If you exercise frequently, you should be quite familiar with the pain of sore muscles. The cause of this is from the microscopic tears you created in your muscle fibers during exercise. The harder you work, the more damaged your muscles become. This is what is known as delayed onset muscle soreness. When this happens, a lot of people resort to ice packs or ibuprofen to help them get relief. But recently, multiple studies have shown that some vitamins can help you reduce these pains and can even help you prevent them. The following are the three vitamins that are most effective for alleviating muscle pain.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble essential vitamin that is abundantly found in all fruits and vegetables. This vitamin participates in several important biochemical reactions in your body, including collagen generation, fatty-acid metabolism and neurotransmitter creation. This vitamin is also a well known antioxidant.
Vitamin C can help you reduce muscle soreness in two ways.
- Lactic acid removal: During or immediately after your exercise, your muscles have excessive amounts of lactic acid and metabolic wastes built up from the exertion. When this occurs, you feel an acute burning sensation in your muscles. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties will help you speed up the removal of the lactic acid and other metabolic waste and reduce your recovery time.
- Increase collagen production: Collagen constitutes 1% to 2% of your muscle tissue and 6% of your tendons. It is the protein that serves as the glue that holds your muscle fibers together. Increasing collagen production by increasing your vitamin C level will help your post-workout muscle tears heal faster.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is also prevalent in a variety of foods. Avocados, asparagus, milk and nuts have especially high levels of vitamin E. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from lipid free radicals. It does this by finding, binding and removing these free radicals so they do not bind and react with your cell membranes.
During strenuous exercise, the level of free radicals increases dramatically, subjecting your muscle cells to more attacks. By regular intake of vitamin E, your muscles cells will be better protected from damage and your post workout healing process will also be accelerated.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nonessential fat-soluble vitamin. It is considered nonessential because it can be synthesized by your body. However, an abundance of vitamin D is also found in foods like fish and milk. The production of vitamin D occurs on your skin with the aid of sunlight.
Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium for your bones and muscles. Studies have shown that vitamin deficiency can lead to the weakening of your bones and muscles, and can cause chronic muscle fatigue, soreness and increase the likelihood of muscle cramps.