Runners warming up
Runners warming up

What helps against sore muscles?

First the work, then the pleasure. After too much physical work, this is not always true. Whether with rake and shovel in the garden, untrained to sports or excessive strength training, certainly everyone has had muscle soreness. If the strain was too great, it will spread after two days at the latest. Scientists suspect that the cause of muscle soreness is small injuries caused by overloading the muscles. They need up to seven days to recover from the strain.

Yet muscle soreness doesn't even mean bad things: it shows that the muscle is growing. Although it also initially means that muscle fibres are torn, the body repairs the damage so that the muscle is bigger in the end.

Can you prevent muscle soreness?

First of all, it is important how you train. If you are a beginner or have had a long break, it makes sense to start slowly and then gradually increase the workload. Warming up and stretching is generally useful and important to avoid injuries, but it will not protect you from muscle soreness if you overload your muscles. Stretching after a sore muscle can even be harmful and is only recommended after sufficient rest.

Although it is not scientifically proven, many athletes swear by magnesium to prevent muscle soreness. The fact is: The mineral promotes the body's own protein production. As a result, magnesium generally encourages the development of muscles. In this way, it increases performance and loosens the muscles - also and especially for sports.

So what helps with sore muscles?

There has been a lot of debate among experts as to whether you should continue to train with sore muscles or not. In the meantime, the experts have agreed: Exercising with sore muscles doesn't help, but many still feel better if they keep exercising. However, the experts recommend exercising with the handbrake on, because otherwise the risk of a serious muscle injury such as a torn muscle fibre increases.

The good news is that a bath can be good for sore muscles. However, opinions differ on whether warm or cold water works better.

Bathing for sore muscles

Competitive athletes are increasingly turning to cool baths. Directly after sport, they go into a so-called ice bath, which is supposed to regenerate the muscles quickly, inhibit inflammation and relieve swelling and pain. The water temperature is no more than 15 degrees Celsius - so it's not for frostbite.

A warm bath can also be beneficial for sore muscles. The reason: the warm water temperature stimulates the blood circulation and the metabolism. The muscles relax and the increased metabolism means that damage (such as sore muscles) is repaired more quickly.

But which variant should you choose now? It is best for every athlete to find out for themselves what is good for their body. Those who want to combine regeneration with relaxation after fitness should rather opt for a warm bath.

For even greater well-being: the right bath additive

With the right bath additive, bathing can be even more effective for sore muscles or immediately after sport. Refreshing and vitalising essences can additionally support regeneration and make you long for the next sports session. Scents such as juniper, devil's claw or arnica are particularly suitable for this.