Does drinking water help with sore muscles?
Sore muscles, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), are an inevitable part of working out or participating in physical activities. The aches and pains that come with DOMS can range from mild to severe, making it difficult to move and complete daily tasks. Many people turn to different remedies to alleviate sore muscles, but one remedy that is often overlooked is drinking water. But the question still remains, does drinking water really help with sore muscles?
Understanding DOMS and its Causes
Before we dive into the effects of water on sore muscles, it’s important to understand what DOMS is and what causes it. DOMS is muscle pain or discomfort that occurs within 24-48 hours after engaging in physical activity. It is believed that DOMS is caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibers, resulting in inflammation and pain.
The most common causes of DOMS are:
- Intense or new physical activities
- Overworking muscles
- Exercising muscles that are not warmed up or stretched properly
- Insufficient recovery time between workouts
- Lack of hydration
The Importance of Hydration for Muscle Health
Our bodies are made up of 60% water and it plays a vital role in many bodily functions. When it comes to muscle health, hydration is crucial. Our muscles are made up of about 75% water, and when we are dehydrated, our muscles are unable to function properly.
Additionally, when our muscles are dehydrated, they become more susceptible to cramps, strains, and tears. This can also lead to a prolonged recovery period for sore muscles, as they require proper hydration to heal and repair.
The Role of Water in Reducing Soreness
Hydration is important not only before and during physical activity, but also after. According to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, proper hydration before and during exercise can reduce DOMS by up to 80%. This is because water helps to flush out the toxins that are released during muscle contractions, reducing inflammation and pain.
Moreover, drinking water after a workout helps to replenish the fluids lost through sweat and promote blood circulation, which aids in the repair and recovery of muscles. This can also help to prevent the build-up of lactic acid, which is a major contributor to muscle soreness.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
Now that we understand the importance of hydration for muscle health, it’s important to know how to stay properly hydrated. The general rule of thumb is to drink 8 glasses of water per day, but this may vary depending on factors such as body weight, physical activity, and climate.
Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated:
- Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and sip on it regularly
- Drink water before, during, and after physical activity
- Eat water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables
- Avoid dehydrating beverages such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks
- Set reminders on your phone to drink water throughout the day
Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and plays a major role in reducing sore muscles. Water helps to flush out toxins, prevent the build-up of lactic acid, and promote blood circulation, all of which aid in the recovery and repair of sore muscles. So the next time your muscles are aching after a workout, make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new remedies for sore muscles.