If you’re an athlete or enjoy working out, you are no stranger to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). You had a great time on the field or at the gym, only to wake up the next day feeling like you were hit by a truck. While DOMS is perfectly natural, it can make it tough to get back in the swing of things. So, finding natural ways to relieve delayed onset muscle soreness is key to fitness success.
Hot or Cold Therapy
The main cause of DOMS is tiny, microscopic tears throughout your muscles which causes inflammation. Because it’s almost like a small injury, you can treat it the same way you would a sprain or muscle tear: with a pack of ice or a hot bath. Ice reduces blood flow to an area, reducing inflammation and swelling. The heat helps relax the muscles and bring oxygen-rich blood back. Use both for the best results.
When you exercise, multiple things are happening in your muscles. Your muscles need more oxygen so blood circulation can increase, flushing out toxins which the liver metabolizes. All of this requires a lot more water, and not drinking enough can lead to dehydration and—you guessed it!—muscle soreness. Water will help your body heal itself more quickly, so don’t stop drinking just because your workout is done.
Massage has been used by athletes for thousands of years. As with heat therapy, massages help to relax tension out of the muscles and promote blood flow to sore areas to help them heal. It also has the added benefit of helping flush toxins out of your muscles the way a workout does. But keep in mind what we said with hydration. If you don’t drink water before and after a massage, you may end up more dehydrated.
Although the research is ongoing, many suggest CBD may help reduce pain and inflammation. If true, this makes it a perfect natural way to relieve DOMS. You can either take CBD orally with a tincture or capsule or massage the sore area with a topical cream. Just be cautious about choosing quality CBD oils. Either double-check the reviews or buy an at-home ethanol recovery system and make it yourself.