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How to not be sore the next day: Why Are My Muscles Sore Days After Working Out?

Why Are My Muscles Sore Days After Working Out?

If you’ve ever exercised intensely after taking some time off—or you just tried a boot camp class at your gym for the first time—you know that you’re likely to feel pretty sore the next day. The pain you feel that leaves you waddling around—and can feel even worse two days after a workout—is thanks to a phenomenon known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. 

So why exactly do you feel sore the next day, instead of right away? Here’s what you should know about DOMS—and when you should be concerned about that second-day ache.  

What Is DOMS? 

Sometimes you’ll feel some soreness or achiness during a workout — it means you’re pushing your body a little but not too much.  

Unlike acute soreness, delayed soreness usually begins 24 to 48 hours after your workout. 

“Delayed onset muscle soreness is associated most with eccentric exercises, where you’re putting a load on a muscle while lengthening it, such as when you stretch out your arm after a bicep curl,” says Dr. Eric Chen, a UW Medicine physiatrist who specializes in sports medicine. 

Muscle soreness is especially common after doing a workout you’re not used to, which is why if it’s been months since you last went hiking and you decide to trek to Mailbox Peak your first day out the gates, you’ll probably pay for it for the next few days.

What causes delayed onset muscle soreness? 

Soreness is caused by microtears or minor inflammation in your muscles. That might sound alarming, but in reality it’s a good thing because it prompts your muscles to heal and adapt, which strengthens them.      

Delayed soreness is different because, well, it’s delayed. It happens after a workout, not during one. Why is that? Well … that’s a good question.  

“It’s an interesting phenomenon because no one knows the true answer. There are several theories, including micro-trauma to the muscle, lactic acid buildup, release of muscle enzymes, muscle spasms, connective tissue damage or muscle inflammation,” Chen says. “The general consensus is that delayed onset muscle soreness is not due to any one of those things but several.”  

What are the best ways to heal sore muscles? 

Delayed onset muscle soreness can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. It should slowly improve over that time. Still, if it’s bothering you, there are a few things you can try to ease the ache.  

“Research has shown that these things didn’t shorten the period of time where someone is experiencing the soreness but made them feel better in the meantime,” Chen says.     

Try active recovery 

You may think you should refrain from using your sore muscles until they heal. However, Chen says that many people actually find it helpful to take an active recovery approach, where you work the muscles lightly.

“People say it helps reduce short-term pain and feels better than not moving the muscle at all,” he says. 

After the initial tender phase, try some light exercise that will engage the sore muscles, like gentle yoga, a walk or a slower swim.  

Do some stretching 

You can try this along with a foam roller, perhaps, or just stick to the type of stretching you do during your typical warmup or cool-down. You can try a mixture of dynamic stretches, like a forward bend, and static stretches, like a classic hamstring stretch sitting down and stretching your leg out while holding your foot.  

Massage those muscles 

You could do this yourself with a foam roller or enlist the help of a massage therapist. Either way, make sure the massage is on the gentler side.  

Use hot or cold therapy 

Either will work; pick the one you prefer, whether that’s a heating pad or a cold pack. Cold will help reduce any inflammation you may have whereas hot will increase blood flow and reduce stiffness.  

When should you see a doctor about muscle soreness? 

Delayed onset muscle soreness is not dangerous and should resolve within, at most, a couple of weeks. If it doesn’t, that’s a good time to talk with your doctor about what else could be going on, like a sprain or strain.

DOMS also shouldn’t be so painful that it prevents you from doing everyday activities. If it is, or if you have symptoms like dark urine, muscle cramps or fatigue, you should go to the doctor right away. These symptoms could be from a rare but dangerous condition called rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo, in which proteins can leak out of damaged muscles into your blood. Rhabdo can cause serious issues like kidney damage.

Typically, rhabdo is caused by intense workouts (think high-intensity interval training, aka HIIT, or CrossFit). And while you probably won’t get it, it’s not a bad idea to be aware of the symptoms just in case. (Rhabdo can turn into a medical emergency, so if you have symptoms, call 911 or go to the emergency department.) 

Is it possible to avoid sore muscles after working out?  

There are a few things you can do to prevent soreness, such as pacing yourself, trying new exercises in moderation to give your body time to adjust, and slowly increasing the intensity of your workouts rather than diving in full force.   

