Why Do Your Muscles Get Sore?
Muscle soreness is a result of you damaging your muscle tissue during exercise. Micro-tearing occurs leading to your body triggering an inflammation response for the damaged muscles to begin repairing.
The tightness and pain associated with muscle soreness occur because fluid builds up in the impacted muscle leading to tightness and pain.
Every form of exercise causes some muscle damage, but squats, for example, can cause more damage leading to more intense soreness. You'll likely begin experiencing some soreness 8 to 24 hours after exercise, but the pain should subside within 24 to 48 hours.
Is Muscle Soreness Good?
Soreness is a natural response from your body, so it's not a bad thing. Sometimes, soreness may not occur even after an intense workout session, and this is acceptable, too. The only time you need to be concerned is if the soreness persists or the pain is intense.
Intense pain is an indication of a larger problem – potentially an injury.
How to Relieve Muscle Soreness Fast!
You can do a lot to relieve your soreness. There are a lot of techniques that athletes and bodybuilders follow to reduce soreness while other techniques have been backed by science to help you recover from muscle soreness.
4 Science-Backed Methods of Recovery from Muscle Soreness
Muscle recovery has been the focus of numerous studies, and while there are a lot of methods to reduce soreness, the following have been proven to work:
1. Drink Coffee
Coffee is the most beloved beverage in the world, and while people drink it every morning, not many realize that it helps with muscle soreness. The Journal of Pain posted a study that found that participants noted a 48% decline in delayed onset muscle soreness thanks to coffee's analgesic properties.
Researchers recommend that you drink two cups of coffee one hour prior to an intense workout.
2. Foam Rolling
A lot of athletes and fitness professionals recommend foam rolling as a means of relieving muscle soreness and improving recovery. You can find foam rollers on Amazon and other sites, and they can be used as a form of massage for your muscles.
Studies found that when you use a foam roller, it will improve your next workout and reduce muscle soreness, too.
Foam rolling works to relieve tension in connective tissues and also provides a myofascial release. Timing isn't important because rolling can be used as a workout warm-up, or it can be done during your cooldown to relieve potential soreness.
During your off days, foam rolling can help with muscle repair and also help improve your next workout.
3. Get a Massage
Now you have an excuse for a spa day! If you're suffering from muscle soreness, a massage can help. Along with helping you relax (which can also help with pain), massages alleviate tension in your muscles that can cause pain.
How effective are massages for muscle soreness? One 2014 study found that getting a massage after exercise can reduce pain significantly. These effects can build over time. Regular massages can boost your resistance to DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
Research from 2015 found that massaged muscles had more blood vessels than those that did not receive a massage. This may aid in recovery.
If you're trying to prevent soreness after exercise, try to schedule your massage right after your workout. Research shows that massage is more effective at preventing soreness if it's performed right after exercise compared to a massage 48 hours after exercise.
4. Perform Recovery Workouts
Another way to fight muscle soreness is to incorporate recovery workouts into your weekly exercise routine. One study from 2012 found that 20 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity cycling after strength training workouts reduced muscle pain and also increased strength.
Recovery workouts help improve blood flow, which can help with recovery by providing your muscles with more oxygen and nutrients while reducing inflammation.
Take the time to cool down after intense workouts with light cardio, or try incorporating recovery workouts into your weekly routine. Light cardio isn't the only option for a recovery workout. Yoga, cycling, jogging or a long walk are all low-impact workouts that can help keep muscle soreness at bay.
Things to Do Before, During, and After Exercise to Reduce Muscle Soreness
Before your workout, you'll want to warm up and get your muscles ready for your workout. The warm-up process will pump blood into your muscles, reduce tension, and will also help you perform better during your workout.
During your workout, you want to stay hydrated.
Water is important because it will help:
- Push fluids through the body so that they don't accumulate on the muscles
- Ease inflammation which occurs as a response to the muscle repair process
- Deliver nutrients to the muscles
Your muscles will be starving for nutrients following a workout. If you feed your muscles, you'll help improve muscle growth and also reduce soreness. It's recommended that, if you can, eat within 30 to 60 minutes following a workout.
Eat a balanced meal that consists of:
- 20 to 40 grams protein
- 20 to 40 grams carbs
Food is the fuel your muscle needs for proper recovery and growth. The right foods can also help improve recovery time (three are listed below) and will help ease inflammation, too.
A good massage or foam rolling can also improve muscle recovery rates.
Finally, be sure to sleep at least seven to eight hours a night. When you sleep, your body will begin the repair process. Lack of sleep doesn't allow your body the rest and time it needs to recover from intense workout sessions.
If you're not sleeping enough, you'll stunt both your recovery process and muscle growth.
3 Foods for Muscle Recovery
Did you know that certain foods can help assist in muscle recovery? Anti-inflammatory foods are the optimal choice when trying to relieve muscle soreness fast. Science has backed these foods, including:
- Watermelon. A delicious, healthy fruit. Watermelon has a key amino acid called L-citrulline in it that was shown in two studies (here and here) to help reduce the recovery time necessary to relieve muscle soreness.
- Ginger. A natural remedy for a lot of ailments, ginger has been shown to reduce muscle pain by 25%. Daily intake is ideal for reducing exercise-related muscle soreness.
- Cherry Juice. Cherries are filled with nutrients and have the power of reducing muscle soreness and may even increase strength. A study on runners found that drinking cherry juice for a week prior to a race reduced muscle soreness.
Pineapple and other foods also have the potential of reducing muscle soreness. When you add these foods to your diet and follow the recommendations outlined above, you can recover from muscle soreness fast.
Want the immediate relief from muscle soreness that changing your diet or pre planning post exercise routines can't give you? Try Recovery cream! It is designed to promote faster recovery and relieve your pain, whether it's caused by injuries, healing from surgeries, or working hard at the gym. Each ingredient was chosen for with this purpose in mind! Like:
MSM: Several studies have been conducted on MSM's role in the body. One huge one is that MSM helps protect against oxidative damage. Many studies (1,2,3,4) have been done on the anti-inflammatory properties of MSM, and they have found that using MSM may help with exercise recovery and muscle injuries like delayed onset muscle stiffness or soreness and large muscle injuries like that from a heart attack.
Magnesium: Every cell in your body needs magnesium to function properly. In fact, magnesium deficiency has been linked to chronic inflammation. We picked this mineral because it can help your body do things such as repair & create RNA/DNA, form proteins from amino acids, and transport nutrients across cell membranes. Giving you the power you need to recover from muscle injury and pain!
Frankincense: Many studies have been conducted on the health benefits of frankincense, and they are astounding! This essential oil has been proven to help relieve stress, reduce inflammation, boost your immune system, and support healthy cellular function.
These are just 3 of the many amazing ingredients in Recovery Cream that have science-backed benefits for your health! It's made so you reap all the benefits from these specially chosen ingredients, so you don’t have to wait for the effects of an over the counter pain relief remedy. Recovery cream will have you back on your feet in 5 minutes or less!
If you’re suffering or have suffered from sore muscles, you know that canceling your plans or rearranging your day around your discomfort, is a pain in itself both emotionally and physically. Stop letting the all day aching and sudden sharp pains control your day. Take control of your life and the way you live it back!