Sore muscles, friend or foe?


If you usually start again after a long break in sports or increase your workload too much, it usually hits: the sore muscles. For many athletes, this is a brief confirmation of having successfully trained, but also uncomfortable when the sore muscles are particularly painful. The smallest movements are painful and then no longer feel good at all.

What exactly are sore muscles?

When the muscles are sore, small tears appear in the muscle tissue. Mainly little trained muscles and you get it with unusual physical exertion. The sore muscles often only appear on the day after training and it can take up to a week to heal.

What causes sore muscles?

Unusual loads and movements are often reasons for muscle soreness or training at performance limits. Sore muscles are not bad and often take a few days for the pain to go away completely. There are ways that one can do to speed healing and relieve pain. Here are a few tips:

Can you do sports despite sore muscles?

First and foremost, sore muscles are good. It’s positive and when you have it. You have set training stimuli and can look forward to building muscle or improving endurance. Nevertheless, you should now allow your body to rest or not offer any further intensive training sessions. Cell repair takes time for the pain to subside. Only gentle movements are useful and even help to accelerate healing and regeneration.

What helps with sore muscles?

1. Sports nutrition

Ingestion of proteins and adequate hydration support the repair of muscle damage. Artificial proteins are also recommended because of the amino acids, as well as natural proteins such as eggs, legumes (e.g. lentils), nuts, meat and dairy products. In addition to protein, magnesium and zinc are also important. They help to form new cells. Drinking a lot is good for sports anyway, but it also helps with sore muscles.

  • Examples of foods that help relieve sore muscles:
  • Yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Nuts have healthy fat and contain vitamin E.
  • Fish, e.g. salmon, contain important omega3 fatty acids
  • Berries (antioxidants)
  • Beetroot (in juice form)
  • Eggs

2. Light movement

Cycling, swimming or walking are ideal for promoting blood circulation. Right now, no more abrupt movements that could cause further damage to the muscle. For example, if you have sore muscles from intense running (intervals), you could walk the same distance quickly to compensate.

3. Keep your muscles warm

Warmth is the best tool ever. Soak in a hot bathtub and use a special bath additive that promotes blood circulation, e.g. the Rosemary Activation Bath from Weleda. Warmth is primarily a pain reliever. Other very good options are warming ointments (e.g. horse ointment), electric blankets or going to the sauna. By the way, ointments are also useful if you use them before exercise. Muscles are loosened and the ointments have a preventive effect.

4. Gentle stretching is allowed

If you stretch gently, you can at least relieve the sore muscles a little. What you shouldn’t do, however, are massages or excessive stretching. Too much pressure when stretching can cause the muscles to rip further.

5. Taking pain medication

If it hurts too much, you can also use painkillers in exceptional cases. However, these do not help to heal the sore muscles, but only to relieve the pain temporarily.

6. Sleep

The best medicine of all is sleep. During this time, the body can fight the muscle pain. So just flop onto the couch, without a guilty conscience.

How can you prevent sore muscles?

Ice baths directly after training, promote regeneration and prevent muscle soreness. If you have a cold stream nearby, just jump in or the cold shower at home. Make a ritual out of it, then you will find it less difficult at some point. Another important point is not to increase the training enormously, but only slowly and gradually increasing the workload. The motto is not to overdo it and pay attention to what fits your muscles, in particular when it comes to weights. It also helps to schedule regular exercise so the body gets used to it.

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