In order to build muscle, you need to destroy muscle. We know, we know, a very dramatic intro to an article about dealing with sore muscles. Still, it’s true. When you work out, you destroy muscle fibers on a microscopic level. Then, once you rest, eat some food, and actually sleep, the muscle fibers will regenerate, and they will be stronger and larger. Your body is getting used to doing more work, it’s getting accustomed to bearing a heavier workload. However, one of the more annoying side-effects of heavy workouts, especially if you haven’t worked out in a long time, is muscle soreness.
Some muscle soreness actually feels good to most people. You get a constant reminder of the hard work you have done, how good it felt, and the fact that your muscles are growing. But, too much soreness can hinder the way we spend our day, as well as prevent us from working out anytime soon in the near future.
In the article below we have listed out several ways you can deal with muscle soreness and get to feeling 100% in no time.
Avoid dehydration like the plague
Drink lots of water. We all know the old – have 8 cups of water per day. Well, that’s because it’s totally true. You need to get as much water as possible if you want to be at your best. There is some research that showed water helping with muscle soreness. The running theory here is that water flushes out any waste products accumulating in your muscles. Working out means breaking down muscle, and when this happens toxins like hydrogen ions and creatine kinase are excreted. These chemicals increase muscle soreness, and water should clean them out.
Your liver and your kidney are of course the main filters for toxins within your body, but water can help them function. As far as how much water you actually need, it really depends. However, a good rule of thumb is that anything around 10 cups for physically active people is great.
Do some light exercise and stretching
We know this won’t be pleasant, but some light exercise and stretching can really help with sore muscles. Namely, when you are physically active, you increase circulation and help your blood flow through your body.
Namely, increased blood flow means more nutrients and positive chemicals enter your muscles. Namely, blood carries oxygen and amino acids, both of which are needed for muscle repair. The core idea behind this system is that you will get these building blocks faster, meaning your muscles will be repaired faster.
Try some heat or ice
This one is basically all about what feels good. If you want to learn how to deal with sore muscles in the best way possible, you need to get to know your own body in the best way possible. Figuring out what works for you is very important, but that can only be achieved with years of working out and practice.
Now, as far as heat and ice goes, one of these things can give you direct and almost instant relief. Ice can really help with the swelling that can sometimes occur if you’re really sore. However, heat minuses tension and pain signals. So, an ice bath might do wonders for your circulation and reduce swelling, while a nice, hot, warm bath can help you relax, get out some tension, and just help to loosen up your muscles and joints.
Eat and rest
Finally, you should simply give it time. Your body deals with the damage you have done to it in the best way it can, and you need to help it heal. Sometimes this means working out more, drinking lots of water, applying some ice or heat. However, other times it’s simply all about you letting go and resting.
Try to get at least seven, better eight, hours of sleep every night. Furthermore, try not to be too active when you’re this sore. Postpone any physical activity, if you can, until you’ve completely healed up. Also, get some lean protein, vegetables, and fruit in you. Feed your body, give it some fuel, and give it something it can work with to help you heal.
And there you have it folks, a couple of ways you can deal with sore muscles after a workout. Remember that your body needs to rest, you need to give it appropriate fuel to actually recover. So, eat lots of protein and drink a lot of water. Getting the right nutrients in you will help combat soreness, as well simply transferring these nutrients around. Some light stretching and exercise can get your blood flowing, improving the healing process. Finally, ice (or heat) might be what you actually need in order to fully relax and get rid of the pain.