Sore Muscles After a Workout? Here’s Why | Health

Sore Muscles After a Workout? Here’s Why | Health


sore muscle


Has it made you wonder if the soreness you’re feeling after a workout is a sign you overdid your routine or it’s just an indicator that you had a good workout?

The answer lies somewhere in between.

Many fitness enthusiasts reckon their soreness is equivalent to a badge of honour or a battle scar that should be worn proudly, without wincing. Others on the other hand, become numb the following day that they succumb to a day on the couch.

The truth is, it’s perfectly normal if you feel either of two. But many are still baffled what the soreness, numbness, and pain means. Do you also find yourself wondering what this all means?


Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

According to Dr. Carly Ryan, exercise physiologist at Exercise and Sports Science Australia, the soreness you feel after a workout is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Its characteristics include:

  • > Discomfort
  • > Diminished muscle strength
  • > Joint stiffness
  • > Reduced range of motion


DOMS may last for a day or days after a workout.


What Causes DOMS

Many believe DOMS is caused by lactic acid, which is a by-product of muscle metabolism, build-up in the body. However, lactate is usually cleared from the body within one hour after workout.

What happens is that as you exercise or work out, tiny tears develop in your muscles. According to Dr. Andrew Jowett, chairman of Sports Medicine Australia,


“What we know about muscle adaption to [physical] loads
is that when you put it under load or under stress, you actually
cause microscopic injury to the muscle.”


The good thing is that human muscles have the ability to repair itself, especially microtraumas caused by workouts. Your muscles are repairing themselves, causing delayed soreness.


Levels of DOMS

However, there are certain factors that affect your body’s response to DOMS. Not all suffering from DOMS will feel intense pain. It all depends on: 

  • > Workload and intensity of your workout
  • > Genetics
  • > Hydration
  • > Cumulative movement
  • > Warm-up and cool-down activities


How to Reduce Muscle Soreness

To prevent muscle soreness, make sure you have a proper warm-up and cool-down in place. However, if you’re already suffering from muscle soreness as you read this, don’t just sit on the couch all day long. A good remedy is to perform light exercises to make the pain and discomfort go away.

Most importantly, never use muscle soreness as a way to measure how effective your workouts are.


Good nutrition around training is essential as well as using amino acids during your work out and sipping on them the days you are really sore! A powdered magnesium supplement combined with this can work wonders too! Pop in store to speak to our qualified Nutritionist to find out more about this!



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