OUCH! Dealing with DOMS

OUCH! Dealing with DOMS

Author -  Good Health

Getting into the rhythm of a new exercise programme can be challenging enough without the associated muscle pain. It is common to experience some muscle soreness after strenuous activity, as it is a sign your muscles are growing and strengthening. Although you may not always be able to avoid the pain that follows unfamiliar exercise, understanding the mechanisms behind the sensation may help you to manage the symptoms better.

What is DOMS?

dreamstime_m_90413048.jpg

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the term coined for the distinct muscle pain, fatigue and stiffness nearly everyone experiences after unfamiliar strenuous activity. DOMS is the result of mechanical and metabolic stress on the muscle tissue beyond what it is familiar to and often peaks a day or two after exercise. 

Signs you may be suffering from DOMS

The intensity of DOMS changes considerably from one person to the next and depends on the circumstance. You will find that when performing an unfamiliar exercise, or one that you have not undertaken in some time, whether it is walking, sport or a new gym class, the exercise is likely to lead to DOMS. Symptoms include muscle fatigue, stiffness, heaviness and pain, however these usually do not occur until 6-8 hours after the exercise, or upon waking the next day. Symptoms generally peak around 48hours later (or on the second day after exercise) and may last between 24-72 hours.

dreamstime_m_5931646.jpg

Causes of DOMS

DOMS reflects the intensity undertaken during the workout, the changes taking place to the muscle and the structural repair and adaption to the exercise. There are several theories that attempt to explain DOMS however there is still a discussion around the precise cause.

DOMS develops during the controlled elongating of the muscle, such allowing your arms to extend downwards after lifting a dumbbell. It is this movement that is suspected to cause muscle damage and the stiffness, weakness and discomfort associated with DOMS. Downward elongation causes an over extension of the muscle fibers and the resulting damage means the muscle then needs to be stretched further than before.

There are several molecules within the body which are implicated in DOMS. Protons, Lactate (which generates glucose) and Adenosine Triphosphate (involved in providing energy) are all naturally occurring in the body and act synergistically during activity. It is a low or high combination of these which activate the muscle sensors (and along with muscle fiber damage) cause an increased sensation of pain not normally produced. One study found that a low combination of the three (such as during high intensity exercise) caused fatigue; and that high concentrations (or increasing levels) caused pain.

dreamstime_l_53803086.jpg

The DOMS Adaption process

When performing the suspected DOMS-causing exercise for the second time, the same muscle soreness is largely not experienced. Damage to the fibers initially causes pain however due to an increase in the number of cells within the muscle fibers, as muscles become familiar with muscle stress, they become stronger, and more able to perform the exercise, resulting in reduced pain. To avoid DOMS altogether, when starting a new exercise programme start with a low intensity and increase accordingly; this will avoid the initial shock to the muscle fibers and help them grow slowly.

dreamstime_l_17132638.jpg

Top-tips to help deal with DOMS

Remember that DOMS is your body adapting to a new exercise so don’t let it discourage you. Discomfort can serve as a reminder that although muscles do not visibly grow overnight, your body is changing and that your efforts are making a difference.

DOMS can be aggravated by factors such as dehydration, lack of sleep and poor immunity. Ensure you are drinking at least 2-3 litres of water per day if you are exercising heavily and especially if you are sweating. Make sure you are getting 8-9 hours of sleep to help your muscles recover and eating foods high in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants to support the immune system and muscle recovery; antioxidants such as Vitamin C help to repair connective tissue and therefore are expected to decrease the symptoms of DOMS. Keeping the muscles in motion immediately after you work out will allow for a gradual transition to rest; go for a walk on the treadmill, walk home from the gym or stretch or foam roll the muscles.

Working other muscles while suffering from DOMS lets the fatigue muscles recover and prevents muscle injury. If the pain associated with DOMS isn’t unbearable, you may want to reduce stiffness with low impact exercise such as walking or swimming. Luckily DOMS only lasts for 2-3 days and your muscles will be stronger the next time they are engaged.

02H46454.jpg

Supplements to get you on the road to recovery

Although effects may vary from one person to another, supplements may be taken to reduce the onset of DOMS or reduce recovery time. Here are our top 5 supplements to get your on the road to recovery.

1. Glutamine: may reduce the effects of DOMS by healing damaged tissue and enhancing the immune system which is impacted by exercise.

2. Carnitine: may help with muscle soreness and recovery as well as increase oxygen and stamina through red cell production.

3. Magnesium: not only relaxes muscles to assist recovery and improved sleep, but improves the muscle function and reduces fatigue.

4. BCAAs: branched chain amino acids may help to reduce both mental and physical fatigue and reduce soreness after exercise by lowering enzymes involved in muscle damage.

5. Vitamin C: as an antioxidant Vitamin C can reduce oxidative stress which causes inflammation and damage to the muscle during exercise.

dreamstime_m_66529620.jpg

Have a go: Try our Recovery Smoothie 

1 cup Blueberries
1 cup Kale
1 banana
1 teaspoon grated Ginger
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 cup almond milk

Blend and enjoy!

