Are you sore from working out in beast mode? That’s fantastic.
The aches and pains that you’re feeling mean that your muscles are stressed and rebuilding to become even stronger. Scientifically speaking, this is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
While sore muscles can make it hard to lead a productive day, you don’t need to reach for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Instead, try these seven tactics to ease soreness and optimize muscle recovery after your workout.
- Epsom salts. This naturally occurring combination of magnesium and sulfate is absorbed through your skin to help soothe sore muscles and cramps. Add 2 cups of Epsom salts to a warm bath and soak for about 15 minutes.
- Ice baths. Plunging into a bath of cold, icy water (about 8 °C) for at least five minutes is worth the chill. Many elite athletes use cold water immersion as part of their regular recovery regime to hasten the muscle repair process. The trick is to get yourself into the water as soon as possible after your workout.
- Cherry juice. This thirst-busting beverage is packed with anthocyanins – pigments that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking a glass or two daily in the days leading up to a big exercise session can help lessen muscle soreness and exhaustion. To keep your sugar intake down and anthocyanin levels up, the tarter the juice the better.
- Keep moving! Active recovery will keep your muscles loose and in motion, helping with blood circulation and flushing out accumulated lactic acid. A slow, gentle stretch session, walking your dog, or an easy bike ride the morning after your workout are all great options.
- Natural Factors CurcuminRich Muscle Recovery & Growth Optimizer combines Theracurmin® curcumin with the amino acid L-glutamine in a flavourless powdered drink mix. This convenient recovery aid provides antioxidants and supports healthy inflammatory response to encourage cell repair and growth after strenuous physical activity. Just mix it into 1–2 cups of water or other healthy beverage.
- Ginger supplements. When you’re struggling with body pain after your first day back at the gym, take two tablets of Chewable Ginger for its natural soothing properties. Ginger’s active ingredients have been shown to help with pain and improve mobility in people with joint conditions.
- Stay hydrated. When you’re in beast mode your fluid and electrolyte requirements go up. Hydration is an essential part of your recovery, so you need to be well hydrated before you hit the gym and replenish lost fluids throughout your workout. If you’re a heavy sweater, choose an electrolyte beverage that also replenishes sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
Your recovery is just as important as conquering your workout. With the right tactics you’ll maximize your performance and comfort.
 Dunne, A., Crampton, D. & Egana, M.. (2017). Effect of Post-Exercise Hydrotherapy Water Temperature on Subsequent Exhaustive Running Performance in Normothermic Conditions. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 16.5 (2013), 466-71. Web.
 Connolly, D.A., McHugh, M.P., Padilla-Zakour, O.L., et al. (2017). Efficacy of a Tart Cherry Juice Blend in Preventing the Symptoms of Muscle Damage. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 40.8 (2006), 679-83. Web.
 Bartels, E.M., Folmer, V.N. Bliddal, H., et al. (2017). Efficacy and Safety of Ginger in Osteoarthritis Patients: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 23.1 (2015), 13-21. Web.