Dealing With DOMS
You finish an awesome workout and are feeling pretty good the rest of the day. Then the next day you wake up and can't get up off the toilet. Know the feeling? If so you're experienced DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS is basically a temporary condition caused by damage to your muscle fibers during exercise. It typically occurs 1 to 2 days after a workout. It can come on after any type of exercise but especially after those which you haven't experienced before or you life heavier, push yourself harder or exercise longer than normal. If you've experienced it before then you know it can be pretty uncomfortable to deal with. In some cases, down right painful and often times very frustrating. Depending on the intense your exercise was and how severe your DOMS is, it can take several days for the pain to completely go away. Luckily there are some things you can do to alleviate the pain and speed up the recovery.
1. REST - Your muscles need time to rebuild and repair in some cases stronger than before. So allowing them some time to rest is very important and will help you to get over the pain of DOMS quicker than if you continue to work them.
2. Active Rest - Rest doesn't have to mean sitting and doing nothing. In fact, it's better for your sore muscles to move around doing light activity when experiencing DOMS. Have you ever felt sore then sat all day only to feel even MORE sore? This is because when contracted the muscles are shortened and when tight or knotted up will remain that way if not lengthened and loosened up. Going for a light walk, swim, or bike ride can help to prevent DOMS from worsening and will help loosen you up.
3. Foam Rolling or Mobility Work - Those tight sore muscles are often knotted up as they repair themselves so using a foam roller, lacrosse ball or other mobility tool can really help to break up those knots and alleviate some pain.
4. Pain relief balms - Topical pain relief balms like Deep Blue, Biofreeze, Arnica Cream and Icy Hot can help to reduce the soreness for the time being but won't necessarily speed up the recovery.
5. BCAA's - BCAA's or Branch Chain Amino Acids are the building blocks of proteins and are essential in muscle repair. The thing is, your body does not naturally produce them so you have to get them from food or supplements. Taking a BCAA supplement can help to rebuild your torn muscle fibers and speed up recovery of DOMS. A great natural BCAA to take is Momsanity BCAA's which are sweetened with Stevia and have zero artificial flavors or dyes. I personally love the Fruit Punch flavor and drink it even on days I'm not exercising. It is a bit on the sweeter side so be sure to mix it with extra water or 1/2 the serving size. If you're interested in learning more about BCAA's check out this post all about them and how they work!
Muscle soreness from exercising is bound to happen. That's just part of the process of building muscle. The next time you feel it DOMS strikes you or are maybe expecting it after a tough workout, try a few of these tips!