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Post-workout Recovery: Let Your Sore Muscles Heal

Exercising does a lot of good to your body and gives your body a perfect shape. At the same time, many people complain of having sore muscles as a result of exercising.

Steven Hill
Post-workout Recovery: Let Your Sore Muscles Heal
Table Of Contents

Exercising does a lot of good to your body and gives your body a perfect shape. At the same time, many people complain of having sore muscles as a result of exercising. Doing intensive workouts will give soreness to your muscles, so it is essential to give time to your body to recover from the damage it has encountered.

Muscle soreness usually begins after one day of exercising. The person experiences pain after the workout ends, which is aggravated if proper care is not taken. It is essential to recover muscles and give time to your body to cope with the damage for proper functioning and vitality.

Delayed onset muscle soreness is a painful condition of muscles that comes post-exercise. The breakdown of muscles after an exercise session deprives the functioning capability of muscles. Not giving yourself enough rest or compromising on nutritious meals causes a delay in recovery, which becomes a problematic condition.

On the contrary, using compression garments, eating the right proteins, adjusting the sleep cycle, ensuring proper hydration, and proper massage are key factors that help you recover fast.

Experiencing sore muscles after exercise is a common phenomenon that will affect your body in any way. Soreness in muscles is a sign that you have had a productive workout session that is effective for your muscles. But, if you do not take care of your body and ignore your stiff and sore muscles, it can bring some consequences.

It is always a good choice to listen to the needs of your body while exercising. If you continue to exercise with your sore body, then it will have the following effects on you:

  • Your sessions will be tiring rather than being productive.
  • Your body will become weak.
  • You might experience joint pain.
  • There will be higher chances of injury.
  • Enhanced mood swings and sleeping difficulty.

The following article will provide tips and routines that you must follow to have a healthy body, and effective exercise sessions without any prolonged soreness in your muscles.

    Tips for Healing Sore Muscles

    The role of exercise and physical activity has been elaborated to the maximum extent in a study that indicates that it is essential for healthy and prolonged life to engage in some activity. Muscle engagement conducts various body processes and regulates normal functioning.

    Exercising breaks down the fibers in muscles which results in pain and soreness. Following the accurate tips helps overcome the soreness and allows you to work in a much better way.

    Getting the Right Nutrients

    The role of certain nutrients such as glutamine, omega 3 fatty acids, beta-alanine, and caffeine discussed in a study shows that consuming the right nutrients can treat DOMS. It is essential to pay attention to your nutritional status after a workout session to keep your body in good shape.

    Another study showed that a combination of branched-chain amino acids could also help in reducing the stiffness in the muscles. Giving the right nutrients to the body after exercise can speed up muscle recovery and give more energy.

    Using Supplements

    Supplements like post-workout powder or intra workout powder contain all essential nutrients that aid in the recovery and growth of muscles. They contain all essential amino acids, which alongside improving performance, also help regrowth fibers.

    Creatine monohydrate is another supplement that gives an instant boost to the body and fuels up the energy sources to the maximum. Having supplements ensures muscle recovery, and one should not be skeptical about it.

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    Adding More Protein to the Diet

    Proteins are the building blocks that help in the growth of muscle fibers. Having protein after exercises gives the right material to the muscles, which is then used in growth and remodeling. The amino acids in proteins go to the muscle fibers and provide them with the energy lost in exercise.

    Make sure to have plenty of protein in your diet so that your muscles can recover at the fastest pace. Using a whey protein supplement will guarantee the recovery of your muscles and will also build lean muscle mass.

    Stretching and Cool-down Exercises 

    Many health practitioners and fitness experts highly emphasize adding a stretching routine after exercising. A study published in Strength and Conditioning Journal showed that involving a pain-free stretch routine before and after workouts has significantly reduced muscular soreness.

    A cool-down and stretch routine after a workout session will improve your range of motion. A cool bath is also suggested after a workout to relax your muscles.

    Adjusting Sleep Cycle

    Your sleep routine has a critical role in giving you the right energy for the workout and recovering your muscles. Research emphasizes following a perfect sleep cycle and routine for optimizing the performance of athletes. The same research has shown that having a proper sleep cycle alone has more effects on recovery than other methods.

    The body recovers the damage at a much-increased rate when you are sleeping. Make sure that you have a perfect routine to get the best out of your workout sessions.

    Taking a Day Off From Training

    Muscle soreness can sometimes result in uncomfortable pain. In such situations, it is best to take a day off from your training sessions and giving time to your muscles to ease the soreness. Many people do not pay attention to this particular point, so the chances of injury become much higher.

    It is also not advisable to work on all days of the week. Make sure to set your exercise routine and add two rest days in it so that you have sufficient energy to work out.

    Fueling Hydration Status 

    Various drinks such as dark chocolate milk, electrolyte water, sports drink, and coconut water have rehydrated the body after exercise. The use of such drinks has also helped in relieving the pain and recovering the muscle damage.

    A study has included hydration status as a major biomarker in sports and exercise that affects athletes' health, performance, and recovery. Adequate hydration status prevents dehydration and loss of salts and also works for muscle recovery.

