Muscle soreness is a kind of side effect of stress on muscles when you workout. It’s also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS, and it usually starts between 4-7 hours after a change in activity. There are multiple reasons for experiencing muscle soreness i.e. starting exercise for the very first time, adding a new exercise to your workout. Other Reasons are increasing the intensity of exercise, doing the same workout over and over again without taking a rest break.
Normal muscle soreness is a good sign of getting stronger. It’s because when you exercise, your muscles get stressed and fiber begins to break down. And once fibers repair themselves, they will become more strong and bigger than they were before.
Here are some ways to fix muscle soreness faster:
1. Do Stretching
Light stretching is a great way to increase the range of motion and release the tightfistedness of muscles. Doing light stretching can be good, but try not to overstretch the muscle. When it feels tight can cause the muscle to come back even tighter because the body is trying to resist it.
But if you’re really in pain and decide not to get off the couch, then that’s the worst thing you do. As activity increases blood circulation throughout the body.
2. Drink water
Water also helps in recover muscle soreness. According to the American council of exercise studies, every person should drink up to 8 ounces of water after 30 minutes of workout. So keep yourself hydrated during or after the workout to prevent soreness.
According to a Sports Medicine article in 2012, when it’s a hot day and you completed a high-intensity workout then you have to rebalance your electrolytes. Electrolytes include various minerals which can be used up during muscle contraction. Having a glass of water, milk, or smoothie after your exercise program aids recovery and helps in replace electrolytes in the blood. As Dehydration causes dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, etc.
3. Keep Moving:
Light movement on your weekend or rest days can also help in blood circulation. This will provide nutrients to repair muscles faster and remove metabolic waste products. Even short exercises will work same for you like using stairs instead of the elevator. Aerobic activities like light walk or jog and all the little things that keep you moving are beneficial to reduce pain. The main reason behind doing light activities including swimming, cycling, and yoga is to avoid doing an intense workout that using the same muscle groups.
On an effort scale of 0-10 (10 = maximum intensity), aim for an effort level of 3 or 4, Schroeder says. This thing delivers oxygen to your sore muscles without damaging the tissues.
4. Use Workout Supplements
Many people say that we do not need supplements for muscle recovery but that’s not true. According to some recent studies, Using supplements speeds up the muscle recovery process as it reduces both muscle damage and soreness. During a high-intensity workout, your body uses so much energy which causes muscle soreness. But I know you don’t want to interrupt your workout program only because of pain.
So, to repair muscle tissues faster use pre and post-workout supplements . Consuming recovery supplements provide you nutrients that are lost during intense exercise/ workout. But always use herbal and natural supplements instead of synthetic ones. Before purchasing any supplement, check its ingredients list to make sure. Muscle recovery supplements prevent muscle cramps, fatigue caused by exercise and strengthens tones muscles.
5. Eat Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidants, and Protein Based Food
Consuming these three nutrient-based foods reduce swelling and pain of muscles. Try to eat a protein-rich snack or bar which is full of amino acids in your pre and post-workout routine and a protein-rich meal in the morning and before bed. You know the thing, when you workout you cause tears in the tissue, and at that time our body needs protein to repair their tissues. Recent research shows that eating light antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and protein-rich snacks before bed helps in repairing tissues and builds muscles overnight. It’s a good idea to take carbohydrates and protein immediately after exercise as it provides you glycogen which you lost before. You can take milk, yogurt, a peanut butter sandwich, almonds, or tofu chickpeas mushroom, and chicken mixed salad within one or two hours after your workout routine.
Some studies that are done in 2013 and 2017 suggest that eating watermelon and drinking cheery, pineapple, and ginger juice can reduce recovery heart rate and muscle pain. And other antioxidants food includes fish oil, turmeric, pomegranate, kale which fueled up your recovery process.
6. Get Massage
Massaging up muscles is the best and old-fashioned way to reduce muscle tightness. According to the frontier in physiology study, massage and cold therapy worked best for preventing DOMS. Light massage helps in releasing lactic acid from muscles which may speed up the recovery process after a workout. It can eliminate muscle tension, boost blood flow and lift your mood. Try Swedish massage or tender–point acupressure rather than deep-tissue massage for better recovery.
According to a 2012 and 2017 studies, post-exercise massage reduces muscle tenderness by reducing the release of compounds (cytokines) that cause inflammation in the body and promotes cell functioning. You can also use several different essential oils to quickly ease muscle tension, swelling. There are total 18 essential oils that are best for muscle soreness treatment. This includes peppermint oil, ginger oil, lavender oil, sandalwood oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil and so on which you can used in massage, compression, and in bath time also.
