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What are DOMS?
First things first, let’s discuss exactly what’s going on.
That pain you feel is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS as they are most commonly referred to.
We are talking about the seriously sore muscles that develop in the days after a killer workout. DOMS can give you a little grief by making everyday movements harder.
The worse kind are leg DOMS as they make walking, sitting and getting up painful.
But there are some ways you can ease the pain of DOMS and encourage your muscles to recover faster. Here are my top 5 tips to reduce muscle soreness.
Roll it out to avoid DOMs
Foam rolling is essential for easing the stiffness you experience with DOMS. But let me warn you... It involves a little pain, but it’s worth it!
For any of you who don’t know, foam rolling is a type of self-myofascial release where you apply pressure to achy muscles to help relieve pain. It’s a great recovery tool that’ll have you feeling more mobile again.
One study found that a 20-minutes bout on a high densitity foam rolling and again every 24 hours thereafter may help reduce muscle soreness and tenderness.
Foam roll after a workout, to warm up before a workout and if the DOMS are really getting you down, take a rest day and spend a decent amount of time rolling out that muscle group. This can be tear-jerking if you are seriously stiff and sore, but the hard work does pay off.
Tackle DOMs by staying active
Although you feel like the couch is the best place to be when the DOMS hit hard, resist the urge! If you get down there you probably won’t get back up for quite some time and would be better served by staying active.
Take a refreshing walk, do a little light cardio at the gym or some stretching. Because the truth is, the longer you stay in a sedentary state the stiffer you will feel for longer.
One study found that all it takes is a 20-minutes of post-exercise active recovery can really help speed up the recovery of certain muscles groups.
So, get the blood moving and do some light exercise to ease the pain of your DOMS.
Take Magnesium to ward off DOMs
Supplementing with Magnesium is another way to help ease DOMS. Magnesium is often taken by athletes to relax muscles and assist with cramping, it can also ease muscle soreness and improve recovery time. My go-to for magnesium is ZMA Complex.
ZMA is great because it can also help you achieve a more restful, deeper sleep. Now, sleep is another key factor in reducing DOMS and speeding up recovery time. I also add in a straight Magnesium capsule on top of my ZMA at night for ultimate recovery
Sip on BCAAs to fix DOMs
BCAA Recovery is one of my favourite supplements and it’s my go-to for muscle recovery and DOMS.If you don’t already, I’d highly recommend taking BCAA Recovery intra workout.
The science backs it up. One study found that consuming a BCAA supplement reduced muscle soreness and helped helps muscles recover their maximal voluntary contraction faster compared with a placebo group.
It delivers fast absorbing protein straight to the muscles as you’re working them, can help with muscle endurance, contains electrolytes to help with muscle cramping and hydration and of course can lessen DOMS.
Cure DOMs by eating glorious food!
It’s important to replenish your body after a tough workout, so make sure to dig into a nutritious meal and rehydrate after exercise.
Protein, in particular, is key to ensuring best possible muscle recovery and growth, but your body is also craving some carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores. So enjoy a well-rounded meal post workout and help your body to recover faster!
And that’s it, my top 5 tips for making the DOMS struggle a little easier! We hope some of these tips help ease the pain and help you recover faster than ever before.
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Howatson, G., Hoad, M., Goodall, S., Tallent, J., Bell, P. and French, D., 2012. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, [online] 9(1), p.20. Available at: Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study.
Mika, A., Oleksy, Ł., Kielnar, R., Wodka-Natkaniec, E., Twardowska, M., Kamiński, K. and Małek, Z., 2016. Comparison of Two Different Modes of Active Recovery on Muscles Performance after Fatiguing Exercise in Mountain Canoeist and Football Players. PLOS ONE, [online] 11(10), p.e0164216. Available at: Comparison of Two Different Modes of Active Recovery on Muscles Performance after Fatiguing Exercise in Mountain Canoeist and Football Players.
Pearcey, G., Bradbury-Squires, D., Kawamoto, J., Drinkwater, E., Behm, D. and Button, D., 2015. Foam Rolling for Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness and Recovery of Dynamic Performance Measures. Journal of Athletic Training, [online] 50(1), pp.5-13. Available at: Foam Rolling for Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness and Recovery of Dynamic Performance Measures.