Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: How You Can Help Your Body

If you've ever worked out and experienced muscle soreness the next morning, you understand just how painful it is for your body to adapt to unfamiliar movement.

Why does this discomfort happen though?

When we work out and do an irregular movement that our body isn't accostomed to, we lengthen our muscles which creates micro-tears. This causes a condition called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which tends to show up 24-72 hours after the initial exercise.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can be very unpleasant, and often deters beginners from continuing with their training. However, the good news is that your body has a natural process to cope with this irregular movement, and there are additional steps that you can take to help with your own recovery.

After being exposed to an irregular movement, your body adjusts to the motion by building the affected muscle group(s) to prevent further damage. This is called the Repeated Bout Effect, and explains how athletes can increase their endurance over time. These muscle adaptations only occur for the first few weeks after the initial exercise, so to avoid future soreness, it is important to consistently work those areas.

What can you do to prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

Allow your body time for a proper recovery. The older you are, the longer your body takes to recover, and recovery time varies from person to person. Generally, adults should do bone strengthening, muscle strengthening, and aerobic exercise at least 3 days a week with full rest days in between for muscle restoration.

We can also help this regeneration with our diet...

Our body often uses carbohydrates as an energy source as well as proteins, which account for 5-15% of the energy used during exercise. While working out, we break down these proteins to form ATP in a process known as catabolism. With a healthy protein intake (0.8g for every kilogram of body weight), your body should naturally synthesize these proteins back to their normal levels. If you find it hard to consume that protein intake every day, adding a protein powder shake in addition to your meals can help you reach this goal.

In addition to a healthy diet, sleep plays a big role in muscle recovery. The average person should get 7.5-9 hours of sleep a night. During this time, your body secretes a higher amount of hormones including Growth Hormone, which increases cell regeneration and reproduction. Additionally, lack of sleep increases cortisol production which can inhibit protein synthesis.

Balancing exercise and exercise recovery can be challenging, especially, but we all have the ability to do it. Being physically active is a necessity in a healthy lifestyle, and we should do what we can to be well equipped to face the challenges that come along with it.




Protein powder:

Melatonin: (or you could link entire deep sleep protocol)


Vegetable supplements:

A man(and woman!!)'s guide to muscle and strength:

The rain barrel effect:

Podcasts used in this episode: 1560, 1287

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