward.

Cucumber

The phrase “cool as a cucumber” holds true with this water-filled veg. Placing a slice over each eye can help reduce puffiness after a long night by the bonfire, thanks to the antioxidants and flavanoids it contains to decrease irritation. If you have a sunburn, blend cucumber with yogurt and honey and apply to the skin for 15 minutes to maximize the cooling effects of each ingredient and relieve any pain.

Oatmeal

The breakfast staple is great for keeping you full in the morning, but grinding a cup of instant oats can help you find sunburn relief thanks to the avenanthramides they contain, which are thought to help ease redness and inflammation. Blend the oats until they become a fine powder, pour it into tepid bath water, and soak for as long as you’d like.

Green Tea

Green tea is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols to help your body repair any UV damage and reduce inflammation after a long day out in the sun. Drink it cold or hot, plain or combined with mint, jasmine, or mango to help rehydrate and speed recovery.

Aloe

This powerful plant brings life to your room and relief to your sunburn. Simply break a leaf in half and rub the sap directly on the skin to help sooth and cool any areas that were exposed a little too long.

Skim Milk

Dip a cotton ball or cloth into a glass of cold milk and pat it on your sunburn for instant relief. The cold temperature helps cool down heated skin, and while the jury is out on an exact reason why milk helps sunburn, some think it may be a combination of the protein and pH. Hey, worth a try, right?

Water

It may seem like the obvious choice, but the power of rehydration shouldn’t be underestimated. Whether you want it straight up with ice or infused with lemon and mint, water is the key to recovery from a long day outside or after a night with one too many summery cocktails. Drink up!