Sunday, April 17, 2011

Muscle Soreness

So, I was just over at Mademoiselle's blog and she raised a good question that I thought I would address. The issue of muscle soreness.

We've all been there. Running on little to no food, working out to empty ourselves of the extra calories. Some days the pain can be so bad it's hard to get out of bed.
I tend to be a chronic over-exerciser but I have found three things that help me get over the soreness of what I put my muscles through.

The first it stretching
Most people tend to underestimate the importance of stretching. After a good workout, your muscles NEED it. Without a good stretch, they will tighten and pull your body every which way causing you pain and preventing you from keeping active (and burning more calories). I tend to spend almost as much time stretching as I do exercising. So give your muscles a little warm up, because stretching cold muscles accomplishes nothing and spend some time every day stretching.
Your sex life will thank you.

The second is protein
Now, I realize protein has calories, however they are certainly going to go a lot further in helping you lose weight than eating white rice (as I see a lot of girls on these blogs are doing). Your muscles need protein to re-build and without it they will just break down and the calories you consume will instead be turned to fat. The advantage is, the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more fat you will burn. If you've gotta have those grains, I recommend quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), as it cooks up just like rice but is the only whole grain that is also a complete protein. And it's good with everything.
One of the things I do is cook a chicken breast, tear it apart and keep it in my fridge in a glad-lock container. A few times a day I will take it out and have a bite. This keeps food cravings at bay and also gets me my protein. You can also buy canned chicken if it's easier, but I like to season the stuff I cook. It's a little yummier.
Also, steak is a great dinner choice. If you get steak at a restaurant, it tends to be loaded with fat and grease, but if you make your own you can buy lean stuff and just add a little pepper or steak seasoning. Steak is better than chicken when it comes to re-building muscles because it is more nutrient packed (iron is a biggie here) and it is also much yummier. Which leads me into number three.

Ladies and gentlemen, get yourself a good multi-vitamin! If you are eating fruits and veggies, it is good to look for colorful stuff like spinach and romaine lettuces, as well as bell peppers and oranges, but because a) by the time food gets from the growers to the store to our homes to our mouths, they are very much depleted of their nutrients and b) let's face it, we aren't eating much anyway, it is important to get a good multi-vitamin. Vitamin C is a primary vitamin when it comes to restoring muscles, but iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium are all important too. I highly recommend Shaklee brand Vita-Lea with Iron. It is LOADED with necessary vitamins and while it is a little pricier than what you might find at Wal-Mart, it is one of the highest quality vitamins around. Whatever you find though, make sure it is water soluble, as fat soluble vitamins can build up in your system and make you very sick or even kill you. I find that if I am taking Vita-Lea at least a few times a week I feel much more energized and healthy than when I don't. Also, having adequate nutrition helps curb cravings so you might find you binge a lot less when your body is supplied. Besides, you want your weight loss to look effortless, right? If your health is failing, it won't.

So take care of yourselves! If any one else has any good muscle soreness advice, feel free to share!


  1. This is SUCH a good article! Thank you so much! I haven't started exercising yet.. I've always been very little active but that too will have to change. However, running on so little food and being new to ANA has made me very soar! I am taking a protein shake and also some vitamins and minerals. Not the ones you recommend though. It's Jillian Michaels Natural Whey Protein and CVS Naturalized Spectravite Plus. Sometimes I take some extra Vitamin C, and Centrum Chewables. I am also on Nature's Bounty Calcium. What are your thoughts on those? Thank you once more and be sure that I'll be following your blog everyday! <3

  2. Great post! Speaking from experience, you make a lot of valid points. For 15 years, I participated in and taught high impact aerobics and resistance training daily. I was healthy and had great bursts of energy but I was always sore and frequently fatigued. For the past 6 years, I’ve taken up Bikram yoga and I understand quite well how important stretching is for the body. Yoga is the only thing I take now, but I have a very active job and lifestyle. Stretching not only helps to prevent injury, it also can aid in recovery.

    All three topics are crucial and I thank you for the resources. I wasn’t eating enough protein and I certainly wasn’t getting my vitamins. This seemed to contribute to feelings of nausea, dizziness, lack of concentration and motivation, as well as giving in to cravings for quick fixes. I eat organic eggs and some lean meat now, and I also juice fresh vegetables and fruits every day. I feel so much better now.

    Great post and much appreciated resources. Cheers!

  3. Thanks! So helpful. I'll definitely be coming back to read this again when I have more time haha

  4. I'm glad you ladies enjoyed the post.

    As far as Centrum vitamins are concerned, they don't have the best reputation. A lot of factors go into vitamins (I could dedicate an entire blog about this) including what form of compound each vitamin comes in and how easily and effectively it is absorbed into your system. I'm not as familiar with Nature's Bounty, but I have done a little reading and they seem to have a good reputation, but I don't really know all of the details as to why. (It takes a lot of digging to get REAL info on Vitamins).

    Calcium is great and from what I have read, Calcium Citrate seems to be the best form of calcium. Since calcium can't be properly utilized in the body w/o Vitamin D, it's best to find a Calcium Citrate vitamin with Vita D and Magnesium. Some studies suggest too much calcium can lead to Kidney stones but it is more likely calcium carbonate that does this. A couple of studies have suggested that calcium citrate can actually reduce your chance of kidney stones. Calcium Carbonate in small doses won't harm you and can be beneficial, but if you are taking it every day I suggest calcium citrate.

  5. Have fun paying for all the animals you murder ^_^