Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) Your Excuse to Skip the Next Workout?

8:28 PM Posted by jo

 It is very common that beginners of a new exercise program experience delayed muscle soreness. This is not the same as the acute pain when experience a muscle sprain or strain. It feels the worse the first couple of days after the exercise. Many  often use it as an excuse not to exercise at all, or to skip the next training.

So why does it happen?
It was thought among experts that DOMS was caused by the lactic acid, the by-product of anaerobic metabolism (glycosis). However, it is now believed that the free radicals hydroperoxides, ammonia, and hydroxyl radicals cause hydroxyproline damage. Hydroxyproline can be found in the connective tissue.  It is a constituent of the collagen.

Any movement that is new can cause tearing and swelling that leads to soreness.  However, it is mostly the eccentric muscle contractions that lead to DOMS. Eccentric muscle contractions are movements that cause the muscles to forcefully contract while it lengthens. Going down the stairs, lowering weights, running downhill, and the downward movements of squats and push ups.

Stretching, hydration, pre-workout warm up, and massage are some things that may reduce DOMS. It is wise to add antioxidants before and after training to minimize or reduce occurrence of DOMS. Remember, higher intensity training increases the risk of DOMS. Some antioxidants to consider are Pantothenic Acid, niacin, vitamin C & E, beta-carotene, COQ10, n-acetyl cysteine, zinc, selenium, grape seed extract and L-Glutathione. Rehydration drinks with electrolytes, carbohydrates and ascorbates should also be consumed. 

As an Aromatherapist I mix up my own blends to use to tone muscles and prevent soreness. Essential oils have a high antioxidant value in addition to the other healing properties. Go to my post Using Essential Oils for DOMS  to learn more about my essential oil blends for DOMS.

Thanks for visiting!


Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils.  She is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. She received her aromatherapy education at the American College of Health Care Sciences.

Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

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