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Heart & Muscle Health

Recovering from Muscle Fatigue after Exercise

If you are embarking on a healthier lifestyle by going to the gym or preparing to run a marathon, you may already be experiencing some level of muscle fatigue.

What is Muscle Fatigue?

After exercising it is perfectly reasonable for muscles to ache: this is called muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue tends to occur when an exercise or activity is pushed beyond a person’s current endurance level – so when we are trying to increase muscle strength or our general fitness, it is fair to assume that our endurance level will regularly be surpassed. Depending on its severity, muscle fatigue can be an ache which can in a severe case limit a person’s movements and prevent further training sessions, or it can just make day to day chores a little more difficult. In most cases, any aching from muscle fatigue will slowly and naturally reduce over the course of a few days, depending on how strenuous the activity has been. To some degree, age is a factor in recovery from muscle fatigue.

Supporting Muscle Health

muscle fatigue after exercise
Stretching & warm-ups before exercise should be considered as important as the exercise itself.

Stretching & Warm-ups before exercise – It is surprising how many of us still skip a warm-up and jump straight on the cardio machines or start lifting weights. Warm ups should be seen as an integral part of exercising and a simple 5-minute stretch and slow start to any cardiovascular exercise program will loosen joints and increase blood flow to the muscles. Studies have shown that warm-up routines can also help focus the mind and aid mental preparation for any exercise ahead. Most important of all, warming up before any physical activities, significantly reduces the risk of injury.

Stretching & Cooldowns after Exercise Just like warming up, cooling down is just as important. Cooldowns with low-intensity activities such as slow walking, can help prep your body for future exercise sessions and reduce the risk of dizziness or fainting by gradually rather than abruptly returning the heart rate and breathing to a resting level.

Ice and Heat Therapy – For instant support from Muscle Fatigue, apply ice or heat packs to the aching area for around 10 minutes. Cold / Hot baths can be a good substitute where ice and heat packs are not available. Hot and Cold Therapy can help reduce the pain from muscle fatigue, as well as reducing swelling and soothing the affected muscles.

Change your diet – Eating cleaner can significantly aid muscle health and recovery. Reducing junk foods, pre-packaged/premade ready meals, for example, and replacing them with cleaner fresh foods, such as chicken, salads and fruit is likely to help. A protein-rich diet can also assist when aiming to build muscle strength: foods such as chicken, meat and dairy contain complex proteins known as amino acids. Some amino acids are made in our bodies, but others must come from food such as meat and dairy. If you are vegetarian or vegan other options, include quinoa, tofu, nuts, seeds for example. So, a wholemeal sandwich with nut butter spread gives us essential amino acids while a high lysine diet will automatically provide what we need. Just as an example, a quarter cup of pumpkins seeds contains 8 grams of protein and around 350 mg of lysine.

Rest after exercise – A good night’s sleep can sometimes make all the difference to a training regime and the muscle fatigue experienced. Sleep allows time for your muscles to recover.

If actively increasing your exercise consider a diverse approach – to allow different muscle groups to recover a varied approach should be considered when creating a workout plan. Just concentrating on one muscle group could significantly increase the likelihood of fatigue. A balanced plan including all muscle groups, so mixing impact training with intensity training, for example, will reduce any fatigue risk.

Drink plenty of fluids – Drinking water before, during and after workouts will help your muscles movements in that they will be able to contract and relax more efficiently. Studies show a direct connection between muscle fatigue and dehydration.

ATP Levels and Muscle Fatigue

Exercise can significantly reduce the body’s ATP levels (Adenosine triphosphate), and this reduction is experienced as a loss of energy. Large amounts of ATP can be depleted in the heart and skeletal muscles through exercise (or illness), and because it takes 72 hours to produce ATP from scratch in the body if mitochondria’s recycling is impaired, fatigue is inevitable.

Increasing the body’s supply of ATP can provide more energy for workouts and reduce any impact. In theory, the more ATP available to the muscles, the less fatigue experienced.

D Ribose is unique in supporting the production of ATP very quickly. (Most tissues in the body—especially the heart—are unable to produce ribose fast enough to restore levels once they have been depleted. D-Ribose is not a drug. It is a simple sugar produced in the body already and used by all living cells. It is part of the building blocks that form DNA and RNA molecules and is a vital component in the production of ATP.

Additional Support with D-Ribose

D-Ribose supports heart and muscle health and can be used as a pre/post workout food supplement before exercise and gym seasons, as well as a food supplement that supports energy maintenance every day.

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