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    Enhanced Usage of Compression Garments

    The use of compression garments in exercising has shown a significant reduction in the intensity of pain. They provide a smooth blood flow to muscles which ultimately works for recovering the muscles. Using compression gear will provide support to joints with reduced chances of injury.

    Such compression gears also help in reducing the inflammation of the body. If you are experiencing repeated episodes of muscular pain, it is best to use compression gain during exercises to avoid any injury or damage.

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    Involve in Light Exercises

    Light exercises that do not involve all your muscles and have less use of weights can also help recover the sore muscles. These light exercises allow you to exert less force which works for improving the strength in the muscles.

    Light physical activity improves blood circulation to the muscles, which in return helps in recovering them. Do not burden your muscles with heavy and extensive training sessions when you are sore. The active recovery ensures to boost circulation, which is helpful for your muscles.

    Get a Light Massage.

    Massage is one of the best ways to release tension from your muscles and relaxing them. You can also massage yourself at home by using a foam roller that works for your muscle recovery but also helps to give flexibility to your body.

    Massaging your body can reduce the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. Massages also feel great for the body and give you a short time to sit and relax, which works wonders for your sore muscles.

    Foam Roller For Back & Yoga Exercises

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    Actively Participate in Other Activities. 

    When you do not feel like exercising, the best option would be to get involved in some activity. You can also heal your muscles by simply walking across your home or playing a sport. Make sure that your body is in a constant moving state when you are experiencing muscle soreness.

    Avoid sitting for prolonged periods or doing nothing while you are recovering. Performing any activity at this point will do a lot of good to your body.

    Things to Avoid With Sore Muscles 

    Soreness in muscles might feel uncomfortable to you at one point. Therefore, there is a list of events which you should avoid during such period:

    Avoid Extensive Training 

    Extensive and longer training sessions in recovery mode will have a major effect on your muscles. Not only will you find it difficult to perform exercises, but your muscles will also suffer. Do not try to have such training sessions when you are sore to avoid any deep muscle pain.

    Do Not Skip Meals

    If you exercise to get in the best shape, skipping meals is not a good choice. By not eating, you are depriving your body of all essential nutrients that are needed in recovery. Have more than three meals a day for your muscle growth and recovery.

    Avoid Long Periods of Thirst. 

    Exercising results in sweating which is a loss of water and salts from the body. Ideally, men should consume 3.7 liters of water, whereas women should consume 2.7 liters. Hydrating your body is the key to avoid a longer duration of muscle soreness.

    Listen to the Needs of Your Body. 

    If your body does not feel like exercising, the best choice would be not to do any. While exercising, always listen to the needs of your body. If one exercise seems difficult or uncomfortable to perform, you should avoid it entirely or find a better substitute for it.

    Do Not Ignore Persistent Pain. 

    Having slight pain in muscles after exercise is normal but if this pain prolongs for a longer time, then consult a physician. The persistent pain in muscles might be due to any underlying cause, so you must not ignore it.

    Do Not Jump to Medication. 

    Medication for muscle recovery should never be an option. Delayed onset muscle soreness usually subsides after a day, and by following some tips and routines, DOMS can be managed easily. Do not take medication as it can come with many associated negative factors.

    How Long Does it Take to Recover Muscles?

    The breakdown of muscle fibers due to exercising often requires some time for recovery. The time that your muscles will need depends on the type of exercise you have performed. More extensive and hard training exercises often need two to three days of recovery. For intensive workouts, perform light activities the next day.

    On the other hand, it usually takes one day to heal sore muscles in light exercises. If your body needs more time for recovery, then do not hesitate to give it the desired time.


    Post-workout recovery is important for your health and helps in improving the performance rate as well. Many factors play a role in the growth and recovery of your muscles, such as nutrition and hydration status, sleeping patterns, the type of exercises, and the time you give to your body to recover.

    Muscle recovery can instantly boost by simple, doable, and practical tips like supplements and compression gear. It is also essential to avoid certain things when your muscles are sore such as intensive training or avoiding meals.

    Article Sources

    • Silverman, Marni N., and Patricia A. Deuster. “Biological Mechanisms Underlying the Role of Physical Fitness in Health and Resilience.” Interface Focus, vol. 4, no. 5, Oct. 2014, p. 20140040. PubMed Central,
    • Kim, Jooyoung, and Joohyung Lee. “A Review of Nutritional Intervention on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Part I.” Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, vol. 10, no. 6, Dec. 2014, pp. 349–56. PubMed Central,
    • Lee, Elaine C., et al. “Biomarkers in Sports and Exercise: Tracking Health, Performance, and Recovery in Athletes.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 31, no. 10, Oct. 2017, pp. 2920–37. PubMed Central,
    • Ra, Song-Gyu, et al. “Combined Effect of Branched-Chain Amino Acids and Taurine Supplementation on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and Muscle Damage in High-Intensity Eccentric Exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 10, no. 1, Nov. 2013, p. 51. BioMed Central,

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    Steven Hill

    Steven is a passionate health & fitness writer. Steven has considerable research experience, but also enjoys writing nutrition and workout articles for general readership. Today, it's easy to find health and wellness information. People use many different sites to get the information they ne

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