Larry Weltman, “Proper Nutrition Essential to Minimize DOMS”

413px-Muscles_anterior_labeledThe acronym DOMS may sound unfamiliar, but what DOMS is short for – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – is all too familiar.

All of us have experienced delayed muscle soreness at one point or another. Maybe we haven’t exercised for some time and wake up with soreness in our muscles after once more hitting the gym. Those of who regularly exercise are also familiar to post-workout muscle soreness, and for sure, professional athletes are no stranger to muscle pain either.

 

Two things to know about muscle soreness or DOMS: one, muscle soreness is not a result of a build-up of lactic acid and other waste byproducts in the muscles, as many of us, including the scientific community, have long thought. The scientific community now understands muscle soreness to come from microscopic tears in the connective tissue of muscles, caused as a result of exercising.

 

A second point to realize: there is no hard and fast treatment for muscle soreness. Instead, there are only ways to minimize the pain.

 

“When I was in the midst of training for the Iron Man, there were days when it was almost hard for me to get out of bed or tie my shoes, the soreness was that bad.” This is a comment made by Larry Weltman, a Canadian who competed in the Iron Man competition, among other triathlon competitions, in the 1990s. Larry Weltman’s experience is certainly one shared by many, many other professional and amateur athletes.

 

So, if DOMS cannot be treated and if there is no way to completely prevent muscle soreness after exercising, what are some ways to minimize it?

 

Cooling down after a workout and massaging parts of the body that experienced the focus of the exercise — these are two ways that individuals can reduce the impact of muscle soreness.

 

One other way to reduce muscle soreness is through helping one’s body nutritionally.

 

Speaking once more about his own athletic experience, Larry Weltman adds, “Proper nutrition is obviously very important for [athletic] performance, and when I was training, increasing my protein intake and supplementing my omega-3s were both crucial for minimizing soreness.”

 

DOMs is associated with muscle inflammation. In turn, increasing one’s omega-3 through supplements is an intelligent way of minimizing inflammation and thereby minimizing soreness. Fish oil is a popular omega-3 supplement.

 

Besides omega-3 supplements, protein intake should also be a second nutritional measure to minimize post-workout soreness. Why is protein so important? Because your body needs protein to repair the microscopic tears in the muscles that were formed during the workout. Protein supplements in essence give more of what a recovering body needs.

 

How much protein is needed?

 

General recommendation says that daily protein supplement intake should be .8 grams for every kilogram of body weight.

 

Parting words from triathlon competitor Larry Weltman, “A lot of people give up their workout goals and training regiment simply because they’re sick and tired of dealing with soreness after exercising. I know plenty of people who just decided to give up.” Larry Weltman adds, “Thinking about how to reduce soreness and taking steps to proactively minimize it simply means you’ll be a healthier — and happier — athlete.”

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