To some extent, though, experiencing a little soreness is just part of the package, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to push yourself a little bit and try new routines. 

“It’s just a natural part of working out, a reaction all of our bodies have to exercise,” Chen says. “Delayed soreness can be uncomfortable but generally gets better over time and becomes less frequent.” 

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on September 4, 2017. It has been reviewed and updated with new info. Kristen Domonell and McKenna Princing contributed to this article. 

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is muscle pain that begins after you’ve worked out. It normally starts a day or two after a workout. You won’t feel DOMS during a workout.

Pain felt during or immediately after a workout is a different kind of muscle soreness. It’s called acute muscle soreness.

Acute muscle soreness is that burning sensation you feel in a muscle during a workout due to a quick buildup of the buildup of metabolites during intense exercise. It usually disappears as soon as or shortly after you stop exercising.

Read on to learn more about DOMS, including symptoms, causes, treatment, and more.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, DOMS symptoms typically occur up at least 12 to 24 hours after a workout. The pain tends to peak about one to three days after your workout, and then should ease up after that.

Symptoms of DOMS to watch out for may include:

  • muscles that feel tender to the touch
  • reduced range of motion due to pain and stiffness when moving
  • swelling in the affected muscles
  • muscle fatigue
  • short-term loss of muscle strength

High-intensity exercise can cause tiny, microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Your body responds to this damage by increasing inflammation, which may lead to a delayed onset of soreness in the muscles.

Pretty much any high-intensity exercise can cause DOMS, but one kind in particular, known as eccentric exercise, often triggers it.

Eccentric exercises cause you to tense a muscle at the same time you lengthen it.

For example, the controlled, downward motion as you straighten your forearm after a biceps curl is an eccentric movement. The way your quads tense up when running downhill is also an eccentric movement.

Is there a connection between DOMS and lactic acid?

It was once thought that a buildup of exercise-induced lactic acid was to blame for DOMS, but this common misconception has been debunked.

Who can experience DOMS?

DOMS can affect just about anyone, from elite athletes, to beginners, to people who haven’t worked out in a long time.

So, no matter your level of fitness, DOMS may strike whenever you dial up your workout intensity, perform eccentric exercises, or try a new kind of exercise your body isn’t used to.

Some people think that unless you feel super sore after every workout, you’re not making any fitness gains. But is this true?

No. When you start a new exercise routine or push your limits, you’re more likely to get sore. But as you keep working out, your body adapts.

You may feel less and less sore with each workout, but that in no way means you’re not working out hard enough or that you’re missing out on fitness gains from those workouts.

You might be tempted to rest and avoid all exercise and movement when DOMS strikes, but unless it’s severe, hitting the couch for the day may only worsen pain and stiffness, not ease it.

Listen to your body. If your DOMS is bad, you may need to take a day of complete rest to give your muscles a chance to repair.

At a minimum, you’ll want to skip any kind of high-intensity cardio or power lifting sessions when sore. That may only worsen and delay your recovery from DOMS.

Think about trying some gentle movement throughout the day. It won’t speed your recovery, but it might lessen the soreness. To keep your muscles moving, try gentle yoga or some low- to moderate-intensity walking, cycling, or swimming.

DOMS rarely requires a trip to the doctor. But the American Council on Sports Medicine recommends you see a doctor or nurse practitioner if the pain from DOMS stops you from doing your normal daily activities.

You should also seek medical attention right away if:

  • your DOMS lasts longer than 7 days
  • your urine becomes abnormally dark
  • you have severe swelling in your arms and legs

Sharp pain, muscle spasms, and numbness and tingling are different from the dull ache of muscle soreness. Talk with your doctor right away if you feel any of these symptoms after working out.

You may not be able to avoid DOMS all together, but you can take steps to lessen its intensity. Try these tips:

  • Stay hydrated. One study found that men who exercised in hot, humid temperatures had a big dip in muscle soreness when they drank water before, during, and after exercise, compared to men who didn’t hydrate.
  • Warmup. Spend 5 to 10 minutes before each workout doing some dynamic stretching. Skip the static stretching until after your workout.
  • Cool down. In a 2012 study, a 20-minute cool down of low-intensity cycling after a lower-body strength training session led to decreased soreness in the quadriceps muscle two days later. Always end your cool down with some static stretching. It won’t lessen DOMS, but it can boost flexibility in your joints and muscles.
  • Take it slowly. Take your workouts to the next level of intensity one small step at a time. That can help you safely build your strength and endurance while you minimize the effects of DOMS.

