It’s something that strikes fear into the hearts of men and women as much as Big Foot, the Boogeyman, and the Abominable Snowman. If you’ve spent any time working out, you have met this foe on many occasions and it always, ALWAYS wins.
Its name is DOMS and no matter what you do, it seems to always rear its ugly head in your direction the day or two after a workout. Luckily, there are some ways to defeat this beast – here’s the lowdown on how to stop it in its tracks and get you back in the weight room feeling better than ever, no matter how many sets of squats you have to do!
What is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?
DOMS is an acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It’s the pain and aching you feel in your muscles the day or two after a tough workout at the gym or your first workout after a long lay off.
It’s often been thought that this muscle soreness was the by-product of lactic acid build up in the muscles. This belief was based on the fact that lactic acid is indeed present in muscles during the build up to soreness, and then goes away as soreness subsides. However, this is merely coincidental, as the true basis of muscle soreness stems from the cellular damage that occurs during the course of a workout.
But how do you stop DOMS from occurring?
Well, you could simply never exercise again, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Luckily, there are a number of safe, all-natural supplements you can use to help combat the effects of DOMS. Many people automatically think of L-Glutamine when looking for a recovery boosting supplement. While glutamine supplementation is great, it’s typically broken down in the stomach before it can be absorbed in the small intestine and shuttled to your aching muscles.
What we’ve got here are some proven ingredients that you may have heard of, and possibly even use, but weren’t aware of their unique ability to help you recover faster!
Best Supplements for DOMS
So we know what DOMS is, but how do we recover from it so we can get back to in the game sooner?
Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are the three Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) that form the foundation of your muscles and are vital in stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) in the body. That’s not all – BCAAs can actually help you recovery after your workout and offset some of the soreness you will experience after a
This makes perfect sense as well. During exercise, we tear down muscle fibers, which are composed of amino acids (including the BCAAs). To help speed repair and recovery we want to supply our body with the raw materials necessary to start the rebuilding and healing process in the muscles.
Everyone’s favorite pre-workout stimulant is also a fantastic supplement to use to help fight the symptoms of DOMS. You’re probably well aware of caffeine’s role as a performance enhancing supplement. It’s been found to be an effective supplement in terms of boosting focus, energy, mood, performance, and endurance.
However, did you know that it can also decrease the amount of soreness you experience in the time after your workout? Several studies have been done on caffeine that show it not only reduces symptoms of delayed muscle soreness, but also reduces the rate of perceived exertion and pain during exercise.
So, the next time you’re getting ready to hit the weights, a little shot of caffeine will not only give you the energy and motivation to perform better during your workout, but will also help prevent some of that soreness from seeping in after you’re done.
Here’s another ingredient that may not seem obvious at first when it comes to preventing or dealing with muscle soreness. When most fitness buffs think of creatine, they tend to associate it with helping increase power, strength, and lean mass gains.
What you may not be as aware of is that creatine also plays a role in helping the body recover from intense workouts. Numerous studies have confirmed that creatine supplementation supports workout performance and speeds recovery post workout, helping to offset the dreaded DOMS and get you back in the game quicker.
Taurine is yet another amino acid to include in your arsenal when looking to defeat DOMS. It’s become increasingly popular among athletes and bodybuilders alike, and for good reason. Taurine reduces stress, improves energy metabolism, and focus.
That’s not all though – when used in combination with BCAAs, taurine has been found to help reduce soreness after eccentric-focused weight lifting workouts. This is accomplished in two ways: first, taurine draws water into muscle cells, increasing the water content of muscle fibers, which reduces muscle damage. Second, they enhance muscle protein synthesis and help replenish muscle glycogen, speeding recovery and shortening DOMS.
Muscle soreness doesn’t have to be a death-sentence on your workout routine. Yes, it’s inevitable and most likely will occur whenever you change training programs or coming back after a long layoff. However, it doesn’t have to be nearly as bad or as long-lasting as you’ve experienced in the past.
Try incorporating any, or all, of these supplements into your rotation, along with some foam rolling post workout, and say goodbye to the dreaded beast known as DOMS forever!