Muscle Soreness: How To Recover Faster

MUSCLE SORENESS: HOW TO RECOVER FASTER

Written by: ASN

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Time to read 6 min

Bec Patterson, Sports Nutritionist

This article has been reviewed by and is endorsed by Bec Patterson, qualified Sports Nutritionist and founder of BP Performance and Nutrition. Check out Bec Patterson on Instagram or Facebook.

Hydrate


It might sound super obvious, but the easiest first step that you can take is to hydrate yourself. Drink water; it’s that simple.


When you’re training hard and working up a sweat, your body naturally loses water through that perspiration, which can leave you dehydrated after a session. The temperature, intensity and length of your workouts can impact how much water your body loses, which is why it is best to drink water before, during and following exercise (West, M. 2019).


If you’re training regularly for long periods and have grown bored of the taste of water or need something else to fuel your recovery, sports drinks may be able to aid you.


Don’t confuse sports drinks with energy drinks; sports drinks contain nutrients that can boost your energy and help you maintain your electrolyte balance, while energy drinks are packed with Caffeine and other stimulants (West, M. 2019).


If you can get your hands on Prime, which is packed with electrolytes, BCAAs and antioxidants that can fuel your rehydration, otherwise a Powerade or Gatorade can always do the trick.


Alternatively, amino acids are both refreshing and light, helping to build and support your cellular functions, including transporting, absorbing, and storing electrolytes and nutrients (Van Biezen, T. 2022).
 

BCAAs can be taken before, during or after your workout to help you stay hydrated during and after a session. Evolve Damage Control is a rapid EAA Protein accelerator that can boost your recovery and instantly deliver Amino Acids to your muscles. ON BCAA Boost & Muscle Nation Aminos are both revitalising options packed with electrolytes and BCAAs to support your hydration and recovery.
 


Eat a Nutritious Meal


Eating after a workout is vital as your body’s protein is fundamental in helping you build and maintain muscle while also playing a critical role in helping your muscles recover after a heavy gym session.


Getting a good meal into your body after a workout, particularly one that is high in protein, is crucial in ensuring you get the best out of your recovery. Your muscles use up their Glycogen while you’re working out, which is the body’s primary fuel source during intense sessions.

After a workout, your body tries to rebuild its Glycogen levels while repairing and regrowing those muscle proteins. Consuming carbs and protein following exercise can help your body achieve this faster (Semeco, A. 2021).


Try SMR Techniques


A great technique to release tension in your muscles and connective tissue is SMR, which stands for self-myofascial release. Common tools for SMR include foam rollers, massage guns, lacrosse balls and massage sticks, which can help move the fluids that build up in your muscles after a workout.


Like other types of massages, foam rolling increases circulation and delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the areas that need it, which can help reduce swelling and tenderness. Additionally, lacrosse balls can be effective for reaching difficult places (glutes, calves, lats). Massage guns are also effective, helping deliver rapid vibrations that can promote blood flow to the targeted area (Bedosky, L. 2022).
 


Warm-Up & Cool-Down


To prepare your muscles for intense weight training, warming up with some light cardio can completely change how your muscles react once you walk out of the gym. Training without first warming up can cause you to experience delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). A simple warm-up on the treadmill can boost your blood circulation, enhancing your recovery after a session (Mahtani, N. 2019).


Just because you’ve warmed up before your session doesn’t mean you can walk straight out of the gym once you’re finished. You started with a warm-up, so now it’s time to finish with a cool-down.

Cooling down after a successful session can help to ease you out of your workout, helping your heart rate and breathing return to normal levels. It’s an effective method for easing our body out of high-intensity activity instead of suddenly stopping and walking out. Cooling down helps reduce the lactate in your blood, which is an organic acid (made by tissue and red blood cells in your muscles) that travels through your bloodstream but clears out quickly with simple cool-down exercises (Hoonan, R. 2021).


