Working out is a great way to manage stress, build muscle, and burn fat. However, you may experience muscle pain after your workouts if you don’t manage your inflammation levels properly. There are several steps to your post-workout process that can help you reduce the pain you experience the hours and days after a hard workout.
What is Inflammation?
Post-workout inflammation refers to soreness in muscles caused by tiny tears in the tissue. As you work out and push your muscles to new levels of pressure and stress, the tissues will tear or separate and fill in with new tissue as you heal. This is functionally how you grow bigger muscles during your workouts. However, the microscopic tissue tears can causa general soreness that may make simple acts such as getting off a chair or using your arms painful.
One of the best things you can do after a workout to avoid painful inflammation is to stretch fully. If your workout was particularly tough, you may need to stretch out a few hours after the workout as well. Take care to stretch gently and never stretch any muscle to the point of pain. If you’re very sore, overheated or extremely tired, consider stretching in the pool to reduce the risk of tearing anything by over-stretching your recently worked muscles.
While post-workout pain is a common occurrence, there are several supplements you can take to limit your pain in the hours and days after a hard workout. Rather than popping ibuprofen or another painkiller when muscle soreness sets in, it’s a good idea to explore options that can contribute to your healing rather than just masking your pain. Some people have good luck with glucosamine to protect against joint inflammation while others focus on protein supplements. Whey-based protein supplements have been shown to help support new muscle growth. CBD has been shown to manage inflammation, though there is some controversy around the chemicals.
When planning your post-workout hydration, start with water. The best plan is to make sure you hydrate before and during your workout. To reduce post-workout pain, you may want to have a protein shake after working out. In particular, a whey-based protein shake is a good option if you choose to use milk products. If you choose to drink enhanced waters following a workout, be sure to check the label to make sure that you’re not simply drinking sugar water.
Pain is a natural part of working out, especially if you’re looking to bulk up. However, with proper supplementation, hydration and stretching, you can limit the amount of post-workout pain you suffer. Of course, if you start to experience a debilitating amount of pain in one particular joint or in one specific move, the joint may be damaged. Seek medical care if you suffer an extreme amount of swelling or joint pain as opposed to muscular pain. Keep these tips in mind when working out, and you should experience less muscle discomfort.
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