Suffering from post-workout muscle soreness? Here’s why it happens and how to help prevent it.
Congrats! You’ve hit the gym, the trail, or the mat, and you’re feeling refreshed and strong. While we can’t rave enough about regular exercise — along with the physical benefits, your mind will feel clearer and there’s nothing quite like that sense of accomplishment — we know working out has its drawbacks. Our least favourite? Getting hit with muscle soreness two or three days after trying out a new class or getting back into a routine.
What causes us to feel sore?
That soreness actually has a name, and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) can’t be blamed on lactic acid. Lactic acid has long been seen as the culprit for aches and pains, but new research has found that lactic acid levels return to normal after just an hour post-exercise. Instead, DOMS is caused by microscopic damage to muscles and the ensuing inflammation, usually from eccentric resistance (when your muscle is lengthened, such as when you’re lowering a weight or running downhill.)
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prevent DOMS so the only thing you’re feeling after your workout are endorphins.
Eating after a workout is vital for loading your bodies with the nutrients and protein that can help injured muscles, though this shouldn’t be used as an excuse to indulge on sweets or other treats. Instead, aim to eat carbohydrates, protein, and antioxidants. Carbs will help muscle growth, while protein assists with repair to the fibres. Antioxidants are your best bet against inflammation.
Our high-protein range is full of delicious and nutritious meals perfect for post-workout. If we had to pick a favourite, we’d go The Sunkissed Protein Pesto
C’mon. Did you really think we’d put together a list that didn’t include good ol’ H20? All those carbs and protein you’re taking in need water to function properly. For a refreshing twist, add slices of cucumber and parsley to your glass, or a few squeezes of lemon juice.
If you had the flu, you’d take some time to let your body heal. The same should be true with DOMS – get some beauty sleep, or go one step further and book yourself a massage. A gentle massage won’t just feel good, but could help activate genes that naturally fight inflammation (not that you need another excuse to make an appointment with your masseuse).
Whether or not you like your latte with foam, using a foam roller on each sore muscle can go a long way in reducing soreness. Bonus, it’s a great alternative if a massage isn’t an option.
Hot ‘n cold
Feel free to sing the Katy Perry song in your contrast shower, where you alternate between warm and cold water. Sure, it’s not the most relaxing, but it opens and closes blood muscles, great for inflammation and for stimulating your lymphatic system.
Looking for the perfect post-workout option? Our plant-based meals are packed with the nutrients your body needs to help your muscles recover and prep you for conquering your day. At Soulara, we aim to help you feel your happiest, healthiest, sexiest, and strongest.
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