Caring for Sore Muscles After Your Workout

Do you like weight training but hate muscle soreness that happens after each
session?

You’re not alone. Sore muscles are pretty common among people who do weight
training. But that doesn’t mean it’s normal. And there’s no reason why you must
put up with it.

In this post, we will cover a couple of strategies you can use to prevent it from
happening, as well as some tricks to cure it fast in case it already has hit you.

First, let’s understand why you get sore muscles post-workout and how long the
pain lasts.

What’s​ ​Delayed​ ​Onset​ ​Muscle​ ​Soreness?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (most commonly called DOMS​) is the technical
term for muscle soreness experienced post-workout. It occurs because of the micro
muscle tears which happened during exercise.

Recent research shows micro tears that occur during exercise lead to inflammation
within muscles. This inflammation, in turn, causes soreness that you feel
post-workout.

Usually, DOMS sets in 12-48 hours after exercise. You are likely to feel maximum
soreness at around 48 hours following exercise. The intensity of DOMS starts to
diminish between 48 to 60 hours.

How​ ​to​ ​Prevent​ ​Muscle​ ​Soreness

If you have had post-workout muscle soreness, here are a few things you may want to try next time:

  • Warm up before you start exercising
  • Cool down after you finish your workout
  • Do controlled, static stretching after your workout, followed by icing the
    muscles
  • Get adequate rest, hydration and nutrition to fuel your workout and your
    recovery.

How​ ​Diet Helps You ​Recover​ Effectively

The key to effective recovery post-workout is your diet. The right kinds of food
speed up your recovery and quickly cure muscle soreness if it occurs.

However, there is no-one-size-fits-all diet. This is because the foods that aid
recovery after cardio might not be as effective after a weight lifting session. In
short, you must tailor your diet according to the kind of exercise you do.

Here are some recovery fuels to consider for different types of training.

Endurance​ ​Training

For those doing endurance training, like biking continuously for 2-3 hours, an ideal
meal may consist of some complex carbohydrates with a high-quality protein. An
example is chicken breast with sweet potatoes and broccoli.

You sweat a lot during endurance training and excess sweating in turn depletes
potassium levels. Sweet potatoes are a great source of this vital nutrient.

Chicken breast, on the other hand, is rich in protein, and so you get plenty of amino
acids, which are crucial for muscle repair and growth.

Strength​ ​training​ ​in​ ​morning

In case you do strength training in morning, then you may want your meal to be
made up of low-fiber carbs and protein. An example meal could be a cup of wheat
cereal with a small banana and a cup of no-fat milk.

Strength​ ​training​ ​in​ ​evening

If you like to pump iron in evening, you need fast-digesting carbs along with lean
proteins. An example could be a cup of freshly-cooked rice along with 3-6 egg
whites (hard boiled) and a fistful of spinach and a small measure of salsa.

Of course, these are just some examples of meals. There are numerous factors that
go into deciding what to eat and your individual tastes and nutritional requirements
may be different. Consult a nutritionist or your doctor if you want to examine your
diet more closely.

Summing​ Up

The point of this post was to provide some suggestions on preventing DOMS and
not letting that soreness prevent you from lifting weights, if that’s what you want to
do.

There are many examples of people that achieved better fitness results once they
moved from exclusively cardio over to the weight room. We’ll talk about some of
those examples in upcoming posts.

If you have any questions or want to start a weight lifting program, get with one of
our trainers and they will help you get started!

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