24 hours to 48 hours after a hard workout, most people begin to experience soreness in the body parts trained. This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS.
DOMS is caused by tiny microscopic tears that occur in the muscle as a result of high intensity exercise (such as weight training, intense cycling, etc). After the workout, the muscle begins to rebuild itself (provided it is allowed enough time and nutrients to recover). This is the rebuilding process which creates new muscle that is bigger and stronger than before. In other words, your muscles are growing. Your muscles grow when you are at rest – not when you’re at the gym.
Generally this muscle fatigue is caused by “micro trauma” to muscle fibers, as a result the muscle becomes swollen which causes enough pressure to stimulate pain receptors.
When working out, you apply stress to your muscles. When lifting weights for example you actually tear your muscles, then they regrow back together creating stronger/larger muscles. This stress and tearing will lead to fatigue of the muscles, resulting in sore muscles.
A way to prevent this, is to drink plenty of water and eat high amounts of potassium and protein.
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