Caffeine has been found to help relieve sore muscles and even prevent them. This is great news for coffee drinking athletes and for everyone in general. Normally when you think of caffeine you think of that all important first cup of coffee in the morning. Without it, many of us are just not ready to start the day, but this can be even more true if you’re an athlete or working out on a regular basis.
Caffeine as a Painkiller
If you have ever purchased headache medicine and looked at the main ingredients, caffeine is one of them. Studies have shown that, in comparison to those only given aspirin, the combination of aspirin and caffeine had a 40% rate of better results in relieving pain. This is why you will see it showing up more and more in various pain medications. The discovery of how caffeine helps relieve sore muscles and acts as a preventative measure is very recent.
There are a few theories on why caffeine aids in the prevention of sore muscles, as well as being an aid to relieve them. One idea is in relation to blood pressure; the rise caused by caffeine causes you to feel less pain. Another theory has to do with how caffeine blocks something that helps report and promote pain receptors in the body. Either way, adding caffeine to your diet before or after a workout, does help to relieve as well as prevent sore muscles.
Faster Absorption of Painkillers and Nutrients
Caffeine has the ability to help your body absorb other painkillers as well as nutrients at a much faster rate. By adding caffeine to your pre- and post-workout routines, you will help your body replenish needed nutrients and help the muscles relax and not hurt as much as without the caffeine. It’s also noteworthy to mention that the addition of caffeine means you would need to take fewer painkillers to relieve sore muscles.
Coffee is the way most people get their caffeine throughout the day. Espresso, an Italian type of coffee, actually has less caffeine in a cup than regular coffee; it just tastes stronger because of the brewing method. Other sources of caffeine are:
- Caffeine Pills
While these are all additional sources of caffeine, the most common way to add caffeine is still through a cup of coffee. Drinking one cup of coffee before a workout can not only help boost your performance, but it will help to relieve sore muscles.
As with anything, moderation is the best plan. Drinking too much coffee or having too high a daily intake of caffeine can create a dependency on it, which will cause you to need to ingest more of it for the same effect. If your primary goal is to help reduce sore muscle pain, a cup of coffee before and after working out is recommended. Be sure not to overdo your intake of caffeine and, with regular stretching, that cup of coffee in the morning may be just what the doctor ordered for treating and preventing sore muscles.