7. Take Hot Therapy
If you take heat therapy immediately after a workout, it might be more effective. One study found that both moist heat and dry therapy offer more pain reduction. Moist heat therapy includes wet heating packs, warm damp towels, and a warm bath. Taking hot Epsom salt bath offers you double benefits. Switch to cold therapy after taking a hot one.
8. Take Cold Therapy or Cold Bath:
According to various studies, cold therapy or using an ice pack can induce muscle soreness same as hot therapy does. As both therapies prevent elastic tissue damage. Hogrefe says that applying ice pack for 20-30 minutes after 30 minutes of heat therapy may be an effective regimen to reduce muscle soreness.
You can also take cold bath which helps in reducing swelling. According to two different studies in 2010 and 2014 found that ice baths can reduce both swelling and tissue breakdown that causes Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness by constricting blood vessels. You just have to sit in the ice bath tub for around 10 to 15 minutes. And on another side, people who took ice baths for 10-15 minutes regularly after exercise reported the lowest levels of pain and muscle tightness when asked to stretch. As ice baths can reduce 20% of muscle soreness.
9. Improve your Sleep Time-Table
Not only a healthy diet, light exercises, or cold/ hot therapy can help you to get rid of muscle tightfistedness. As sleep plays a major role in reducing muscle swelling and pain. Improper sleep can leave you restless and that’s the main reason behind not getting quick recovery even if you follow all the other steps that mentioned above.
You can also take day time nap as the National Sleep Foundation found that people who sleep more than seven hours can enhance performance, reduce swelling, and had more hand-grip strength than those who sleep less than seven hours. Lack of sleep can also cause a higher level of inflammation. But if you try to sleep but due to depression or insomnia you can’t take the proper rest. Then try herbal sleep inducer and stress reliever supplements which help in body, mind relaxation and also reduce stress and anxiety. There are multiple types of products available in the market which can reduce sleep anxiety. But try to take nature-derived products and check the ingredients list before purchase if you are allergic to some ingredient.
10. Try Foam Roller Activity
According to the frontiers of physiology study in 2019, foam rolling activity before doing a workout can improve performance. Doing stretching and other activities can help to improve flexibility. I know it may difficult for you to do foam rolling activity when your muscles are sore. But trust me this activity works wonders for you as it reduces pain and heals tissues.
According to a 2015 study, doing 15-20 minutes of foam rolling on a high-intensity or semi-rigid foam roller immediately decreases muscle tenderness and helps in removing myofascial adhesions. Just place the roller on the floor and roll your body over it.
11. Try Tart Cherries Juice
Just like mushrooms, Tart cherry juice also contains antioxidants and an anti-inflammatory compound that reduce pain. According to a study in 2010, long distance runners and athletes who consume tart cherry juices regularly for 8 days are reported to have less muscle pain and inflammation. But one thing of Hogrefe you can always keep in mind that you can drink cheery juice but always aware of the sugar content that could be present,”.
12. Compression Garments
Some people think that compression garments are just for show-off but that’s not true. According to a study in 2014, people who wore compression garments were reported to have fewer sore muscles and faster recovery. Compression garments prevent fluid build-up post-exercise, constricting your muscles and increase blood flow through the deeper blood vessels. It also removes the ache-causing enzyme in muscles i.e. creatine kinase.
On another side, a review found in 2016 of the literature in physiology and behavior that compression garments can aid in the recovery of exercise-induced muscle damage by clearing waste. And provide nutrients to the muscle’s fiber.
13. Rest your Muscles
Don’t skip your rest days because there are times when you just need one thing and that thing is rest. Good rest can help to speed up the muscle repair process and filled freshness in you. It is important to have one day off from a regular workout routine to stay fit and get fewer chances of muscle soreness. You can also take a cup of coffee if you want because moderate caffeine dosage can cut down 50% pain. But be sure to hydrate yourself with water. If you are a weight-lifter then factors like age and fitness level are important in determining that how much rest you need. Regular experiencing tiredness after a workout even taking rest for one or two day that means you need more rest days. Take multi-mineral and post anabolic cycle support supplements if you want to increase your exercise endurance and prevents fatigue. According to a fitness expert “Remember that the second day of workout after an intense workout is always tough. That’s why she always suggests doing the light exercise the day after a heavy workout, then take off the next day.
Mild soreness is common and harmless but on the other hand, several muscle pains can be more dangerous. Pain that lasts more than 7 days or occurs during, immediately after the exercise means it’s not normal. Other signs are swollen limbs, joint pain or swelling, less production of urine, dark colored urine release. If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs then contact your doctor as soon as possible. Just be aware about that Dark-colored urine can also be released due to vitamin supplements.