Muscle Soreness After Exercise

by Ernie
(Chilliwack, B.C.)

Stretching after exercise can reduce soreness

Stretching after exercise can reduce soreness

Hi there, After exercise, my muscles remain somewhat stiff and sore for days! I was just wondering if lemon juice would ease it! I am a senior in his seventies. Thanks, Ernie

WBH response: Hi Ernie, thanks for visiting our site. As you probably know, the muscle soreness after exercise is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle, especially from higher intensity exercise such as weight training.

After working out, the muscle will begin to rebuild itself -- as long as the body has the nutrients and the time it needs to recover!

According to NHS.UK, "When muscles are required to work harder than they're used to or in a different way, it's believed to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness."

Most trainers advise working right through minor soreness. However, if you have substantial stiffness or soreness, it is wise to listen to your body and take it easy. Take an easy walk or run and skip the weights for a day or two.

The challenge is that as we age, our bodies have less and less of the stuff it needs (such as redox signaling molecules) to repair itself.

In other words, it takes longer and longer to recover. And who wants to walk around being stiff and sore all the time?

Another potential cause of the achy type of soreness in the muscles after exercise is from the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, which is very uncomfortable. In addition, any type of excess acid in the body is not conducive to optimal health.

Will drinking lemon juice ease the stiffness and muscle soreness after exercise?

Since lemon water is alkalizing in the body, drinking lemon water on a daily basis can help to reduce the buildup of lactic acid in the body and ease or even help prevent the achy type of soreness.

Secondly, it is important to drink enough water daily (especially before and after exercise) so that the excess acids in the body can be quickly and effectively eliminated. Dehydration itself can lead to muscle stiffness and soreness.

One of the best ways to ease the lactic acid buildup after exercise is to warm down by walking for 5 to 10 minutes and gently stretching. The key is to get circulation into the body parts that tend to get sore.

You will also want to drink at least 16 ounces of filtered water or lemon water after exercise to help replenish lost fluids.

Adding a high quality natural salt such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan sea salt to your lemon water will help to replenish electrolytes.

As for the type of stiffness and soreness related to muscle tears, drinking lemon juice will help to maintain immunity and support the body’s ability to repair or replace damaged cells. However, as we age it simply takes longer and thus it is important to give the body more time to heal between workouts. Simply drinking lemon water after an intense workout will most likely not give symptomatic relief.

The most effective way that I have found to prevent and/or ease muscle soreness after exercise is to take an electrolyte supplement after exercise, as well as 200-400 mg of magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate on a daily basis.

Further reading . . .

Water and Salt – Balanced Intake Are Essential for Health and Hydration

How to Replenish Electrolytes in the Body After Exercise


NHS.UK; Why Do I Feel Pain After Exercising; 2017.

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