If you're starting a workout routine after a long hiatus, you may develop overly sore muscles that can be more than just an annoyance - they hurt! Or, what if you have sore muscles for apparently no reason? Either way, you need relief from the pain and discomfort. But how should you relieve muscle soreness?
The good news is that muscle soreness relief doesn't need to come by way of strong narcotics and other pills that inevitably leave you feeling groggy and out of it, which is just overkill for a bit of muscle soreness. Sure, you may opt for some OTC pills if your muscle soreness is too much to bear, but here are actually natural ways to relieve that muscle soreness, and it won't mean loading up on pain meds to get there.
Why Are Your Muscles Sore?
The first order of business when you're dealing with sore muscles is to determine what's making them sore. Often, sore muscles are caused by micro tears in the muscles due to overexertion or exercise. Scientifically, it's known as DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. After a workout, DOMS hits its peak 24 to 72 hours and then disappears within a few days.
If you're new to working out or you're returning after a long break, DOMS can really creep up on you, especially if you're engaging in vigorous workouts and shocking your body with lots of peak effort. That can leave you searching for how to relieve muscle soreness as quickly as possible. After all, who wants to live in agony for days while your body works it all out?
Drink Cherry Juice
If you have muscle pain after a workout and the only thing on your mind is how to reduce that pain, you might benefit from the power of tart cherry juice. Not only does it contain high levels of anthocyanins, which are antioxidant compounds that can reduce discomfort associated with muscle soreness, but it's actually been proven to reduce post-exercise pain when consumed regularly. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help speed up recovery after hard workouts and activity.
Drink Watermelon Juice
Since cherry juice is usually too tart for most people's tastes, a better alternative is watermelon juice with its sweeter taste profile. It's a great way to help relieve muscle soreness due to the presence of the amino acid L-citrulline, and small studies have proved its effectiveness as part of muscle soreness recovery with just 16 ounces consumed a day after an intense workout.
Get a Massage
While massage can do the trick even when you're not feeling sore, helping you relax and feel more comfortable in your own skin, it's also a great way to relieve muscle soreness. By increasing circulation and decreasing inflammation, massage is able to decrease the pain associated with muscle soreness with just a little bit of TLC. The best part is that you don't need to pony up for an expensive massage - you can achieve the same effect by massaging yourself where it hurts most. That makes massage an ideal way to relieve muscle soreness in the legs or anywhere else whenever you have a free moment.
You might only feel like sitting around, waiting for your muscle soreness to fade before getting back to it, but lethargy can actually make your muscle soreness worse. With inaction, you could actually be encouraging stiffness, tension and pain - precisely what you're looking to avoid. Instead, try getting up and moving around, or engage in some stretching to soothe those tired and painful muscles. Active recovery is much better than doing nothing, and you just might find that muscle soreness is best dealt with by getting back to it.
Prioritize Sleep and Rest
When considering how to relieve muscle soreness, it's important to realize that muscle soreness is caused by little tears in your muscles. Just like any injury, those tears need time to heal, and the healing process is best achieved by getting more good sleep. While you're sleeping, your body will produce higher levels of growth hormone, which helps rebuild and repair your muscles - and it'll also reduce the associated pain. On the flip side, a lack of good sleep can actually harm the repair and recovery process, so it's important to consider sleep as part of any muscle soreness recovery regimen.
Apply Some Heat
Most people know about the soothing power of heat. But did you know that by simply applying heat, you can stop muscle soreness and swelling? The heat will boost blood flow and relax the muscles, which is exactly what you want when you're dealing with sore muscles or tightness. The easiest way is to take a hot shower or bath immediately following your rigorous exercise, but you can also use heat wraps or some time in the sauna to get the rejuvenating power of heat. Note that a moist heat wrap is better than dry heat, and that two hours of treatment is enough.
Apply Some Ice
If you're not a fan of heat when you're trying to cool down after a hard workout, give cold a try. The cold won't cool the muscle, but ice packs and cold baths can reduce muscle swelling and calm nerves that send pain signals to the brain. In fact, many studies have strongly linked cold with reducing DOMS, and you can get the same relief by applying an ice pack to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes.
Take or Apply CBD
While it may not necessarily be the first option that comes to mind to relieve muscle soreness, CBD is becoming more popular for people that want real relief without the side effects of pain pills or the minimal impact of natural remedies. Unlike many of the other items on our list, CBD doesn't just reduce the symptoms of pain, it may reduce inflammation, which is the primary cause of pain. CBD may also act as an antioxidant, antiemetic, antipsychotic and neuroprotective.
And because CBD is found in just about everything these days - from tinctures and droppers to salves, creams and balms - it's easy to find the right CBD product for you. Take CBD orally for a systemic approach or rub it on your muscles for localized relief to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness - or take CBD for one of the dozens of other wellness purposes from calming the nerves to getting a good night's rest. You can also choose products that have other functional ingredients to assist with relief. For example, the Naternal Rescue CBD Muscle cream features other ingredients that have been historically used for pain relief such as menthol, arnica, eucalyptus, and camphor.
Whether you go for the topicals, or like to take your CBD orally, Naternal has something for everyone. Get started today!