Don’t let DOMS sideline you from your fitness routine. Take steps to lessen its impact by slowly dialing up the intensity of your workouts.

If DOMS strikes, use self-care measures to help lessen the discomfort while your body heals.

Most of all, be patient. With time, DOMS should start to happen less often as your body gets used to the workouts you put it through.

How to drink properly to avoid a hangover

Do not drink on an empty stomach

The most important rule recommended by both doctors and bartenders is not to drink on an empty stomach. “Be sure to eat: drinking alcohol on an empty stomach increases the rate of intoxication and negatively affects the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract,” explains dietitian of the SberHealth medical online service Margarita Makukha.

In her opinion, it is best to give preference to foods rich in fatty acids, such as oily sea fish, avocados, green vegetables and nuts. As well as slow carbohydrates – cereals and products made from durum wheat.

“At the same time, it is worth remembering that eating only delays the rate of development of poisoning, but does not affect the final concentration of alcohol in the blood,” adds Raziyat Chupanova, a neurologist at the SberHealth online medical service.

Ilias Vasiliadis, brand bartender of the Molon Lave restaurant, advises to have a hearty dinner a couple of hours before the party starts and warns that if you start drinking on an empty stomach, you can quickly get drunk and lose touch with reality. “Alcohol is absorbed very quickly on an empty stomach. But if you eat a big meal beforehand, the food in your stomach will slow down the rate at which alcohol enters your bloodstream,” he explains.


The absorption of alcohol is best slowed down by fatty hot meals. But if your party does not involve a magnificent feast with a change of dishes, then at least have a snack.

“During the feast it is important to eat small portions, but often. In other words, to have a snack,” explains Svetlana Chernousova, head bartender of the Laduree a-la Russe restaurant.

Mikhail Klenchev, the head bartender of the Chinese Letter restaurant, advises avoiding sugary foods during the feast. “Sugar has a very strong effect on the degree of intoxication and on the morning state of the body,” he explains.

Give up cocktails and sweet liqueurs

Cocktails are easy and beautiful to drink, but guarantee quick intoxication and headache in the morning. First of all, we are talking about cocktails, which include several strong alcoholic ingredients. For example, the classic Long Island consists of tequila, vodka, rum, triple sec and gin, to which lemon juice and cola are added. Due to soda and lemon, the cocktail is easy to drink, despite the fact that its strength is about 28 degrees.

“If you want to drink long enough, don’t drink cocktails. The morning after them is much harder than after clean drinks, warns Sergey Suslin, head bartender of the Erwin restaurant. River Sea Ocean.

He also advises avoiding carbonated and sugary drinks, especially sparkling wine. “It’s very easy for them to get drunk, and in the morning their head will split in half. Especially if it’s sweet sparkling,” warns the bartender. This, according to him, applies to complex cocktails based on sparkling wine, and simpler and more popular whiskey and rum-cola.

But the most evil hangover awaits those who go on an “alcotravel” in the company of sweet liqueurs and liqueurs.

“To get drunk on sweet liqueurs or liqueurs is always a bad morning. Sugar in combination with alcohol always makes itself felt in the morning,” Sergey Suslin warns.

Ilias Vasiliadis warns of the dangers of switching to sweet shots and tinctures after clean drinks. “If you drank vodka all evening, and then abruptly switched to B-52 or Jägermeister, you will definitely be repaid in the morning. It’s better to switch to tequila than to go into sweet tinctures,” the bartender advises.

Alternate alcohol with water

To avoid a severe hangover in the morning, follow a simple rule – after each glass of alcohol, drink a glass of pure still water. This will help the body maintain normal water-salt metabolism and cope with dehydration. In the case of strong drinks, Mikhail Klenchev recommends drinking at least 100-150 ml of water per 50 ml of pure alcohol.

At the same time, it is important to drink it down, not to dilute it, says Ilias Vasiliadis. “I don’t advise diluting wine with water, this is a translation of the product. If you are going to drink a lot and until the morning, alternate alcohol with water. So you may drink less alcohol and not get sick in the morning,” the bartender explains.

Svetlana Chernousova recommends drinking water not only during alcoholic libations, but also before a party and before going to bed.

