Tricks for Muscle Soreness

First and foremost lemme say that I LOVE being sore! It doesn't always happen to me since I've been regimented with my workouts but when it does, I feel like it's fun to have a constant reminder of how hard I worked the previous day(s).  It a shift in perspective that you can use to empower you rather than drag you down.  Every time you drop your keys or sit down and feel your muscles screaming at you, think of it as confirmation that you're moving in the right direction.  Before we talk about prevention lets talk about what the tender feeling actually is and the studies that derail some of the "myths" you have probably heard .

Fact: In the fitness world they call this DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). I call it HSIT (Holy Shit It's Working). 

Myth: Its lactic acid buildup. Nope, lactic acid is actually that (yummy) burning sensation you feel DURING the workout. {1}

Fact: Sore muscles are caused my microscopic tears in the muscle fibers.

Think about it...every challenge (mental, physical etc) you have endured in your life has made you STRONGER! You are training your body to adapt to this new (yoga sculpt) challenge. The result?? Undeniable inner strength PLUS lean and strong muscles. 

PREVENTION

Should you stretch? Drink magic potions? Take Pills? Ice? Heat? Being the research junkie that I am, it was frustrating that studies contradict each other with the exception of a few things.  Here are the proven methods to prevent and treat your sore bum bum.

Dynamic Warmup- You'll notice that I always use a dynamic Yoga Flow to warm up.  The reason for this is to improve synovial fluid viscosity (cushions for your joints) which prevent injuries, meanwhile ramping your heart rate in preparation of what is to come (heart pumping, calorie burning, muscle defining madness). Reminder: Its important to avoid over stretching your muscles with static (long hold) stretching prior to your workout, save it for after. 

Move it- I know the feeling.  Your body hurts, your worked your ass off yesterday and you're thinking you DESERVE a day to rest AT LEAST.  Guess what? Circulation promotes healing! It doesn't take much, just getting your blood pumping with a low intensity jog, hike or yoga class including some deep stretches.  "BUTTTT wait Brit, it hurts realllly bad, like hurts to sit and pee bad, don't my muscles need a break"?!  HA!! The best! To answer your question, YES. If you feel you are in need of major recovery, you still should get moving just be gentle & be sure to keep your heart rate under 140 BPM. 

Hydrate- Duh.  Its so easy to forget but please do yourself a favor and find a water bottle you ADORE and carry it around with you with more importance than your cell phone.  Your life, recovery, detoxification and weight loss depends on it.

Protein  - Ok think about it... You challenged yourself physically causing the muscle fibers to breakdown and sustain damage (remember they grow back leaner and stronger, dont be scurred).  The next step is the process of repairing and rebuilding these fibers.  Its called muscle PROTEIN synthesis.  This means your body uses the amino acids from protein to rebuild and repair. {2}* AKA Your body needs nutrients to recover.. Plain and simple.  A perfect balance of protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients is ideal.  Here is what I have researched and found to be the top of the line super food protein.  Not gunna lie... its pricey, find out why it is worth it  here.  Oh, and PS- I tastes way better than the grainy shit that you get at Whole Foods. I mean good, like ice cream good.  

Fun Fact:
The International Society of Sports Nutrition published an article in 2007 stated that having protein shortly after a workout is directly correlated to fewer medical visits, decreased soreness and better immune response to infections.  In the same study where subjects received a placebo (in place of protein) after their workouts logged more doctors' visits and were sick more often.
 
 

 

(1)* Rippetoe, Mark and Lon Kilgore. Starting Strength: A Simple and Practical Guide for Coaching Beginners.Wichita Falls: The Aasgaard Company, 2005

(2)* Flakoll, Paul J., et al. "Post exercise protein supplementation improves health and muscle soreness during basic military training in marine recruits." Journal of Applied Physiology 2004, 96:951-956.