We all secretly love that sensation we get when our muscles are sore; you know, that, “Oh my God, my muscles are in pain but I love pain,” feeling (and no, I’m not psychotic; sore muscle pain feels better than any other pain).
Why do we secretly love this sensation, though? Probably because it signifies that we’ve put in some serious work at the gym. Also probably because we know the pain is benefiting our body, it’s not tormenting our body. But what happens when our muscles are so sore that we just can’t take it?
There are two types of muscle soreness, lactic acid buildup and delayed onset muscle soreness. In this article, we’re going to focus on delayed onset muscle soreness, or the process by which small tears appear in the muscle fibers. Once these tears appear, the inflammation process of the delayed onset muscle soreness begins. Once the inflammation process begins, the pain starts to act up.
Typically, this specific type of pain/soreness will occur after unfamiliar exercises. The most common symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness are soreness, muscle stiffness, lack of strength, and a decreased ability to contract muscles. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you’ll want to recover quickly.
Check out my advice below; I’ll help you use the best techniques I know to get rid of that muscle soreness you’re experiencing!
Eat a lot of mushrooms.
Mushrooms have great anti-inflammatory compounds known as polysaccharides. These polysaccharides naturally help reduce muscle soreness by ultimately reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Get yourself to the market and load up on some mushrooms! If you really like them, you can technically add them to any meal. I mean they go great on burgers, on steak, on pizza, and even as a side. Get creative!
Do an active cooldown.
If you spend a little time cooling down after each workout, your muscles will go through the recovery process so much smoother.
I’m sure you already know what a cooldown is, but if you don’t, allow me to explain. Instead of going hard during your workout and then all-of-a-sudden stopping, try to have the first three-fourths of your workout be different than the last fourth of your workout. In other words, really work those muscles during the first 75% of the workout, but use that last 25% of the workout to wind down your exercises. Keep exercising, just slow the exercises down and pick workouts that are a lot less strenuous on the muscles. If you do this, you’ll decrease your blood flow at a healthy pace, therefore encouraging a healthy inflammation process.
Drink cherry juice.
Don’t drink any cherry juice, drink tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice has tons of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that will help aid you in the recovery process. Your muscle soreness will go away 50% quicker if you drink a glass of this a day.
Just do me a favor, keep in mind that cherry juice has a ton of sugar in it, too. Try to balance it out with healthy foods and drinks. Also, try your best to drink a lot of water to flush the sugar out of your system quicker.
Go to your local masseuse.
This is probably the most obvious solution to sore muscles: Go get a massage. However, people don’t often go to a masseuse when their muscles are sore, probably because the massage itself may cause additional initial pain. That’s why you can’t wait for the pain to start before you go to your masseuse; instead, you’re supposed to get a massage almost immediately after your workout (especially if you added some new workouts to your routine).
Getting a massage may sound like a bad idea, but trust me, it’s actually a good idea. Getting a massage helps release the cytokines in the muscles. Cytokines are the compounds that cause inflammation in the body, and if they’re released through a massage, you’ll have less pain and inflammation the next day.
Plus, getting a massage stimulates the mitochondria within your cells, in turn helping your muscle cells repair themselves.
Use both a heating pad and an ice pack.
Everyone has probably heard, at one time or another that a heating pad is super good to help relieve some of that inflammation in your muscles after a heavy workout. And it’s true; heating pads are able to do this. They actually aid the healing process by increasing the blood flow to the area and flush out the inflammation for you.
The best way to get the ultimate healing technique is to alternate the heat pad with an ice pack. Alternating the two helps prevent elastic tissue damage. Most health care professionals suggest applying ice packs for twenty minutes then switching off to a heating pad for twenty minutes.
Use a foam roller.
Using a foam roller on sore muscles can quite literally make a grown man cry, but trust me when I say, it helps repair your muscles rather quickly. Foam rollers do this by decreasing the swelling in your muscles. All you have to do is go through 20 minutes of excruciating pain, and your muscles will bounce back in no time.
Take an ice bath.
Ice baths genuinely constrict blood vessels. By constricting blood vessels, the ice baths reduce swelling and tissue breakdown, too. All you have to do is sit in one for approximately 5 to 10 minutes to reap all of the benefits.
According to many men, taking an ice bath for 10 minutes after exercising lowers the levels of pain and soreness within the body. They’re actually proven to reduce pain, soreness, and swelling by about 20% overall. That’s fantastic!
Basically, what I’m telling you to do is check out these ways to reduce soreness and pick the one(s) that best suit you. Good luck in your future workout endeavors!
By Jenny Lyn