Waking up in the morning barely being able to move and wondering “What in the heck did I do yesterday?” is not a fun way to wake up. This can happen to many of us after a really great workout or even those workouts that just sneak up on you unexpectedly and cause all the pain in the morning. The bad news is that when it comes to building and strengthening our muscles, it is par for the course. The good news is that you can do something about it, like stretching, ice, and supplements. Today we are going to dive deeper into 5 ways to reduce your muscle soreness and a couple of these you might not have heard of until today. But first…
Why Do Our Muscles Get Sore in the First Place?
Muscle soreness after exercise (aka delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS) are signs you caused damage to your muscle tissues. When this damage or micro-tearing happens, your body initiates the repair process by triggering inflammation. Fluid then accumulates in the muscles which is why you feel pain. Having this pain and torn inflamed muscles may sound bad but some degree of inflammation can be an important signal for muscle growth and repair. This is the pain we are discussing today.
5 Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness, Aches, and Pains
An ice bath or even cryotherapy are a bit more trendy lately when it comes to recovering after an intense workout. If you have access to either of these options or dare we say even giving them a try, (in all seriousness, they both provide great benefits, they are just super super cold) then by all means, otherwise you can stick to an old fashion ice pack. Keep the ice on for up to 20 minutes at a time, using a towel to avoid direct contact between the ice pack and your skin. Let the area get numb, wait an hour and then you can reapply the cold pack, if necessary.
Giving Your Body the Right Nutrients
It is true, you can help your body recover from your muscle soreness by giving it the right nutrients. This can come from food or it can come from recovery drinks/supplements too. We are first going to cover the food options, then later point you at a recovery supplement that is helpful when you don’t want to worry about eating 10 different things.
- Manuka Honey is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps to suppress exercise-induced inflammation in the body.
- Tart Cherries can minimize post-run muscle pain, delay time to fatigue, and promote muscle recovery.
- Turmeric is full of the inflammation-fighting antioxidant curcumin, which has been shown to decrease what’s called delayed onset muscle soreness.
- Salmon contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, plus it’s packed with lean protein—a key component for muscle restoration and building.
- Green Tea is abundant in anti-inflammatory antioxidants making it the ideal pre- or post-workout drink to prevent muscle and cell damage related to exercise.
Sleep is critical for many reasons, but it’s also one of the most important components of exercise recovery. Although it is something that doesn’t give an obvious immediate result, it is definitely useful. Aim at getting at least seven hours of sleep a night.
Immediately after a workout try self-myofascial release (SMR). This can be done with a foam roller and is a technique used to release tension in muscles and connective tissues helping to move the fluids that are pushed to the muscle after exercise. Additionally, it helps increase circulation to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the affected area, which helps reduce swelling and soreness.
Over-the-counter Pain Medicine
This is probably one of the easiest methods to help reduce pain from muscle soreness because it is as easy as popping a pill into your mouth with a nice swallow of water. Although this is easy, it is probably not your best option. Many of these over-the-counter (OTC) drugs like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) aka ibuprofen and naproxen may ease pain associated with muscle soreness pretty quick, but they may also prevent your muscles from growing back bigger and stronger some studies have shown.
Sometimes it takes the right combinations of tricks to help ease those muscles, but if there is one thing we can say helps when it comes to your muscle recovery is RESCUE. RESCUE is an instantized vegan BCAA formula that helps support muscle recovery and promote lean muscle protein synthesis for men and women with a perfectly balanced ratio of 2:1:1. Also, it is rich in L-Citrulline, our matrix helps improve muscle recovery and support nitric oxide production. Give our watermelon flavored RESCUE a try today!