The Best Answer
The best thing you can do is actually nothing! The majority of muscle repair and muscle building happens while your sleeping, so the more rest you give them, the faster they will recover. Many people overlook this fact despite how important it is.
The next best thing you can do is eat, protein specifically, but also enough carbs and good fats. Muscles need extra protein to repair the damage. Insulin is also needed to synthesize muscle protein, which is why you need carbs to raise your insulin levels, especially after working out. And fat is needed to keep your testosterone levels high (flax oil works well), prevent your muscles from breaking down, among other things.
So just eat, drink, and sleep peacefully and your muscles will be happy campers.
Try taking 500mg of Bromelain (2000gdu), an enzyme from pineapples which is a little trick used by boxers to speed up healing of soft tissue injuries. When you overwork a muscle to the point of soreness, bits of muscle fiber actually break off. These tiny scraps of protein clog the muscle, resulting in pain and inflammation. Bromelain is the vacuum cleaner that goes around and picks up the debris floating around in your muscle and then breaks it down via digestion. Once the waste products are eliminated, pain and stiffness go away. Take it on an empty stomach between meals to ensure it reaches to your muscles rather than digesting food in your stomach.
You can also use Papain, a papaya enzyme, it works in a similar fashion.
Actually, lactic acid is not what causes muscle soreness the next day, since lactic acid is fully flushed from your muscles within an hour of working out. What your talking about is a condition called DOMS, which stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It basically means that you've lifted too much weight and damaged your muscle with tiny little tears in the fibers, which becomes inflamed and sends out little cries of pain to you the next day.
The best thing you can do about muscle soreness is to prevent it from happening in the first place by increasing weight gradually, and stretching/warming up before you workout. But once the muscle is torn, there's really no miracle fix, but you can take supplements like L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, BCAAs, and HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate) to help speed along recovery time and reduce muscle breakdown overnight while you're asleep.
You can minimize muscle soreness by warming up properly before you exercise and cooling down and stretching afterward. It shouldn't take long and you only need to warm up the parts you're working out that day.
If you already have soreness, alternate with hot/cold packs, which will increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients into the muscle and flush out fragments of torn muscle fibers out of the muscle.
Stretching is key to reducing soreness after weight lifting, yet you rarely see body builders doing it. Like someone mentioned already, stretching flushes out lactic acid buildup in your muscles. It also improves your flexibility. I have a sauna in my gym and I stretch in there while my muscles are nice and warm. Try it and see if that helps.
After doing leg exercises, you're supposed to use the stationary bike for 3 minutes to reduce soreness. It has the same effect of stretching, which removes lactic acid from your muscles. You're also supposed to take L-Glutamine to reduce soreness, about 10-30 grams after working out. Read the section on Occam's Prescriptions for specifics on the initial loading period of L-Glutamine.
I totally agree with 4hourbod. warm up stretch, gradual increase and his supp recommendations. i cant tell you a couple additional supplement that really helped me in addition to taking his recommendations. Source Naturals Tribulus Olympian Labs A-AKG Powder (pre workout), Extract, ZMA (before bed), whole food vit c (after work out) Creatine Glycerol Phosphate (Ingredients: Creatine-Glycerol-Phosphate 10 g, Potassium 720 mg 20%, Alpha-Lipoic Acid 100 mg, Magnesium 75 mg, Calcium 50 mg 5%)
i know everyone is different but these 4 things have helped me to recover faster and become stronger than i have ever been! i was kind of scary lol how much stronger! after years of working out i started experimenting and found this stack that did wonders for me. good luck
Old question, but I'll leave an answer for the record:
Most antioxidants speed up recovery - that's Resveratrol, OPC (from grapeseed extract), MSM, and all those berry extracts. I once read that coffeeberry extract is the most potent antioxidant, and that athletes take it to be able to work out more often, i.e. recovery time is reduced. Alas, I have no ref for that, and I have not seen a retailer shipping coffeeberry extract within Europe. But I do take Resveratrol, OPC, and MSM, and I think Resveratrol does the most for me in this regard. Often I'd go windsprinting and in the afternoon forget about that, energy levels normal. Before taking Res, I would sometimes even fall ill after sprinting.
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