Many different opinions come to mind in regard to the thing that is ‘muscle soreness’. A bodybuilder will think that you are new to strength training, and are complaining. A first year biology student will tell you that you have too much lactic acid. And everyone else will simply think that you are building up an excuse to never hit the gym again. Well, they are all wrong, uneducated, and some even short-minded. Muscle soreness is a real part of bodybuilding, and means that you are doing everything right. Let’s discuss muscle soreness and then review the best supplements for making muscle soreness go away faster or not happen at all.
Lactic Acid and Muscle Soreness
It has long been thought that lactic acid is the reason for muscle soreness even long after a workout. This is based upon the fact that lactic acid is present during the build-up of muscle soreness and then is removed as muscle soreness recedes. This is merely a coincidence, and the real basis of muscle soreness is based on cellular damage. This is supported by fact that the leading muscle soreness remedies function by repairing muscle, rather than metabolizing lactic acid.
Muscle Soreness Remedies to Avoid!
Men’s Fitness recommends that athletes suffering from muscle soreness should take over the counter painkillers (see here). This is one of the worst things you can do! During the repairing process, there is no room for synthetic anti-inflammatory compounds or additional free radicals. By taking something like Advil after working out, you are subjecting your body to extra strain, prolonging the reparative process, and reducing your ability to build muscle. If you believe that inflammation is a serious part of your muscle pain, then consider antioxidant alternatives like Astaxanthin.
Reduce Muscle Soreness after working out
The fact that you have muscle soreness is a good thing. That’s because, we now know that you are doing enough work in the gym, we only need to enhance your supplementation and meal plan outside of the gym. The following categories and options can boost your post workout recovery and prevent that painful muscle fatigue!
Intra Workout Supplements
As the name states, intra workout supplements are taken during your workout and provide muscle building BCAAs. The presence of BCAAs during and after your workout promote muscle growth and trigger a much more anabolic body state. This results in faster muscle growth and less time in limbo waiting for amino acids to become available. The end result of taking intra workout supplements is better performance in the gym, faster recovery, and bigger muscle growth. View the Best Intra Workout Supplements here.
Taking a protein shake right after finishing your workout has a positive effect similar to intra workout supplementation. The only difference is that protein delivers a larger yet less refined dose of amino acids than your intra workout supplement. This is more economical, as well as offers a wider range of amino acids. We recommend 25 to 50 grams of protein post workout for optimal recovery, and yes you can take intra workout supplements during your workout and then a protein shake afterwards. Ask any fitness expert and they will tell you that getting enough protein is the only way that you’re going to build muscle.
Creatine plays a more complex role in recovery. There is a large number of people who may argue that creatine is not involved in recovery. However, we argue that it is with two simple statements: first, creatine can be substituted for ATP which is used during muscle repair as well as during performance; and second, creatine is linked to greater muscle growth which is desired alongside faster recovery. You can see the most popular creatine supplements here.
Eat High Protein Meals after working out
Upon finishing your workout, it is important to eat high protein meals if you intend to build muscle and reduce muscle soreness. Whether or not you are taking protein or intra workout supplements; a high protein real-food meal can greatly improve your recovery. In fact, if you put side-by-side one person supplementing with a protein shake and another person supplementing with a big-old protein real-food meal after workout; the guy eating the real-food meal will have better gains and recovery every single time! Though, rest assured that supplementing with protein and intra workout supplements in addition to real-food meals post workout has a multiplying positive effect on muscle growth and recovery.
Avoid Times of Muscle Starvation
Going for periods longer than two hours without ingesting protein is a costly choice for guys trying to build muscle. The unfortunate truth is that if you are not bringing in excess protein, your body is not building muscle. In addition, during times of low protein intake, your body will not only reduce its anabolism, but it will actually begin to degrade the muscle you already have! So what does a guy do? The best thing to do is have a small protein-rich meal or snack every two hours, but protein shakes, bars, and puddings can also be used to meet your muscle needs.
Drinking Water Reduces Muscle Soreness
As you recall, we mentioned muscle damage to be a large component of muscle soreness. This same muscle damage produces an array of free radicals that cause havoc in the body. By drinking larger volumes of water, your kidneys and liver can metabolize and filter out these free radicals at a much faster rate allowing for better reparative conditions. Increasing water intake among bodybuilders has been shown to also reduce visible signs of stress that excessive bodybuilding can produce. Guys that take the challenge to drink more water often find themselves to have clearer, healthier skin alongside faster muscle recovery.
Questions and Feedback
How do you offset your muscle soreness? Do you have any in-depth questions regarding the ideas we discussed above? Feel free to drop us a line and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours! Also feel free to help your fellow bodybuilders out by sharing this page on Facebook!