A heavy feeling of listlessness in the limbs after a sprint or a workout is quite a common experience. Muscle fatigue happens in the most unanticipated times; you can never know that you have exercised more than that required by your body until a painful heaviness spreads through your limbs. It reduces the ability of the muscles to generate strength and stimulate a contraction, thus rendering the limbs ineffectual. And yes, the soreness is meant to stay for a good period of time!
Muscle fatigue can be quite irksome. As said, a muscle fatigue takes it own time before healing and the medication rarely, if at all, helps in strangling the heaviness completely. This article brings to you ten ways to overcome muscle fatigue which should help to alleviate the lassitude if not erase it completely.
10. Head back to the Gym
For all those people out there who eagerly wait for their workout session to get over, this one is a bitter medicine for you! A mild exercise comprising basic stretching and jogging, after a round of workout has proved to be effective in overcoming muscle fatigue.
A workout session causes the muscles to wear down, consequently decreasing their oxygen supply. This leads to anaerobic respiration causing the formation of lactic acid which in turn causes the muscle fatigue. Light exercise increases the blood flow to the muscles without straining them, thus preventing anaerobic respiration and facilitating speedy recovery and reducing soreness.
9. Have amino-acid rich food
Consuming body building foods enhances the cell division activities in the body, thereby replacing the strained muscle tissues at a quicker pace. A regular diet of food rich in amino-acids not only helps in overcoming the fatigue but also strengthens the muscles inhibiting a spasm in the first place. Muesli in yogurt, lentils, beans and chicken should ideally be consumed. A poor protein diet during a muscle fatigue can have a negative effect on muscle repair as it depletes the muscles of its existing nutrients to synthesize proteins.
8. Eat bananas
Eating bananas is perhaps the simplest way to maintain healthy muscles and keep muscle fatigue and spasms at bay. A banana smoothie is not just joy for the taste buds but it also works wonders in overcoming a fatigue. Bananas are a good source of Magnesium which helps the body synthesize proteins and strengthens the muscles preventing them from getting fatigued. They contain Potassium that helps transform glucose into glycogen proving energy to the muscles fostering faster recovery. Potassium also exhibits electrolytic behaviour which naturally prevents fatigue and spasms. They are also abundant in vitamin B-6 which relaxes the muscles, again preventing fatigue of the muscles.
7. Apply an Ice Pack
Applying ice has historically been an effective method for treating muscle fatigue. Application of ice to the sore muscle should be preceded by mild stretching. Stretching aids the muscle in release toxins which when followed by an ice pack helps cool them down and expedite their repair. A method, commonly known as PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is quite helpful. Only one precaution is required, do not apply ice to bare skin or it may cause numbness and death of tissues.
6. Increase the intake of fluids
Drinking high amounts of water is perhaps the most ubiquitous manner of restoring the natural balances of the body. Its benefits are not overstated. It hydrates the muscles and loosens them up leading to a quicker convalescence from the fatigue. It helps wash out the toxins and wastes that prevent the muscle from recovering from the spasm.
Juices, especially Apple juice, should be taken at regular intervals. Studies have shown that apples contain polyphenols which are instrumental in enhancing muscular strength and fatigue resistance. Consuming milk is also important during muscle fatigue. Apart from its protein content, it contains Calcium which helps regularise the Ca+ ions which cause the fatigue in the first place.
5. Try Natural Remedies
Essential oils like Eucalyptus come handy in reducing the soreness that emanates from muscle fatigue. Application of essential oils helps dilate the sore muscles thereby making them more receptive to treatments. Epsom Salts are also extremely effectual in overcoming a muscle fatigue. Epsom Salts contain large amounts of Magnesium that is absorbed through the skin. Magnesium promotes the repair of damaged muscles quicker than any other substance. Fresh or dried Rosemary leaves also provide assistance in muscle repair. It can be easily absorbed through the skin, as such a wash made by boiling Rosemary leaves in water can help relax the muscles and speed the healing process.
4. Take a Swim
A fatigued muscle makes it almost impossible to go for a swim. Notwithstanding, if one still enters the pool, swimming can prove to be an unbelievable muscle relaxant and help reduce the fatigue. The regular movement of muscles against water stretches them out and reduces the heaviness in them. The cold water reduces the trauma to the muscles and prevents them from stiffening which could otherwise deteriorate the muscle fatigue. In addition to this, cold water constricts the blood vessels for sometime which helps reduce the inflammation and catalyze the recovery.
3. Analgesics and Massage
Aspirin, Paracetamol and the likes come in handy when immediate relief from the pain is required. However, the pain relapses in a few hours. Instead, analgesic balms help to overcome the fatigue by directly impinging the sore region. Although there is very little scientific evidence that balms work, they generally provide immense relief.
The balm shows better results if is used in conjunction with a massage of the fatigued muscle. Compression and approximation massage techniques generally show good results in the case of muscle fatigue. One, however, needs to take care that the massage remains gentle or it can worsen the fatigue. Either way, who does not like a comforting massage?
2. Hot and Cold Shower
People who are habituated to taking cold showers straight after a workout session are generally less prone to muscle fatigue. This is because cold shower constricts the blood vessels in the muscles thus preventing lactic acid formation.
A shower is also helpful in offsetting a muscle fatigue. Infact, alternating between hot water and cold water in the shower is one of the most effective remedies for muscle fatigue. Studies show that the recovery rate increases by thirty percent if one alternates between hot and cold water in the shower. The cold shower constricts the muscles, decreasing the flow of blood to them. The hot shower works in the opposite direction and increases the flow of blood. This rhythmic pattern reduces soreness and makes muscles healthy.
1. Undisturbed sleep
People generally underestimate the wonders of sleep in the healing process because it is such an obvious phenomenon. What they oversee is that sleeping is necessary for all the vital actions that take place in the body. It is the best way to overcome muscle fatigue. A long, undisturbed sleep is analogous to fasting and is catabolic to muscle repair. However, one has to make sure that he does not eat before sleeping; otherwise protein synthesis takes place in the gastro-intestinal tract where muscle is actually broken down to provide our stomach with amino-acid. This decreases the ability of the muscles to repair. In men, especially, sixty to seventy percent of the growth hormone secretions are released during sleep, ensuring muscle building activity and treatment of fatigue. Sleep is, unarguably, the most natural and the most effective healer.
These methods are tried and tested and are known to provide relief from the weariness of muscle fatigue. So, next time when you are unlucky enough to contract muscle fatigue, you can count on these tips for some respite from the pain.