What Causes Sore Muscles After A Workout?
Numerous factors lead to sore muscles after an intense workout including injury, muscle spasms and simple overexertion of the muscle.
Delayed-onset muscle soreness, which is the most common cause of muscle pain after an intense workout, occurs between 24 hrs to 36 hrs after a workout, and lasts for about 2 to 3 days.
One of the causes of delayed-onset muscle soreness is the buildup of lactic acid in the muscle.
Another cause of delayed-onset muscle soreness is the presence of microscopic tears in the muscle tissue, caused by intense exercise, which lead to muscle pain, stiffness and swelling. The presence of these microscopic tears leads to such high levels of inflammation because of the body’s need to adapt to the stress placed on it and heal. This healing process, known as hypertrophy, is the reason why exercise builds stronger and larger muscles.
Natural Home Remedies For Sore Muscles
Natural home remedies can work wonders for your sore muscles. These home remedies rely on the nutritional power of antioxidant rich foods to help speed muscle recovery time as well reduce the amount of inflammation present in the muscles, which is the cause of the muscle pain.
Consume High Levels of Calcium During The 24 to 36 hrs After Your Workout
It is a well known fact that taking extra calcium immediately after a strenuous workout will reduce or eliminate the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness.
Calcium, the most abundant mineral in your body, plays an important role in muscle contractions but strenuous workouts deplete this mineral. This calcium deficiency can aggravate the cramping and stiffness of delayed onset muscle soreness.
Green Tea Antioxidants Fight Inflammation
Drinking green tea is the ideal way to ease the pain of post-workout sore muscles.
Green tea contains high concentrations of inflammation fighting antioxidants called polyphenols which essentially function as a sort of natural NSAID when it comes to easing the pain of sore muscles.
Tart Cherries Help Repair Damaged Muscles
According to a study published in the American College of Sports Medicine Journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, eating a small amount of tart cherries, or drinking tart cherry juice, after an intense workout, helps speed muscle recovery.
According to this study’s researchers, the anti-inflammatory benefits of tart cherries are due to the presence of a class of antioxidants called Anthocyanins which also give tart cherries their bright red color.
Caffeine Is A Highly Effective Pain Reliever
There is a good reason why most pain medication contain both acetaminophen and caffeine. Caffeine is used in most pain medication because it helps increase their effectiveness.
A University of Georgia study published in the February issue of The Journal of Pain found that, when consumed after a workout, moderate doses of caffeine, roughly equivalent to two cups of coffee, can help reduce post-workout muscle pain by as much as 48%.
Professor O’Connor, who along with professors Kevin McCully and the late Gary Dudley co-authored this study, explained that caffeine likely works by blocking the body’s receptors for adenosine, a chemical released in response to inflammation. (source)
Ginger Is A Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb used for centuries to help ease morning sickness, migraines and arthritis pain.
The active anti-inflammatory ingredient in fresh ginger is Gingerols which is also known to help reduce the inflammation and pain of sore muscles.
To reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger try my tasty Post Workout Recovery Drink featuring ginger or squeeze a bit of fresh ginger juice into your cup of green tea.
photo courtesy of: Alex E. Proimos