Today, we’re talking about DOMS.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a consequence of exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD) – I.e. you subject the muscle to a large stimulus that it’s unfamiliar with and you become sore AF.

As you’re probably aware, DOMS is usually associated with a temporary loss of muscle function and has the ability to impair your performance.

Therefore, the question of ‘How do I get rid of DOMS?’ is always at the forefront of an athletes mind when they feel like they’ve been hit by a bus.

The good news:

There are some nutrition strategies we can draw upon to accelerate recovery – Mainly through managing inflammation, increasing satellite cell activity and improving muscle function. They are: Omega 3 fatty acids, tart cherries, Vitamin D, Protein and creatine monohydrate.

The bad news:

Some of these supplements can interfere and impair the muscles adaptive response. I.e. some ‘functional foods’ with anti-inflammatory properties can negatively impact the pro-inflammatory phase of muscle repair.

Likewise, antioxidant rich foods have the ability to blunt oxidative stress and adaptation…

Therefore the key question surrounding every session, game or competition is whether the athlete needs to recover quickly or adapt – what’s the priority here?

When it comes to games, events and competitions, the primary outcome is recovery. We can best prepare for the workload in training, but sometimes we can’t control the workload during competition…meaning that the large stimulus is going to make you feel pretty beat up.

During training, the primary outcome is always adaptation, meaning that we don’t want to be using any high dose antioxidant or anti-inflammatory foods/supplements surrounding the session.

If you’re struggling to recover from the session and you’re constantly sore, then I would highly recommend you revisit your workload as it’s futile to work extra hard in the gym to drive adaptation to only blunt it through certain foods/supplements.

As stated in a paper by Owens et al (2018), we want the correct balance between adequate exercise stress to stimulate adaptation, but avoid the need to intervene to prevent inadequate recovery or mal-adaptation (a concept known as hormesis).

So, if you’re constantly fucked from training…perhaps dial back the exercise stress until you can handle it.

If you’re totally ruined from games, competitions and events, consider some of the functional foods mentioned above to accelerate recovery…

 

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