How to Recover Faster from Exercise


Is muscle soreness ruining your workouts? Have trouble sleeping at night because of muscle aches and pain? If so, you might need to reconsider your diet and training program.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can keep you from working out and reachingyour goals. It also affects general well-being, causing discomfort and extreme pain. Good nutrition and rest are the key to recovery.

What Is DOMS?

Whether you're a bodybuilder, a runner, or a weekend warrior, you've probably experienced DOMS at some point. This condition occurs 24 to 72 hours after exercise, causing muscle pain and soreness. You might have a hard time walking, getting out of bed, and resuming your daily tasks.

Unlike acute muscle soreness, DOMS occurs AFTER not during exercise. Most gym goers experience pain a day or two after training. Typical symptoms include a dull, aching pain, stiffness, tenderness, and limited range of motion. In severe cases, flu-like symptoms may occur. The discomfort usually goes away within one week.

DOMS isn't a dangerous condition. However, it can affect your workouts and overall performance. After all, no one wants to hit the gym when his body is in pain. Sometimes, the discomfort is so severe that it's mistaken for an actual injury or a muscle strain.

This condition occurs when you're training too hard or for too long. Intense exercise causes myofibril tears, which in turn, trigger inflammation and electrolyte imbalances. Basically, DOMS results from muscle damage. No one is immune to its symptoms.

The only way to prevent DOMS is to get proper rest and eat a balanced diet that supports your activity level. Sports supplements, such as caffeine, glutamine, protein, and BCAAs, can help too.

Simple Ways to Banish Muscle Soreness
From tweaking your diet to getting more sleep, there are a couple of things you can do to recover faster from DOMS. First of all, prioritize pre and post workout nutrition. What you eat before and after exercise is crucial to muscle recovery.

Your pre-workout meal should consist of protein and slow digesting carbs. After exercise, load up on protein and simple carbs. Your body will use these nutrients to heal itself and repair damaged tissues. The carbs will be stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver, leading to faster recovery. Pre- and post-workout nutrition also helps prevent catabolism and promotes muscle growth.

For faster recovery, drink protein shakes after exercise. Add up to 30 grams of carbs to your shake to replenish glycogen stores. For instance, you can mix whey protein with honey, dextrose, or mashed bananas.
Shakes are easier to digest than solid food, so the nutrients go directly into your system. Eat a regular meal 45-60 minutes later. Opt for lean protein and complex carbs, such as:

  • Chicken breast and sweet potatoes
  • Salmon and veggies
  • Lean beef and rice or quinoa
  • Tuna salad with whole grain crackers 
  • Roasted turkey with yams or grilled veggies 

Also, make sure you get plenty of rest. Along with diet and exercise, rest plays a key role in muscle growth and repair. Refrain from training the same muscle group onceevery 72 hours. Take at least two days off training every week. Your body needs time to recover. No supplement can compensate for sleep deprivation or inadequate rest.


  • Delayed onset muscle soreness affects exercise performance and general well-being. 
  • Its symptoms occur 24 to 72 hours post-training and last up to seven days. 
  • Proper nutrition and rest are critical to workout recovery.