In April of this year, I embarked upon a journey. It’s a journey I’ve embarked upon countless times in the last few years. The only difference is that this time, I completed it. I set my mind to reaching a target weight and thanks to a dedicated morning gym routine and some help from a serious case of the flu, I achieved that goal.
Having achieved that goal, and frankly having gotten bored with running, I found myself less inclined to visit the gym. I’d wake up every morning trying to drag myself out of bed to go workout, but laziness got the best of me. I needed something- a new goal to work towards. After some thought, I decided I might go back to working out with weights to tone and build some muscle mass; something I used to be very active with years back, but ended up dropping to focus on other things.
One of the biggest problems I’ve had with working with weights is the inevitable soreness that follows. Depending on the intensity of the workout, how often you work out, etc. this soreness can start right away, and last for up 2-3 days. It’s a dreadful and painful soreness that makes you not want to get out of bed and severely limits your ability to perform even the most basic physical tasks.
Some desktop research told me the technical term is DOMS, which is short for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Wikipedia tells me that the soreness is “attributed to the increased tension force and muscle lengthening” from certain types of exercises. I also learned it is the result of micro trauma, essentially tiny tears in your muscle. Now that I had figured out the reason for the soreness, the next logical step was to figure out how to prevent, or at least minimize it so that I could get back to visiting the gym often.
In doing research and talking to my extremely fit little brother, I discovered that consuming dietary protein might help alleviate or even prevent the soreness. Apparently, whey protein contains large amounts of proteins and amino acids, something the body needs and uses to repair the micro tears. Ideally consumed right after the workout, whey is a fast digesting source of protein that boosts muscle recovery after an intense workout. Experts recommend taking it with carbohydrates to facilitate faster delivery to the muscles. Apart from preventing soreness, it is also said to have numerous other benefits like boosting immunity, promoting heart health, preventing cancer, and more.
I poked around on Amazon and found it wasn’t cheap. I visited Decathlon, my favorite sports store chain, and found it was still expensive (almost € 25 for a kilo), but surprisingly a bit cheaper than Amazon. During my visit to the store, I also found there are different types of proteins, each with its own benefits. I found a chart that I have recreated below that proved to be very useful in helping me choose the right type of protein.
Getting to the point, I have been performing short medium intensity workouts for the last 2 days, and consuming the recommended 30g of whey protein isolate powder with milk within 30 minutes of my workout. The result: an awesome feeling of positivity and well-being thanks to the workout, with little to no soreness, thanks to the protein.