Pain, swelling, and stiffness after a vigorous athletic performance are common symptoms of muscle soreness.
Depending on the duration and intensity of exercise, this phenomenon can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
As exhilarating as physical activity is, it’s not uncommon to feel sore afterward. The process of muscle breakdown for energy and repair creates waste products that trigger inflammation, resulting in the pain and swelling that characterize muscle soreness. For most people, this feeling is short-lived and fades with time, but for those who experience chronic soreness, it can be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. In addition, the discomfort of muscle soreness can significantly impact performance. According to Tailwind’s dietitian, Amanda, there are six things you can do to alleviate muscle soreness:
Put in the work
According to sports nutrition basics, muscle soreness is a sign that you’re pushing yourself. But, if you are experiencing it after every workout, you may want to consider taking it down a notch.
Try alternating high and low-intensity workouts to prevent your body from becoming too accustomed to your new routine (and, in turn, getting used to the soreness). By mixing things up, your body never has the opportunity to adjust to the physical stress you are putting on it, and the soreness should diminish and eventually disappear.
Consult a registered dietitian
A nutritionist helps you create a sports nutrition plan that meets your specific needs. Whether you are training for an athletic event or trying to achieve optimal health, consulting registered dietitians can help you create a balanced diet eating plan(includes more protein and more carbohydrates) that will help you achieve your goals.
Whether training to build strength or for a sports event, you need the right fuel and proper sports nutrition for peak performance. When used wisely, they can help you train harder and longer while helping to reduce the risk of injury.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing supplements:
- It is important to make sure that you are not consuming too many saturated fats. These can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease.
- Be sure to include all food groups in your diet so that you are getting a balanced intake of nutrients.
- Monitor your carbohydrate intake carefully. If you consume too many carbs, your body will store them as fat rather than use them for energy.
- Avoid sugary sports drinks as they can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and promote tooth decay.
Here are 4 supplements that can help you recover faster.
Caffeine is very popular for its stimulant properties, and many trainers recommend it as an athletic performance supplement as it can increase focus, alertness, and energy levels.
- Tailwind Nutrition Fuel
Tailwind Nutrition Fuel is an excellent choice for athletes looking to improve their performance. The product contains a blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to help the body maintain its energy levels during exercise. Tailwind Nutrition Fuel also includes electrolytes and other nutrients important for maintaining fluid balance in the body. This product is a great option for athletes looking to increase their fluid intake during exercise.
More good news for non-testosterone using gym-goes: beta-alanine can help you get more from your workouts because it improves your ability to produce force. The result is that you’ll become more powerful and be able to push yourself harder without as much risk of injury, which means better and faster muscle growth.
One area where beta-alanine shines is helping weightlifters, and endurance athletes stay in the same weight class without losing strength or power. The key is optimal timing and dosing: beta-alanine should be taken in moderate doses at the beginning of a workout, then again later in the workout if necessary
Creatine is one of the most popular sports nutrition supplements out there, and for a good reason. It’s been shown to increase strength and muscle mass when combined with resistance training. So if you’re looking to build muscle or get stronger, creatine is a great supplement.
Don’t forget about healthy fats.
Healthy fats play an important role in your body, including hormone production and brain function. In regards to sports nutrition, healthy fats can help with joint pain, inflammation, and even recovery. Look for sources of unsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil.
Get enough protein intake.
Regardless of participants’ sex, age, or activity level, all Americans need 5-13 servings of vegetables and fruits a day. Additionally, all different kinds of protein(milk, meat, fish, etc.) contain essential amino acids—the building blocks of muscle. These include both animal- and plant-based options.
If you’re in the midst of a new fitness routine or competition and are sore from hard exercising, you may want to hold off on that cheeseburger for a couple of days. It’s important to eat protein after the competition—it helps your muscle tissues repair and rebuild themselves. However, animal proteins can be inflammatory, making it more difficult for your body to recover. So limit these proteins (such as beef, pork, and chicken) and opt instead for fish, eggs, beans, and legumes.
Pay attention to your gut.
If you’re suffering from muscle soreness, there’s a good chance your gut is also feeling the pain. Research suggests that up to 80 percent of your immune system is located in your intestines.
The gut-brain connection is well documented, but researchers are paying closer attention to its role in releasing immune cells to target infections and inflammation. And a growing body of research shows the relative balance between good and bad bacteria can make all the difference in how your immune system responds to stress, illness, and injury.
When you exercise regularly, you’re essentially damaging your muscles—you tear your muscles and increase their inflammation. This can result in increased muscle soreness. However, research suggests that probiotics can help fight that inflammation —and potentially reduce muscle soreness from training.
Watch your calorie intake.
Excessive amounts of calories during training will leave you feeling tired and sore. To help avoid this, be aware of how much you are consuming. This will not only help you fuel your body properly, but it will also allow you to remain mindful of your overall calorie intake
To avoid muscle soreness, it’s crucial to stay hydrated during and after exercise. Dehydration causes your bloodstream to be thin, resulting in painful muscle cramps. “When working out, you should consume 24 ounces of water two hours before and another 16 ounces 15 minutes before your workout,” says the experts at Tailwind Nutrition.
The reason behind this is that muscles are filled with water; they need hydration to function properly. When muscles don’t have enough water, they can’t relax and cramp up.
Deep Tissue Massage Therapy
Deep tissue massage therapy is an effective tool to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow within the muscle tissue. When blood flow is poor due to inflammation, nutrients, hormones, and white blood cells cannot get into injured muscles, leading to further weakness and atrophy.
Heat rubs may contain menthol or camphor applied to the skin to provide soothing warmth. In addition, the heat helps loosen tight muscles, which may help relieve pain and muscle soreness.
Disclaimer: Before trying these methods, please check with your healthcare provider to make sure they’re right for you.