DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is a necessary evil in building stronger muscles and gaining strength and stamina. Most of us find that post-workout soreness to be satisfying evidence of a good sweat sesh. But only up to a certain point. Those of us who’ve been forced to use the grab bars in the bathroom stall after Legs & Butt Day know that there can indeed be too much of a good thing. This article covers 5 tips to on how to help sore muscles after a workout.
What helps muscle soreness?
Most of us already know about stretching, foam rolling, massages, and popping NSAIDS, but here are some other suggestions that fly under the fitness radar.
Is there nothing that coffee can’t do? Studies show that caffeine can boost your athletic performance and endurance, but did you know that it can also reduce the effect of DOMS by nearly 50%?! That’s more effective than traditional NSAIDS like naproxen (the active ingredient in Aleve) at 30% or aspirin at 25%. The experts recommend a moderate amount, the equivalent of two cups, prior to your sweat sesh.
Tart Cherry Juice
Recent research published in the American College of Sports Medicine: “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,” showed that tart cherry juice helped athletes recover quicker from tough workouts. But that’s just one of the super powers of this super food.
Matt Maggiacomo, a Master Instructor in NYC, can’t recommend it highly enough, “My new obsession is Organic Tart Cherry Juice concentrate. 2 tablespoons of it mixed with soda water or seltzer. Taken twice a day — once in the a.m. and an hour before bed — will help you battle post-workout muscle soreness, target belly fat, and boost melatonin to help you sleep.”
Researchers attributed the recovery benefits to the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds in cherries known as anthocyanins. These are also responsible for cherries’ bright red color. If it’s hard to drink tart cherry juice, fresh or dried cherries added to your morning breakfast is great. It’s a healthy way to add this super food to your diet.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The benefits of fish oil extend way beyond cardiovascular health. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fish oil may help decrease joint and muscle pains after a hard gym session. Eat more fish like tuna or salmon for a protein-packed, post-workout recovery meal. Or if fish isn’t your thing, you can take fish oil supplements.
I like Carlson’s Finest Fish Oil.
Your liver produces creatine, an amino acid, which helps supply energy to cells all over your body, particularly muscle tissue. In fact, 95% of your body’s creatine is stored in your skeletal muscle tissue. So, it makes sense that an increased level of creatine in the body would lead to better muscle repair and growth.
LA instructor Torrey Drake is a big believer in creatine supplements: “Creatine is used to store water in muscle tissue and causes rapid reproduction of ATP, which is basically your muscle’s energy system. There are dozens of creatine suppliers out there. I’ve had plenty of clients who use it to prevent muscle soreness,” he says.
Acupuncture for acute muscle soreness
Sore muscles? Put a pin in it.
Acupuncture has long been proven as a potent pain reliever for acute injuries, but studies also show that acupuncture works wonders for sore, overworked muscles.
According to Marin L. Kokin, “Acupuncture is an excellent way to improve blood flow to the muscle tissue – this prevents stiffness and pain from occurring.”
So there you have it – five great ways to relieve delayed onset muscle soreness. All of these methods work well, but massage is still the superior way to get rid of DOMS. If you’re experiencing any muscle soreness, call us to schedule your next massage. We’ll help you feel better fast! 614-604-6358