We’ve all experienced it — the moment after a hard workout, where your muscles are already starting to ache, or even muscle soreness that comes on hours or even days after a workout. Muscle soreness feels great in the moment because it makes you feel like you’ve really done something, but it doesn’t always feel great the next day when you can barely get yourself out of bed.
Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, isn’t something you should be concerned about. It happens to the best of us, and it means to have pushed your body to the point where you’ve caused some muscle changes.
Muscle soreness is a byproduct of your muscles healing themselves. During your workout, muscle contractions will cause microscopic tears along the muscle and nearby connective tissue. These tears aren’t the cause of soreness. It is the healing of these tears that causes you to feel sore the next day.
Once your muscles are damaged, your body goes into healing mode, and your immune system is triggered. Your muscles can swell, and electrolytes, such as calcium, can accumulate in the torn muscle.
Sore muscles are a great indicator that you’re making progress with your workout, but this soreness doesn’t mean you should repeat the same workout the next day. When you’re sore, you need to let your muscle groups heal, or you are increasing your risk of a more serious injury. When your body is sore, the best thing to do is to engage in light exercises, such as walking or yoga.
Healing torn muscles also happens in the kitchen. It’s no secret that you need a balanced meal before you go to work out, but you also need one after. It’s important to restore your electrolytes and consume quality snacks that include protein to give your muscles the necessary building blocks to repair themselves. A quality on-the-go snack is Jawbox Jerky. Jawbox Jerky is made from grass-fed and finished beef with no unnecessary additives or preservatives. Each serving gives up to 16g of protein with only a handful of carbs, making it the perfect snack to help repair your muscles.