If you have ever exercised before (and most of us have), then you’ve probably experienced the dreaded DOMS!  DOMS stands for, “Delayed onset muscle soreness”.  This article will dive deeper into DOMS and what is fact and what has proven to be myth.

First, let’s start off by mentioning what we know.  We know, with certainty that DOMS is a major reason why many people stop exercising (especially beginners).  The soreness can range from very light to unbearable for some.  This is compounded and made worse if proper diet and supplementation is not adhered to.

In addition, DOMS has been shown to contribute to increased risk of injury and the mental component associated with being less apt to push yourself to perform at your highest potential for fear of further injury.

This is where myths can be talked about at length. The most prominent myths associated with DOMS include the following – and the debunking arguments are provided alongside each:

A.  DOMS is caused by a buildup of lactic acid.

– Lactic acid comes with intense exercise when oxygen cannot reach working muscles in an effective way. Due to this, the body produces lactate.  As the body accumulates lactate, it fails to be able to quickly metabolize and hydrogen ions end up causing the infamous burning sensation. The burning feeling is very different than DOMS in that it does not last much longer than an hour after exercise and is non-existent thereafter.

B.  DOMS means that muscles are growing.

–  This is simply not the case. To understand this, we must first understand the root cause of DOMS. The basic explanation for this is that when we challenge our muscles with resistance training of any degree that is higher than normal everyday functioning, our muscles become temporarily damaged (micro tears) and/or become fatigued.  Recent science points to the soreness being due to the swelling of the muscle cells actually activating pain receptors.  What happens in the hours and days after exercise, however, will dictate how quickly our muscles can recover and rebuild back stronger. The micro-tearing of the muscle fibers is just one portion of muscle gain.  The other portion refers to what types of diet and supplementation that we undertake to support the recovery of the muscles.

Nutrition And Supplements To Reduce DOMS and Counteract Pain:

Fish Oil

– Omega-3 fatty acids that regulate cholesterol imbalances, promote fat loss, improve brain function, and even have anti-inflammatory effects

L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine ((BCAAs)

–  These are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) that boost muscle recovery, prevent muscle breakdown, and decrease Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)


–  A performance enhancer that has demonstrated pain-blocking effects and its ability to ease muscle soreness after challenging exercise.

Juice (blueberries, tart cherries, and other dark-coloured fruits)

–  Demonstrated ability to reduce soreness and accelerate recovery

In summary, DOMS can be painful but if you remain consistent with your exercise, diet, and supplementation regimen then the severity and length of it will greatly decrease. In addition, you’ll find that you get the results that you’re looking for much quicker.  As they say, “No Pain, No Gain”…



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