How can I relieve sore muscles? This is a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another.
What is muscle soreness?
Muscle soreness is generated by microtrauma or microscopic tears in muscle fibers. This occurs when the muscle is stretched beyond its elastic limit. These microlesions trigger an inflammatory response and cause pain.
This may sound traumatic, but don’t worry, it’s not! It’s part of a natural process that helps your muscles get stronger.
Is soreness an indicator of a good workout?
“My muscles are so sore! That’s great! I really crushed my workout!”
Not at all! I’m not sure whether you had an amazing workout. However, I can tell you that soreness is a physical symptom (your body’s response) that can be linked to several causes.
Contrary to popular belief, sore muscles are not always the sign of a good quality workout!
Muscle soreness essentially means:
- That the effort exerted during the session was clearly too intense.
- That your body was performing new exercises it was not accustomed to.
So, you’ve discovered that you’ve got muscles! Ah yes, we all have them, but they don’t develop in the same way for everyone, and that’s perfectly normal. The environment in which you live, your occupation, your hobbies, or even the sports or exercises you perform are all factors that could influence how your muscles develop.
- Or that there is an imbalance between your physical activity and your nutritional intake. We all know that a healthy diet is vital for good muscle development.
To help you create a healthy eating plan, I highly recommend the Nutri Coach app which features recipes adapted to best fit your own specific nutritional needs.
How to reduce muscle soreness
Drinking water is essential for post-workout recovery. It’s better to drink small quantities at regular intervals, rather than too much all at once.
Then, pay careful attention to your diet by opting for high-potassium foods like seaweed, legumes or dried fruit and nuts. Also, make sure you’re getting enough sodium and vitamins after physical exertion. Do not reduce your nutritional intake; your body needs energy!
Lastly, when it comes to muscle recovery, there is no substitute for rest. Wait until the discomfort has completely subsided before working the same area again (generally after 48 hours). However, if the soreness is in your legs, you can work the upper body instead, and vice versa.
In addition, try to get as much sleep as possible: aim for 7-8 hours to maximize muscle recovery.
Be careful with stretching! Your movements should be slow and gentle to avoid doing more harm than good.
Are there tips that can offer relief from muscles soreness?
Yes and no. Strategies to ease muscle pain can work very well for some individuals and be totally ineffective for others. They include:
- Heat therapy (warm bath, hot water bottle…)
- Cold therapy (a cold bath or shower…)
- Arnica oil (applied to the affected area with circular movements)
- Foam rolling
- Electrical stimulation
- Red light therapy
- Nutritional supplements (glutamine, BCAAs…)
- Low-impact cardio (cycling, walking, swimming) for no more than 30 minutes to increase blood flow to the muscle and speed up recovery.
Leave your comments below and let me know what works for you!
Should we try to reduce muscle soreness?
If you want to try to reduce soreness, keep in mind that your muscles are sending you an alert. Your body is reminding you to rest, eat healthy and stay hydrated. It’s also telling you to ease off the hard training until you feel comfortable again.
To get rid of sore muscles, your body needs a little time to recover. Above all, be patient and wait for your symptoms to subside.
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