9 Easy Ways to Fix Post-Workout Muscle Soreness
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) refers to the pain in our muscles after a heavy and intense workout. Sometimes stiff and painful muscles occur a few hours after the workout and sometimes DOMS occurs the day or two after. Here are several easy ways to fix DOMS following a workout.
1. Drink Coffee
Drink 2 cups of coffee an hour before you workout to reduce fatigued and sore muscles. The Journal of Pain noticed 40% less pain reduction in DOMS. This is because of the pain-killing properties in caffeine (analgesic) – an ingredient you’ll find in a lot of OTC painkillers.
Anti-inflammatory medicine reduces pain and swelling. However, several experts beg to question whether or not they impair your gains. Here is a healthier alternative full of nutritious anti-inflammatory properties you can put in a drink:
- Green tea
- Pinch of black pepper (to bring out the curcumin in the turmeric)
3. Warm Up
By warming up before the workout routine, you prepare your muscles for the workout (like oiling a car before a long drive). Similarly, light workout and stretches after the workout will benefit you. Be sure to cool down, too.
If you’re afraid of being sore, a massage may be just what you need to prevent pain the next day. Quite a few scientists have known for some time that massaged muscles carry more blood vessels – thus improving recovery. Massage therapy generally reduces pain (such as after a long day of work) and is beneficial for your health.
5. Go Topical
Muscle pain relief cream (including Tiger Balm and Ben Gay are) topical ointments that cool down and numb the area you choose. While they typically don’t go as deep as other solutions, they perform well when you’re in a pinch. Muscle recovery won’t be sped up as a result, but these ointments work immediately.
The harder we push our limits, the more water we exert. That exertion leads to dry, sensitive muscles, which leads to the pain onset of DOMS. Dehydration is one of the biggest culprits of pain post-workout. Combat this by drinking a cup of water after every set.
7. Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a myofascial release, relieving your muscle’s connection tissue tensions. Trainers and athletes have known about the benefits of using foam rollers for years. They can be used as part of your warm-up, cool down and days off to keep your muscles relaxed and tense-free. It also breaks down lactic acid (responsible for cramps and the beginning stages of fatigue), as well as increasing blood circulation.
Are your muscles suffering? Lounging on the couch or recliner all day won’t help you; being still and comfortable may delay the recovery process. This is because your muscle needs blood circulation to accelerate recovery and drain waste. Fortunately, you don’t have to “go hard” - all it takes is a swim or brisk walk.
The best thing you can do for yourself to prevent post-workout pain is to relax rest. This means, following your training session, not going about your day as if everything is fine. It means not tackling your errands or putting a lot of strain on yourself. Without a proper night’s sleep, as well as a lot of relaxation, your body can’t use the nutrients you provide it to repair your muscles. Which means all the strength and muscle training you did was for naught.
Remember: DOMS is your body’s response to the muscle tissues in your body being torn. While it makes sense to not tear those muscles, to prevent future pain, this isn’t recommended. Tearing your muscle fibers needs to happen if you want your muscles to grow. Whatever you do, always be sure to properly warm up and cool down to give your body a “chance to breathe.”
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