Muscle Soreness After Working out: How To Prevent It?

Muscle Soreness After Working out: How To Prevent It? (Image via Pexels)
Muscle soreness after working out (Image via Pexels)

Some amount of muscle soreness is a normal part of your fitness journey. It's also a good indicator of the effectiveness of your workout plan. However, excessive soreness can be a sign of overtraining, CNS fatigue, or a poor diet.

Beginners are especially prone to soreness, especially during the first month of their lifting career. This phenomenon is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is also seen when you return to working out after a long training break.

Symptoms may range from slight tenderness in the muscles to debilitating pain and immense discomfort. However, there're ways to manage and reduce these symptoms, which we will discuss below:

How to Prevent Muscle Soreness after Working Out?

Here're a few ways:

1) Get enough sleep


Sleep is crucial for every athlete. Not only is it time for the body to recover and build new muscles, sleep is also responsible for regulating testosterone levels. Seven to eight hours of sleep is a good target to aim for.

For better sleep, try out the following tips:

  • Avoid using electronics one hour before sleep
  • Consume caffeine early in the day
  • Consume melatonin supplements
  • Consume milk/dairy products for dinner
  • Use a sleep mask

2) Increase your protein intake


A fundamental mistake many make is adding too little protein to their diet. Adequate protein intake is required to promote hypertrophy and muscle recovery.

That does not mean you need to go overboard. Consume 0.82 grams/lb of protein per pound of bodyweight for optimal results. If you're overweight, try to consume your height (in cm) worth of protein.

3) Hydrate yourself

Adequate hydration is necessary for post-workout recovery. You should aim to consume a minimum of 0.75-1 gallon of water a day, along with 1-1.5 litres of water per hour of training.

4) Get moving

Active recovery methods like walking, swimming, and yoga help dissipate lactate build-up, increase blood circulation, and reduce inflammation. Additionally, it aids in boosting endurance, enhancing technique, and minimizing muscle soreness.

5) Do foam-rolling


Foam rollers can act as a self-massaging tool for relaxing muscle knots, improving range of motion, and providing pain-relief.

Tip: Want a foam roller substitute that's incredibly affordable? A lacrosse or golf ball from a nearby sporting goods store can be used for self-massage and pain alleviation. Additionally, you can concentrate with extreme precision on particular knots and regions.

6) Stretch

Performing yoga, mobility routines, and regular stretching can help with reducing muscle soreness after a workout.

7) Supplement with creatine and citrulline

Both citrulline and creatine have been shown to increase work capacity, endurance ,and strength output. They're also useful for reducing post-workout recovery and reducing lactic acid accumulation.

8) Warm up properly before working out

Make sure you perform some kind of dynamic warm-up to prime your body before starting any workout. More blood flow and circulation can prevent injuries while enhaning recovery.

9) Try cryotherapy/ice baths

Cold is a natural pain suppressant. It also helps reduce inflammation and in turn muscle soreness.

10) Take adequate rest in between workouts

Giving body parts 24-48 hours to recover between workouts is ideal. Aim to work out each body part 2-3 times weekly.

11) Take NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen should be taken as a last resort in case of serious pain.

Bonus Tips

  • Try a steam room
  • Get a massage
  • Try cupping, contrast therapy
  • Soak in an Epsom-salt bath
  • Use a massage gun
  • Alternate between hot and cold showers
  • Direct Icing over target area


Muscle soreness is an integral part of muscle building that has to be managed properly for proper recovery and hypertrophy. Try the aforementioned tips to enhance your post-workout recovery and prevent excessive soreness.

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