Whether you’re an experienced athlete or new to working out, you’re bound to experience muscle soreness. Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is a perfectly normal response to any new physical activity or increased intensity. In fact, it’s a sign that your muscles are repairing themselves and preparing to work harder next time. But that doesn’t make muscle soreness enjoyable. In fact, sometimes muscle soreness can inhibit you from wanting to continue with your workout goals.
While there is no cure-all for sore muscle, there are a number of things you can try to help ease the recovery process. Take a look at the things you can do before, during, and after your next workout to reduce and relieve muscle soreness.
9 Ways To Reduce Muscle Soreness
Muscles are made up of around 80% water, so proper hydration is an important aspect of muscle function and recovery. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a workout is one of the best ways to break down excess lactic acid (a common cause of muscle soreness).
Too much, too soon is one of the biggest triggers of DOMS. That’s why it’s important to listen to your body and easy into any kind of new training. If you’re just starting out, opt for a class or workout aimed at beginners. As you feel more confident and comfortable in your workout, increase intensity gradually. While some light soreness is a sign that the muscles have been worked, too much soreness can backfire by making you less likely to want to continue working out.
Warm Up And Cool Down
Warming up before a workout helps bring blood to your muscles, loosen them up, and prepare them for your workout. This helps avoid injury during your workout and prevent soreness afterward. Cooling down helps your breathing and heart rate return to normal and can help remove excess lactic acid, potentially reducing muscle soreness. Aim to warm up and cool down for 5-10 minutes every time you work out.
Try Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a type of self-massage that can easily be added to your cool down. By rolling tight muscles over a foam roller, you can help release tension and move the fluids that accumulate in your muscles when you workout. Using a foam roller can be intense at first, so it’s best to start with a softer foam roller and work your way up to the more firm options.
If you feel like treating yourself, a traditional massage can also help alleviate soreness and improve muscle performance. Just be sure to schedule it within 48 hours of your workout to reap the benefits.
Studies have shown that applying heat, and especially moist heat, to muscles immediately after exercising can reduce DOMS. Warm, damp towels, a wet heating pack, or even just a nice hot shower can help. Or, if you really want to take it up a notch, an Epsom salt bath can help reduce inflammation and soreness after a workout.
Eat Enough Protein
Protein is the main nutrient responsible for building and maintaining your muscles. The amino acids in protein are also key in rebuilding your muscles after you exercise. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of protein every day. And after an intense workout, it’s important to refuel your body with a snack that includes high-quality protein and slowly-digested carbs.
One great way to get more clean protein into your diet is by supplementing with Collagen Peptides. This highly-digestible protein dissolves completely in liquid and is totally tasteless, making it easy to add to the foods you’re already eating. Plus, Collagen Peptides also support joint, gut, and skin health. *
Need an easy post-workout smoothie? Give this Strawberry Collagen Shake a try!
Everyone knows sleep is important but it directly helps repair muscles and reduce soreness. It’s during sleep that our body goes through its regenerative process — specifically, repairing and restoring your muscles. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
Keep Moving, Lightly
When your muscles are sore, the last thing you may want to do is workout again. But the fact is, being sedentary when your muscles are sore can actually make things worse and prolong recovery. The day after an intense workout, opt for some light movement like walking, biking, or swimming. These workouts will get the blood moving to your sore muscles, bringing the oxygen and nutrients they need to recover, without putting any added stress on the muscle tissues.
Add Supplement Support
Studies have shown that Turmeric can help promote a natural, healthy inflammatory response, which helps balance occasional, temporary stiffness and inflammation as a result of exercise. Turmeric + Ginger harnesses the antioxidant power of these two spices to promote joint health, boost immunity, and relieve temporary inflammation caused by overexertion. Learn more about this powerful duo here. *
By incorporating these tips before, during, and after you exercise, you can help reduce muscle soreness and make sure you’re ready and able to give it your all during your next workout.
Support your body so you can get the most out of your workouts by grabbing some Turmeric + Ginger today!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.