Reduce Muscle Soreness—With Caffeine?

New research indicates that consuming caffeine before a workout can actually reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. Learn what the experts say at STACK.com.

Sore Muscle

Starting a new training program or revamping your workout may seem novel and exciting—until the days following, when you can hardly move without debilitating muscle soreness.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is caused when you shock your muscles with loads they're not accustomed to. It usually begins 12 to 24 hours after a workout, and the worst pain is experienced up to three days afterwards. [1]

We've all been there. Simply walking is often a difficult task, never mind working out.

There are some things you can do to reduce the pain, such as foam rolling and active recovery. However, you pretty much have to weather the storm.

Fortunately, a new study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that consuming caffeine before a workout may reduce the intensity of DOMS.

Subjects who consumed caffeine experienced significantly lower levels of soreness two and three days after a workout—typically when the pain is most severe. Also, consuming caffeine in the following days further reduced soreness. [2]

Although you will probably still experience some level of DOMS, it may not be quite as intense if you drink coffee. You'll be able to continue your normal training schedule and work out at a high level of intensity because you won't be fighting through soreness. Plus, you'll feel less miserable.

This evidence is another reason why you may want to consider consuming caffeine prior to your training. It's also been found to boost your performance. Just consume it in moderation and always stay hydrated.

References:

[1] American College of Sports Medicine (2011). Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Retrieved November 8, 2011.
[2] Hurley, C. (2013). "The Effect of Caffeine Ingestion on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness." Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 3101-3109.


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Topics: WORKOUTS | COFFEE | SPORTS | RECOVERY | SPORTS MEDICINE | STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING | INTENSITY | MUSCLE SORENESS | WORK OUT | TRAINING SCHEDULE | FOAM ROLLING