Do you have sore muscles after training? We can fix that! We explain to you what muscle soreness actually is and how you can avoid it. We’ll also share our best expert tips with you, so that you will be fit again by your next training session.
Everybody knows it. Almost everyone had it. And at the latest when you really work out again during training or elsewhere, you get to know it – the sore muscles. At first, your affected muscles feel weak and weak, then they feel hardened or swollen. The next day, you can’t move properly because of muscle tension. Not only is this painful, but it can also be annoying. Because in the worst case it torments you for up to a week. The good: sore muscles do not leave any lasting damage. And once the nasty hangover is over, the same movement cannot trigger it again for several weeks.
What do sore muscles mean for the body?
Exercise does not always have to be the reason for sore muscles. Every high load and every unfamiliar movement can trigger muscle pain. These movements mean pure stress and a lot of work for your body. Because if your muscle fibers are stretched a lot and then pulled together by a hard braking movement, small tears can arise in the muscle tissue. These are also known as sarcomer tears and are practically your sore muscles.
A tear in the tissue means cells are dying. It’s not that bad, but it’s pretty painful for you. Because the dead muscle cell tissue breaks down independently with the help of enzymes and then builds up again. This process is also known as autolysis and can be recognized by muscle pain. When the cracks are complete, you can move your muscles back to normal and pain-free.
Sore muscles are not caused by overacidification of the muscles
Often, sore muscles are equated with over-acidification of the affected parts of the body. However, this is not entirely correct. The reason for over-acidification of the muscle tissue is an excess of lactate. When you move, your body needs more energy than when you are sitting on the sofa, for example. The increased energy requirement during exercise is covered by burning carbohydrates. To do this, your body converts this into glucose with the help of oxygen, which you absorb through breathing.
If the load continues for longer, the oxygen will eventually no longer be sufficient to continue to provide sufficient energy. At this point, your body switches to what is known as the anaerobic metabolism. He then uses the carbohydrates without oxygen. This creates lactate, also called lactic acid. If more lactate is produced than your body can break down, it is acidic. This acidification can be felt through a burning sensation in the muscles. If the burning sensation stops after a while, the lactate is broken down again. So your muscles can become over-acidic without sore muscles.
How long do sore muscles last?
Once you’ve got sore muscles, it varies from person to person how long the muscles will ache. Sore muscles can last for up to a week. In most cases, however, regeneration only takes a few days. After that, you can move around and do sports again. If you still have severe pain in your muscles after a week, we recommend that you consult a doctor. Sore muscles do not cause permanent damage. But maybe you got a strain or something else painful.
As a rule, someone with an increased level of fitness will recover faster than someone who is completely untrained. But your diet also plays an important role. A healthy and balanced diet with sufficient protein supplies your muscles with important nutrients. These in turn have a positive influence on your cell metabolism.
How to avoid sore muscles?
Even if we often have the feeling that sore muscles were the proof of successful training, you should avoid it. Because even small tears in the muscle are injuries. And as with any injury, you should wait until your body has completely regenerated and not just continue training in pain.
To avoid sore muscles, try only briefly exposing yourself to heavy loads. For example, if you feel pain in your legs while cycling, drive a little slower. Even when exercising, you should shift down a gear as soon as you feel pain in a muscle. Gradually increase. You will see that your muscles can withstand the load longer and longer. It doesn’t do you any good to ignore the pain. In the end, your only stronger muscles are injured and have to take a longer break from sports.
Your diet also has a significant influence on whether and how quickly you get sore muscles. Because the healthier and more balanced you eat, the better your metabolic processes work in the body. In addition, your muscles are made up of many different amino acids. You should therefore consume sufficient micronutrients, especially when you are under high stress. This allows your body to recover faster and build muscles.
Why do I keep getting sore muscles?
Of course, it can happen that, despite all caution, you keep getting sore muscles. The reasons for this are different. A common reason is that your strength endurance is not as trained. This means that the muscles cannot withstand a long load as well. You can train your strength endurance by exercising more often with less weight and doing more repetitions.
If you manage to do between 15 and 25 repetitions painlessly, change the exercise. At home you can do simple exercises with your own body weight. In this way, you also strengthen yourself for everyday situations with increased stress. And don’t give sore muscles a chance!
What to do when you sore muscles
Did you do sports and your muscles ache? Now the motto is: prevent sore muscles! There is no drug or miracle cure for the pain. But we have a few effective tips for you to combat sore muscles:
Take a hot shower
Take a hot shower after your workout. The warm water stimulates the blood circulation in your muscles. This can stimulate the regeneration process of the cells.
Go to the sauna
If you can, go to the sauna! The warmth is not only good for your muscles, it also provides a short break for relaxation. Alternatively, take a look at our relaxation tips and help your body to calm down.
Regenerative endurance training
If you are already suffering from sore muscles, you can do light endurance training. This moves the muscle and provides a better supply of oxygen. You don’t always have to go to the gym to do this. Regenerative cardio training can also be a walk or a short bike ride. Note, however, that the movement should not put additional strain on the damaged muscles.
Of course, a healthy diet will also help you to increase your well-being again. If you consume enough macro and micronutrients, you will make every little cell in your body happy. So for a change, prepare a fresh salad with a good source of protein.
Take Zinc & Magnesium
Those who do a lot of sport also have an increased need for micronutrients. Above all, zinc and magnesium support regeneration after training. ZN: MG capsules are also suitable for non-athletes. They also prevent concentration disorders and symptoms of tiredness.
Always be aware that not every muscle soreness remedy works wonders. You shouldn’t overdo any regenerative cardio training either. If you put too much strain on your muscle fibers, regeneration will be interrupted. So you do just the opposite. You are wondering what helps against severe muscle soreness? Unfortunately only a sport break. Because with every additional load you damage your muscles even more. As soon as the sore muscles are gone, you can start training again!
Can I workout with sore muscles?
Do not do it! No matter if it is major or just mild muscle pain – sore muscles mean that your muscle is injured. Training under such circumstances is not recommended. Be patient! Even if a break is long, it’s the only thing that helps your muscle.
What if I workout anyway?
The impatience is too great and you are considering going to work out anyway? The body is actually in the middle of regeneration. The dead cell parts are transported away and new cells are built up. However, strain forces the muscles to contract the muscle fibers. That is, the fibers of your muscle inevitably pull apart and contract.
If the load is very high, the small tears in a damaged muscle fiber are pulled apart again. The body then does not know whether to recover or to build up muscles. In such cases, the injured muscle is protected and no new muscles are built up. So the only thing that happens when you train with sore muscles is an extension of your recovery time, not muscle growth.
Summary: Sore Muscles
- Muscle soreness is caused by unaccustomed and prolonged exertion. These can be everyday movements, but also sport.
- You can treat sore muscles by doing some light cardio exercise. A hot shower or a sauna session can also help. Note, however, that there is no instant cure. Taking a break from exercising still helps best.
- Usually, sore muscles last for a few days and up to a week. If you are still in severe pain after seven days, we recommend that you see a doctor. Maybe you pulled a muscle.
- It is not recommended to exercise with sore muscles. Give your body time to regenerate. Then you can continue your training as usual.