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OUCH! Dealing with DOMS

Getting into the rhythm of a new exercise programme can be challenging enough without the associated muscle pain. It is common to experience some muscle soreness after strenuous activity, as it is a sign your muscles are growing and strengthening. Although you may not always be able to avoid the pain that follows unfamiliar exercise, understanding the mechanisms behind the sensation may help you to manage the symptoms better.

What is DOMS?

dreamstime_m_90413048.jpg

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the term coined for the distinct muscle pain, fatigue and stiffness nearly everyone experiences after unfamiliar strenuous activity. DOMS is the result of mechanical and metabolic stress on the muscle tissue beyond what it is familiar to and often peaks a day or two after exercise. 

Signs you may be suffering from DOMS

The intensity of DOMS changes considerably from one person to the next and depends on the circumstance. You will find that when performing an unfamiliar exercise, or one that you have not undertaken in some time, whether it is walking, sport or a new gym class, the exercise is likely to lead to DOMS. Symptoms include muscle fatigue, stiffness, heaviness and pain, however these usually do not occur until 6-8 hours after the exercise, or upon waking the next day. Symptoms generally peak around 48hours later (or on the second day after exercise) and may last between 24-72 hours.

dreamstime_m_5931646.jpg

Causes of DOMS

DOMS reflects the intensity undertaken during the workout, the changes taking place to the muscle and the structural repair and adaption to the exercise. There are several theories that attempt to explain DOMS however there is still a discussion around the precise cause.

DOMS develops during the controlled elongating of the muscle, such allowing your arms to extend downwards after lifting a dumbbell. It is this movement that is suspected to cause muscle damage and the stiffness, weakness and discomfort associated with DOMS. Downward elongation causes an over extension of the muscle fibers and the resulting damage means the muscle then needs to be stretched further than before.

There are several molecules within the body which are implicated in DOMS. Protons, Lactate (which generates glucose) and Adenosine Triphosphate (involved in providing energy) are all naturally occurring in the body and act synergistically during activity. It is a low or high combination of these which activate the muscle sensors (and along with muscle fiber damage) cause an increased sensation of pain not normally produced. One study found that a low combination of the three (such as during high intensity exercise) caused fatigue; and that high concentrations (or increasing levels) caused pain.

dreamstime_l_53803086.jpg

The DOMS Adaption process

When performing the suspected DOMS-causing exercise for the second time, the same muscle soreness is largely not experienced. Damage to the fibers initially causes pain however due to an increase in the number of cells within the muscle fibers, as muscles become familiar with muscle stress, they become stronger, and more able to perform the exercise, resulting in reduced pain. To avoid DOMS altogether, when starting a new exercise programme start with a low intensity and increase accordingly; this will avoid the initial shock to the muscle fibers and help them grow slowly.

dreamstime_l_17132638.jpg

Top-tips to help deal with DOMS

Remember that DOMS is your body adapting to a new exercise so don’t let it discourage you. Discomfort can serve as a reminder that although muscles do not visibly grow overnight, your body is changing and that your efforts are making a difference.

DOMS can be aggravated by factors such as dehydration, lack of sleep and poor immunity. Ensure you are drinking at least 2-3 litres of water per day if you are exercising heavily and especially if you are sweating. Make sure you are getting 8-9 hours of sleep to help your muscles recover and eating foods high in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants to support the immune system and muscle recovery; antioxidants such as Vitamin C help to repair connective tissue and therefore are expected to decrease the symptoms of DOMS. Keeping the muscles in motion immediately after you work out will allow for a gradual transition to rest; go for a walk on the treadmill, walk home from the gym or stretch or foam roll the muscles.

Working other muscles while suffering from DOMS lets the fatigue muscles recover and prevents muscle injury. If the pain associated with DOMS isn’t unbearable, you may want to reduce stiffness with low impact exercise such as walking or swimming. Luckily DOMS only lasts for 2-3 days and your muscles will be stronger the next time they are engaged.

02H46454.jpg

Supplements to get you on the road to recovery

Although effects may vary from one person to another, supplements may be taken to reduce the onset of DOMS or reduce recovery time. Here are our top 5 supplements to get your on the road to recovery.

1. Glutamine: may reduce the effects of DOMS by healing damaged tissue and enhancing the immune system which is impacted by exercise.

2. Carnitine: may help with muscle soreness and recovery as well as increase oxygen and stamina through red cell production.

3. Magnesium: not only relaxes muscles to assist recovery and improved sleep, but improves the muscle function and reduces fatigue.

4. BCAAs: branched chain amino acids may help to reduce both mental and physical fatigue and reduce soreness after exercise by lowering enzymes involved in muscle damage.

5. Vitamin C: as an antioxidant Vitamin C can reduce oxidative stress which causes inflammation and damage to the muscle during exercise.

dreamstime_m_66529620.jpg

Have a go: Try our Recovery Smoothie 

1 cup Blueberries
1 cup Kale
1 banana
1 teaspoon grated Ginger
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 cup almond milk

Blend and enjoy!

OUCH! Dealing with DOMS
 
 
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