Supplements


If you’re looking for a convenient way to recover on the go, ASN have you covered with a category of products that can support your every need. Let’s run through the most helpful supplements to support your recovery and reduce muscle soreness.


Magnesium:

People generally run straight for the protein when it comes to recovering, but you’re missing out if you don’t add Magnesium to your post-gym recovery routine. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for daily performance and recovery, so it’s crucial to get an adequate daily intake.


One of the best magnesium supplements to support muscle recovery is Evolve Magnesium RX, which can support muscle function, aid in cramp relief and optimise immune functionality.


Protein:

A good source of protein is one of the best ways to reduce muscle soreness while repairing and rebuilding muscle.

Evolve Reload is a targeted recovery matrix designed for post-workout use to support accelerated muscle recovery. It is fast-absorbing and contains hydrolysed WPI, rapid-absorbing carbs, Creatine, BCAAs & L-Glutamine.


You can also fuel yourself after a workout with Rule 1 WPI Protein, which contains 25g of protein per serving and can enhance your recovery. For a vegan option, you can’t go past Evolve Vegan Protein, which is gluten-free, dairy-free and designed to fuel your recovery.


Creatine:

Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the skeletal muscle that can help increase efficient muscle recovery after training while also providing energy and assisting lean muscle mass growth.


Evolve Creatine Monohydrate is 100% Creatine Monohydrate, and just like Evolve Creatine RX, both products support ATP production, cell volumisation and overall muscle recovery.



Sleep


Who knew something so simple could be so hard to put into practice? As much as you want to finish that episode, read a chapter of that book, scroll through your phone and do whatever other procrastinatory activity you can think of… sometimes you just need to shut your eyes and allow your body to rest.

A lack of sleep can lead to higher levels of inflammation, which can contribute to muscle soreness (Shiffer, E et al. 2022).


When you’re deep asleep, the blood flow in your muscles will increase, inviting oxygen and nutrients that help recover and repair your muscles while regenerating cells. In this state of sleep, the pituitary gland releases growth hormones to stimulate muscle repair and growth, while without adequate rest, this process diminishes, and your recovery becomes more complex (Delucchi, J. 2020).


If you need more info on how sleep can influence your body results and how to get more sleep, check out our blog on The Relationship Between Sleep and Muscle Growth.


The Bottom Line


At the end of the day, the care you show your muscles before and after you train can be critical in determining how successful a session actually is. You don’t want to walk out feeling like a champion just to wake up feeling like a plank of wood. Prioritise what you do after a workout, and you can reduce your muscle soreness after a session.


If you need help finding the best supplements to help you recover quickly after training or merely need more information, our friendly team can help you out online or in-store at one of our Australian stores.

 


References


West, M. 2019, ‘Why Drink Water After Exercising?’ Live Strong, accessed 18 October 2022,

https://www.livestrong.com/article/381935-why-drink-water-after-exercising/>


Van Biezen, T. 2022, ‘Why are Amino Acids Important for Hydration?’ Liv Pur, accessed 18 October 2022,

https://livpur.com/blogs/news/why-are-amino-acids-important-for-hydration#:~:text=Amino%20Acids%20also%20help%20to,are%20essential%20for%20human%20survival.>


Semeco, A. 2021, ‘Post-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat After a Workout’, Healthline, accessed 19 October 2022,

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eat-after-workout>


Bedosky, L. 2022, ‘Quick Fixes for Sore Muscles’, Everyday Health, accessed 19 October 2022,

https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/quick-fixes-for-sore-muscles.aspx>


Shiffer, E et al. 2022, ‘8 Expert-Backed Ways to Treat Sore Muscles’, Men’s Health, accessed 19 October 2022,

https://www.menshealth.com/health/g22638706/sore-muscle-recovery/>


Delucchi, J. 2020, ‘Injury Recovery: The underestimated power of sleep’, Ortho Carolina, accessed 19 October 2022,

https://www.orthocarolina.com/media/sleep-the-secret-ingredient-of-injury-recovery>