Even, if you have worked in the gym once, you would be well acquainted with muscle soreness. Pumping iron in the gym more than often leads to miserable muscular pain. And, that soreness could make doing the simplest of chores extremely difficult. Of course, it takes care of itself and repairs in couple of days. But, during those intermittent days, you will have to refrain from any active physical activity. And, that can be bit difficult for some of the fitness freaks like us.
The five simple remedies discussed in this article will help you tackle the muscle soreness at its root and can help in prevention. However, if you have serious muscle soreness and have problem even in moving the particular muscle, you should probably visit a physician.
Eat more protein
When you lift weight in the gym or do any strenuous activity, micro tears develop in muscle fibers. Eating more protein after the workout will ensure that these micro tears are repaired instantly, before the neurons in the muscle can trigger inflammation alert. The muscle soreness is usually caused by damaged muscle fibers, which causes pain and stiffness in a particular area. However, the instant supply of amino acids, preferably within 30 minutes of the workout will give you a head start in muscle repair.
Also, you would be losing lots of water content through sweating. So, you need to make sure that you fuel your body up during the workout as well as later. Otherwise, you might end up suffering painful muscle cramps. Plus, water is the medium through which all the nutrients are transported to the tired muscles and waste material out of them. So, if you are low on water content, it might affect the rate at which the nutrients are provided to the muscles.
Take an ice bath
According to the research based on various studies on cold-water therapy in treating muscle soreness, the ice bath can be extremely helpful. The research found that it can be useful in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness. The research also found that the athletes reported less soreness from one to four days after a taxing workout when they used cryotherapy. Plus, it has been found that the ice baths reduce swelling and recovery time after a hard session, which means the individuals feel fresher and less sore the next day.
The proper mechanism behind the ice baths is that the low temperature leads to constriction of blood cells, which in turn reduces inflammation and flushes out toxins from the muscles. Also, it reduces the metabolic activity and compresses the muscle through hydrostatic pressure. To put in simple words, by slowing down cell process and using water to apply compression, the ice baths promote blood circulation throughout the body and moves waste such as lactic acid out of the muscles.
While preparing the ice baths, you need to keep in mind that everyone has its own comfort zone. And, when it comes to temperature, you shouldn’t play with it. The colder is not better and spending a prolonged period of time in water colder than 54 degrees fahrenheit could be dangerous. And, when it comes to exposure, don’t go beyond 10 minutes, until and unless advised by an expert. And, by expert, I don’t mean your best mate. Someone with a qualification.
Magnesium is an important mineral for muscle and bone health. In conjunction with calcium, it works to relax muscles and nerves. In fact, sore muscles, headaches, irregular heartbeat, PMS and cramps are some of the symptoms of the magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium helps muscle to relax. If you aren’t getting enough magnesium, your muscles will cramp and spasm far more easily. Due to magnesium deficiency, it can become harder to flush by-products of metabolism such as lactic acid, which in turn leads to sore muscles. Plus, magnesium is involved in body’s production of energy, most of which occurs in muscle cells. You can opt to take magnesium supplements. Taking bath in magnesium flakes to ease sore muscles is also advisable.
Epsom salt has become a popular option for treating muscle soreness and other bodily aches and pains. One of the main factors that make Epsom salts so effective in treatment of sore muscles and other aches is that it contains magnesium. And, we have already discussed magnesium’s ability in treating the muscle soreness. However, I had forgotten to mention that magnesium is involved in muscle regeneration reactions including protein synthesis, neuromuscular transmitters and the activation of B complex, all of which are essential to post training recoveries.
You might be wondering that when you can take magnesium supplements, then what is the need of Epsom salts? The magnesium is a known laxative. And, as the oral magnesium is not available in controlled release form, you can’t combat the laxative effect of magnesium. So, those who have digestion problem would have to spend considerable time in toilet after taking magnesium orally. As magnesium is absorbed through the skin, the bathing in Epsom salts side steps the laxative problem. So, the body can absorb as much magnesium as it needs, to treat sore muscles without any side effects.
Also, soaking in the Epsom salts after a particularly taxing and challenging workout routine can help prevent inflammation and irritation in your joints and muscles. The Epsom salts can also be useful in treating muscle sprains and strains.
Move around, even on rest days
Although it is tempting to do nothing on the rest days, but staying still won’t be great for muscle pain. The gentle stretches and mild physical activity can be helpful in getting more blood to the muscles. And, if more blood flow into the muscles, the faster the recovery time will be. One great way of getting a mild physical activity on the rest day is to go for a gentle walk. Also, you can go for shopping to the supermarket and get the healthy food items for the coming week. Any physical activity is fine, as long as you are moving around and increasing your blood flow.