Delayed onset of muscle soreness, or DOMS, is a common experience after intense exercise. It typically peaks on day 2 after a workout and can last up to a week. It's the result of microscopic damage to the muscle fibers and the inflammation and swelling that follow as the body tries to repair the damage.
While it's important to take time to rest and recover after a tough workout, it's also important to keep moving. Sitting for extended periods can make the soreness and stiffness worse. Gentle movement and stretching can help increase blood flow to the muscles, reducing soreness and promoting healing.
Drinking plenty of water is also key to recovery. It helps deposit nutrients in the muscles and facilitates the repair process. In addition, consuming quality protein sources like lean meats or supplements can help muscle fibers recover and rebuild.
Foam rolling, massage, stretching, and localised heat therapy are also effective ways to promote recovery. These techniques can help increase blood flow to the muscles, which in turn increases nutrient absorption and speeds up the recovery process.
Another natural way to promote muscle recovery is by supplementing with PEA, or palmitoylethanolamide. PEA is a fatty acid naturally produced in the body, and it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. By taking PEA after a workout, you can help reduce inflammation and speed up the recovery process.
It's important to note that ibuprofen should be avoided when experiencing DOMS. While it's tempting to take an anti-inflammatory to reduce the discomfort, it can actually hinder the body's natural recovery process. Inflammation is a crucial part of the body's response to muscle damage, and by suppressing it, you may be delaying your recovery.
In conclusion, while DOMS can be uncomfortable, it's a natural part of the muscle-building process. By incorporating gentle movement, staying hydrated, consuming quality protein, using recovery techniques like foam rolling and PEA supplementation, and avoiding ibuprofen, you can promote a quicker and more holistic recovery.
So the next time you're dealing with post-workout DOMS, try these tips and watch your muscles recover faster and stronger.
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