5 Ways to Combat Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

When you head home the sensation has intensified. It won’t go away. Even worse, when you wake up the next morning, every muscle in your body is crying out for help.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a phenomenon that you have to contend with if you’re exercising regularly. But you needn’t let it get to the point where you’re literally confined to your couch the entire day after your workout because your legs feel like jelly.

Without further ado, let us take a look at how you can combat DOMS and make your workouts easier and more fun.

1. Seriously, do not skip the warm-up.

This is the #1 cause of DOMS and related injuries. Most people skip the warm-up because they’re either clueless about how they should go about doing it, or they just feel like warming up takes up too much time.

Huge mistake.

If you’re confused about what warm-up routine you should employ, especially if you’re going to be working out different body parts on different days, make your routine dynamic.

Dynamic warm-ups are supposed to mirror the movements you are going to be executing during that particular gym session. If it’s Leg Day, go ahead and do some walking/lateral lunges, swings and do some plantar flexor stretches (standing stretches).

The entire thing will take you around 10-15 minutes, and you’ll be in a much happier place when you’re not limping to work after you’re done.

2. Increase your protein intake.

    Most gym-goers know about the importance of protein intake, or at the very least they’ve heard someone who has a good physique talk about consuming a lot of protein.

    But do you know why?

    When you’re exercising, you’re putting your body through microtrauma. Which means, your muscles are going through a lot of stress because you’re lifting heavy weights. Recovering from this microtrauma correctly is what builds those lovely muscles.

    To repair your muscles after an intense workout session, your body needs a lot of amino acids (which protein is made out of!) So, when you consume protein before and after your workouts, you are giving your body the fuel it needs to repair the muscles and make them stronger than before.

    Studies conducted on US Marines have shown that protein consumption significantly reduces infections, soreness, and other fatigue-related problems. The participants in the study showed up to 33% fewer visits to the doctor were needed when protein consumption was adequate.

    If you’re wondering how much protein you should have, here’s a rough calculation.

    For every kilogram of body weight, you should consume approximately 0.8-1 grams of protein.

    3. Epsom salt is awesome.

      Epsom salt is widely used by athletes and professionals who lead extremely active lives. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is a compound that is renowned for its ability to combat inflammation and detox the body.

      Magnesium, in case you aren’t aware, is an extremely crucial mineral that governs well over 300 biological processes in the body! In addition, 99% of it is located in your muscles and bones, which makes it absolutely crucial for muscle repair.

      Magnesium has also been shown to stimulate the synthesis of ATP which is responsible for increasing your endurance. It also improves protein synthesis, and nerve transmission and has several metabolic benefits. It has also been shown to boost your overall sense of wellness and reduce feelings of irritability and confusion.

      None of us really need an excuse to soak in a hot bath but knowing that adding Epsom salts to the tub creates a whole host of health benefits is a huge bonus. Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin, making a few Epsom salt baths every week a great idea if you’re constantly walking around sore and hurt after your workouts.

      4. Supplement your diet with powerful anti-inflammatory substances.

        Injuries cause inflammation, which increases the pain you feel because the body is trying to send nutrition to the injured part. As a result, here are a few anti-inflammatory substances that you should consume more of.

        • Turmeric

        Well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric contains curcumin – the active ingredient that makes it a powerful healing agent. Curcumin can either be consumed as a supplement or added to the diet by using a lot of turmeric in your meal preparations.

        • Ginger

        Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory food item that offers several digestive and preventative benefits. If you’re feeling too sore, try adding some ginger to your smoothie or brew a nice hot cup of ginger tea.

        • Fat-rich Fish and omega-3s

        Fish are delicious, and they are healthy. Sardines, tuna, herring, and salmon all contain DHA and EPA – powerful omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to reduce inflammation.

        Adding a lot of omega-3s to your diet is a great idea. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of eating a lot of fish every day, choose a good omega-3 supplement and consume that instead.

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        5. Get a foam roller.

        A foam roller is essentially a massage expert that you don’t have to pay for and can be carried around on your travels.

        Foam rolling, or “self-myofascial release” is a fantastic tool for kneading out those knots and blockages that form in and around your muscles.

        But the advantages of foam rolling don’t stop there. It has been shown to increase muscular performance and provide relief from soreness and fatigue.

        You can use a foam roller after your workouts (most gyms have one now) or just use it whenever you feel tired, tight, or sore.