5 Best Ways For Getting Rid Of Muscle Soreness

Start getting rid of muscle soreness now with these five tips.

Some people equate the quality of their workouts with the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) the next day. Not only is this assumption flawed, but it could be hampering your gains. Don’t believe us?

A study conducted by McGill University found that there was a reduction in muscle activation in the targeted muscles when muscle soreness was present from previous workouts.

Minor muscle soreness after a nasty bicep workout is cute, but things can take a turn for the worse when quads are in question. If you are one of those people who love going hard in the gym but don’t like limping around the office the next day or explaining to everyone the reason for your funny walk, this article is for you. 

Why Do Our Muscles Feel Sore?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to fix sore muscles, have you ever wondered why your muscles get sore after an intense workout in the first place? 

Contrary to what most people think, you don’t build muscle when you lift weights. You break your muscle tissues while you are working out. When this damage or micro-tearing happens, your body initiates the repair process by triggering inflammation at the injury site.

Tightness and pain you feel 24-48 hours after your workouts occur due to extra pressure on the damaged areas caused by the fluid that accumulates in the muscles for facilitating recovery.

While you cause damage to your muscles every time you train, some exercises can cause more trauma and hence more soreness. According to a study conducted at the University of Liège, Liege, Belgium, any workout that is new to you, more intense than usual, or involves a bunch of eccentric movements will likely cause more damage and soreness than other types of workouts. 

While most people might credit concentric (curling) movements for their sore muscles, the eccentric part of the lift is what is causing the damage. 

Muscle Soreness Is Good But Not Necessary

There are usually two types of people. The first is the pack of gym bros who live for muscle pumps and don’t consider a workout a success unless they feel a sweet pain in their muscles for the next couple of days.

Also Read: 5 Bro Science Myths that Need to Die

On the other hand, the second group wants nothing to do with sore muscles. They don’t want their twitching muscles to remind them of their fit lifestyle throughout the day. 

Which group is correct in its approach? 

Neither. 

Inflamed and torn muscles sound bad as it is. Research has shown chronic inflammation can contribute to many chronic diseases. But you wouldn’t want to treat muscle inflammations like kryptonite. Some degree of muscle soreness can be a crucial signal for muscle growth and repair. 

Your muscles are likely to grow back bigger and stronger as they recover from the carnage you put them through in your workouts. Muscle inflammations are okay, but you need to get them under control as soon as possible. 

Now let’s address the elephant in the room – are sore muscles a sign of effective workouts? No. You don’t have to be sore after every workout. Soreness is the outcome of damaged muscles, and you don’t want to inflict soreness-inducing damage on your muscles every time you train. 

How To Get Rid Of Muscle Soreness

1. Post-Workout Nutrition

After you’ve broken down muscle tissues in a workout, you have a 30-60 minute window to provide your muscles with enough nutrients to aid in the recovery process. 20-40 grams each of protein and carbs can kickstart your muscle recovery. 

Eating a high-protein meal that consists of a fast-absorbing protein source like fish or tuna and a whey protein shake is great for speeding up your recuperation and reducing the chances and degree of muscle soreness. 

As per the International Society of Sports Nutrition, you should be consuming 1.4 to 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight for optimal recovery after training. 

2. Hydrate

Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry, the brain and heart are 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

Water can help ease inflammation, flush out waste products, and deliver the nutrients required by your muscles for recovery. Drinking at least a gallon of water every day can help avoid dehydration and keep the nutrients pumping throughout the body.

3. Prioritize Recovery

It’s time people start talking about the role of recovery in bodybuilding. Scroll through your Instagram feed, and you’ll see internet fitness celebrities promoting their gyms, workout programs, showing off their insane squat and deadlift. But you will not find a word about rest and recuperation.

Everybody is trying to be the hardest worker in the room, but they forget the real gains are made outside the iron paradise. A post about sleeping 6-8 hours every night will never get more views than a Reel where you are squatting with two girls on the bar. 

4. Myofascial Release

Self-myofascial release (SMR) involves releasing tension in muscles and connective tissues using foam rollers, lacrosse balls, or massage sticks. It can help move the accumulated lactic acid out of the muscles after exercise.

SMR and other forms of massages should be a part of your fitness routine if you’re in the fitness lifestyle for longevity. Some benefits of the myofascial release include:

  1. Help the body relax overall.
  2. Improve your range of motion.
  3. Release tension, knots, and stress.
  4. Reduce soreness and help assist the tissue recovery process.
  5. Improve blood circulation.

5. Hot and Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapies are the OG remedies for treating muscle, ligament, and joint inflammations. Ice packs and heating pads have a place in almost every household. Although cold and hot therapies have been around for centuries, many people, even today, mix up their uses.

As a rule of thumb, use ice for acute injuries or pain, along with inflammation and swelling. Use heat for muscle pain or stiffness. How it works:

  1. Heat Therapy – Improves circulation and blood flow to a particular area due to increased temperature. Increasing the temperature can soothe discomfort and increase muscle flexibility. 
  2. Cold Therapy – Reduces blood flow to the specific area, which can significantly reduce inflammation and swelling that causes pain. 

How often do you have sore muscles? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.