What to drink and whether it is possible to mix

Doctors advise not to drink alcohol at all, but if this is not possible, they recommend giving preference to light drinks without gases.

“Carbonated drinks intoxicate faster, and dark alcohol contains additional ingredients that increase the toxic effect of alcohol on the body. Dry white wine, vodka or gin are less “hangover” than red wine, beer, whiskey, cognac, rum,” explains Margarita Makukha.

There is a popular opinion that it is possible to raise the degree, but not to lower it. Ilias Vasiliadis believes that the most important thing is not to mix drinks of different origins.

“Ideally drink one thing for the whole evening. If it doesn’t work out, at least don’t jump from grape drinks to grain drinks,” the bartender advises.

He explains that if you started the evening with wine, but want something stronger, it makes sense to continue with grape drinks – chacha, grappa or moonshine. But the law, in his opinion, is one – do not drink too much. “Only he very rarely works. It’s hard to say to yourself: “I’ll drink so much and stop, and really stop,” the bartender admits.

According to Mikhail Klenchev, the main rule when mixing drinks is not to go beyond the amount of sugar contained in alcohol. “For example, you can switch from vermouth to bourbon or cognac, but it’s already undesirable to do the opposite,” he adds.

Sergey Suslin is of the opinion that it is best to initially choose one drink, whether light or strong, and stick to it all evening without switching to anything else. “And be sure to alternate with water. Then the next morning it will be much easier, ”he assures.

What to do if you feel bad in the morning

Headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, general weakness of the body are just some of the symptoms that you may encounter if you have abused alcohol. Many try to alleviate a hangover with the help of vitamins, dietary supplements and enterosorbents, however, according to doctors, this is unlikely to alleviate the condition.

“Vitamins, dietary supplements and enterosorbents have not proven their effectiveness in preventing and treating alcohol poisoning,” explains Raziyat Chupanova. According to her,

today there are no proven effective means at all that will help prevent intoxication or quickly get rid of it.

“The only guaranteed way to avoid unpleasant symptoms in the morning is to completely refuse alcohol or drink in moderation,” the doctor concludes.

However, the effects of alcohol poisoning can be alleviated. To cope with a headache, you can, after consulting a doctor, take painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. Margarita Makukha recommends sleeping more and providing access to fresh air in the room. Sweet will raise your blood sugar and give you energy. “Light physical activity will not hurt, but it depends on how you feel,” she adds.

Bartender Svetlana Chernousova advises to drink more liquids with vitamin C. “Water or black tea with lemon, freshly squeezed orange juice – these drinks replenish fluid in the body,” says the bartender. She proposes to improve the condition with the help of lemonade with the life-giving name “Josephine”. To prepare, mix 50 ml citrus tea, 50 ml grapefruit juice, 50 ml freshly squeezed orange juice, 20 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice and 130 ml sparkling water.

Neurologist Raziyat Chupanova also told me when to consult a doctor.

“Ambulance should be called immediately if drinking alcohol has led to clouding of consciousness, repeated vomiting, convulsions, infrequent breathing – less than 8 breaths per minute, loss of consciousness and fainting,” she says.

How to avoid a New Year’s hangover: TOP-6 simple and proven methods

Almost no holiday is complete without alcoholic beverages and sometimes drinking alcohol can cause a morning hangover.

Since it’s the New Year holidays, apteka24.ua took care of your health and told how to avoid a hangover in advance, as well as how to quickly get rid of a hangover.


  • Why does a hangover occur?
  • 6 tips on how to avoid a hangover
  • How to get rid of a hangover that has already set in with the help of pills

The New Year holidays are coming soon, which means that many Ukrainians are getting ready for festive feasts and parties. And practically not a single such celebration takes place without alcoholic beverages, the abuse of which can lead to rapid intoxication and a hangover in the morning. But how to avoid a hangover and what needs to be done for this?

Why does a hangover occur?

Hangover (hangover syndrome) is a series of negative symptoms that occur as a result of alcohol abuse. Symptoms of this condition appear after the level of alcohol in the blood decreases. As a rule, this happens the next morning after the evening celebration.

In order to understand why a hangover occurs, or rather, each of its symptoms, they should be considered in more detail.

The most important morning sign that a person has gone too far with alcohol is a severe headache. It appears because when drinking alcohol, the blood vessels first expand, after which they narrow sharply and less blood and oxygen enters the brain.

