Woah, I hope my Mom didn’t just get scared, as this sounds like a lethal desease 😉 In reality, DOMS is the acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle soreness. According to WEBMD, DOMS is
Exercise physiologists refer to the gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it is perfectly normal.
“Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to,” says David O. Draper, professor and director of the graduate program in sports medicine/athletic training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
So…first question you might ask, “what caused this DOMS?” Well, after half marathon training for months on end, thereby neglecting my “other” muscles, going back to “getting my OM on,” the other day truly did me in. I also have DOMS quite often, I feel, due to a number of reasons:
1. Almost NO Potassium whatsoever in my diet. Me+Bananas do not = greatness. Trust me.
2. Almost no stretching before, during or after exercize. That my friends= laziness.
3. Inconsistant muscle training (hoping to fix this in the future with more cross training.
BUT, for now, the DOMS is KILLING me and thwarting my plans to PR Broad Street! So, what do I do? Well, I first started by researching the cause and making sure it was “normal.” Then, I reached out to one of my favorite bloggers, Caitlin and her Husband Kristien, in hopes that K could help me out with some holistic supplements. He co-owns a holistic clinic in Charlotte and an on-line supplement store. Anyway, while waiting on that, I did some research of my own to find good foods that help reduce DOMS. I found this really helpful list that also explains the reasons behind these “DOMS-busters” from toughlittleworkouts.com :
Pineapple. This tasty fruit is rich in the enzyme, bromelain. After a muscle has been overworked, muscle fiber can actually break and float around the muscle tissue, causing further inflammation. Bromelain breaks down these proteins by digesting the waste product (lactic acid), and on elimination, the muscle inflammation starts to subside.
Research performed on bromelain and how effective this enzyme speeds the healing of soft tissue injury found that the boxers who were given the bromelain healed far quicker than those offered the placebo.
Bromelain is available in supplement form and should be taken three times daily between meals till the pain subsides. It is important to take it between meals, or else the enzyme will only digest the proteins from food not your muscular pain. Look for strengths of 1,800 – 2,400 mcu (milk clotting units) or 1,080 – 1440 gdu (gelatin dissolving units).
Vitamin C. The harder you train the body, the more free radicals are produced. Author of The Natural Physician and naturopath, Mark Stengler N.D. said, “Because your muscles produce more free radicals when you exercise, you should take supplements of vitamins C and E.”
Research carried out by the Western States Chiropractic College on vitamin C in preventing DOMS found that those who were given 3,000 mg developed less soreness in the muscles after a workout than the group given the placebo.
Vitamin C also builds collagen, an essential component that holds the cells of the muscle tissue together. An form of injury from serious to minor requires collagen to repair and rebuild the damaged tissue.
Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables. Take a high enough dose and the nutrients will help to minimize the pain shortly after the workout, healing inwards, while the body sets out to rebuild more muscle tissue. There are various high dose vitamin C supplements. Too high an intake, however, could cause an upset stomach and/or diarrhea.
Berries. They contain polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that protect each cell in the body from free radicals. Studies on various berries found that blueberries contained the highest number of antioxidants.
Vitamin E. Healthy oils such as those found in Vitamin E help to prevent inflammation in the muscles, repair the muscle tissue, and prevent cellular damage.
Vitamin E is abundant in unsalted nuts, especially almonds. Seeds, vegetable oils and spinach are also rich in vitamin E. To act as a preventative for muscular pain in the body, take 400 iu (international units) of vitamin E once a day.
Salmon. Rich in essential fatty acids (EFA), Salmon contains natural compounds that work on muscle soreness and inflammation. Be sure to buy wild or organic salmon as this contains the richest source of EFAs. Salmon purchased from the grocers may contain dyes to enhance the shade of the fish, and they are not caught from the wild.
Herbs to Ease Muscle Soreness
Turmeric. It contains natural compounds to ease muscle inflammation, and its active ingredient is curcumin. Research has found that, besides its natural anti-inflammatory benefits, it helps to combat cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginger. Known to have similar properties found in ibuprofen, ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. It contains an enzyme called zingibain, which helps to break down protein waste in the body causing pain and inflammation around the muscle tissue.
As well as its ability to break down protein tissue, ginger contains useful antioxidants that work to get rid of free radicals, which can cause inflammation to occur. Ginger is added to foods, but it can also be purchased in supplement or tincture form. If the pain is acute, take 500 mg of ginger six times daily to ease the symptoms.
Siberian Ginseng. This wonder herb is classed as an adaptogen, which means it helps the body adjust to and recuperate from physical stress. When taken, stress hormones are produced in a greater quantity by the adrenal glands, which help the body to mend more quickly from strenuous, muscle damaging training.
James A Duke author of the Green Pharmacy and former ethnobotanist and botanical consultant with U.S Department of Agriculture states, “Although you may have to take Siberian ginseng regularly for a month before it begins to yield benefits, clinical studies do suggest that ginseng improves athletic performance.”
Siberian ginseng is available as in supplement form in various doses. To help the body cope with stress from tough exercise, take 250 mg of Siberian ginseng thrice daily. Take this supplement for four weeks during training, than reduce or stop the supplement. Seek an extract that contains 0.4% of eleutherosides (help the body to adapt to stressful situations).
Caffeine. Although caffeine is a known stimulant, a small study found that a caffeine supplement lessens the DOMS pain that can occur one or two days after a challenging workout. However, too much caffeine can cause insomnia, muscular twitching, weight loss, and other symptoms. Take a supplement or have a strong cup of black coffee before a workout to alleviate muscle soreness.
I LOVED that list and will be getting on that STAT! I will also keep you posted on what Dr. HTP advises me! Do you have any suggestions for ridding yourself of DOMS?