Hangovers are also characterized by such a symptom as thirst for water. It occurs because alcohol is a diuretic. Taking them in large quantities makes a person frequent the toilet and disturbs his water balance, which leads to dehydration. Therefore, in the morning I really want to drink.

Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are also common signs of alcohol syndrome. These symptoms occur because alcohol irritates the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates increased production of gastric juice and speeds up the process of digestion.

To learn how to drink without a hangover and avoid all of the above symptoms, we suggest that you read the next paragraph of this article.

6 tips to avoid a hangover

Of course, every person who is going to drink alcohol in a significant amount wants to know how to avoid a hangover in the morning and be able to work the next day. To do this, choose one or more of the tips below and follow them clearly.

Tip #1 Eat Before Drinking Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. If you drink an alcoholic drink on an empty stomach, then it will begin to be quickly absorbed and a person will become intoxicated in a short period of time. Therefore, before drinking alcohol, it is worth eating and it is best to eat food containing fats, for example, a piece of lard or butter. Such foods will create a fatty film in the stomach, and thereby slow down the absorption of alcohol, which can help you drink without a hangover.

Tip #2 Choose your alcohol carefully

Different spirits contain different amounts of ethanol as well as congeners. Congeners are toxic chemicals including methanol, isopentane, and acetone. Alcohol with a high content of congeners provokes a hangover syndrome.

Drinks with a high content of congeners include:

  • red wine;
  • bourbon whiskey;
  • cognac;
  • tequila.

Alcohol with low levels of congeners include:

  • white wine;
  • rum;
  • vodka;
  • gin.

In addition, recent studies show that the carbon dioxide that forms bubbles in some types of alcohol, such as champagne, makes the digestive system absorb alcohol more quickly.

When shopping for liquor, remember that some drinks are associated with an increased risk of alcohol hangover symptoms.

Advice #3 Drink in moderation and do not abuse alcohol

Almost every adult knows his alcohol limit, the increase of which leads to rapid intoxication and provokes a hangover syndrome in the morning. Also, during parties, many do not control the amount of alcohol consumed. This behavior is unsafe: it leads to negative health consequences and is the main cause of hangovers. Do not exceed your norm and do not abuse alcohol.

Tip #4 Drink plenty of non-carbonated water

Drinking alcohol is known to cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, which can lead to hangover symptoms such as thirst, headache, fatigue and dry mouth.

However, this can be avoided by alternating the intake of alcoholic beverages with still table water. Carbonated drinks, on the contrary, accelerate the absorption of alcohol. Also, water should be drunk before the start of the festive celebration and at its end.

Tip #5 Use Sorbents

To avoid a hangover, drink a sorbent 2-3 hours before or after drinking alcohol. This tool helps to cleanse the body of toxic substances and promotes their rapid elimination.

The most efficient sorbents:

  • Sorbent-A;
  • EASYsorb;
  • Sorbex Ultra №12.

Before taking them, you should carefully read the instructions for the drug. It contains all the rules for taking and dosage for people of different ages and with different weights.

Tip #6 Drink certain types of juice

Drink pear juice to prevent a hangover. Scientists believe that Chinese pears affect the enzymes (acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and alkgold dehydrogenase) that are involved in the neutralization of alcohol in the body. That is why the juice from this fruit can prevent the development of hangover symptoms.

On the Internet, you can find information about the benefits of other juices that help to avoid hangovers. However, there is very little scientific confirmation of these statements, and this problem needs additional research.

If you still couldn’t avoid a hangover and it has come, then you can take certain pills and the discomfort will go away.

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How to get rid of a hangover that has already come, with the help of tablets

Aspirin is considered the safest remedy for a hangover. Most often in a pharmacy, this drug can be found in the form of oral or effervescent tablets.

Aspirin 100 mg (1 tablet) is taken for hangover symptoms. It effectively anesthetizes (relieves headaches, dizziness), thins the blood (clears the mind) and begins to act 10 minutes after ingestion.

Please note that aspirin over 100 mg for hangovers may cause side effects.

In addition to it, you can also drink other drugs, for example:

  • Medichronal;
  • Alcoclean;
  • Antipohmelin;
  • Alco-sorb;
  • Alcodez IC.

Hangover pills, capsules and powders should be taken according to the instructions and it is highly undesirable to independently increase their recommended dosage, as this can lead to negative health consequences.