from Dr. Lutz Graumann, sports physician
We all know the ugly visit the day after a hard training session - hello sore muscles! But how and why does sore muscles develop in the first place?
Loss of strength, pain, muscle tension, stiffness and swelling - typical symptoms of sore muscles that every athlete knows. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is an undesirable side effect of intense exercise. It is often the result of unfamiliar and predominantly eccentric exercises, such as B. downhill. Pain and disability typically peak immediately after exercise or within the first 48 hours, with full recovery generally taking more than 5 days for severe muscle soreness. The extent of the injury or damage to the muscle is often dependent on the original training condition.
What happens in our muscles during this time?
Eccentric training injures the cell membrane and triggers an inflammatory response. This inflammation leads to the synthesis of the hormone prostaglandin and the messenger substance leukotriene. The released prostaglandin causes the pain sensation. The leukotrienes increase the permeability of the vessels and attract special white blood cells (neutrophilic granulocytes) to the site of the damage. The sensation of pain can be increased by the movement of cells and fluid from the bloodstream into the inflamed spaces. The pain and stiffness may be related to the inflammatory response rather than the actual damage.
How should training and regeneration be related in terms of time?
The relationship between training and regeneration is very dependent on the state of fitness and health. For professional athletes, fatigue sets in later in special training phases with several intensive units per day. Hobby athletes and recreational athletes need more time to recover from training stimuli. It is not uncommon for them to require up to 72 hours of rest to return to baseline levels of performance. Regardless of the sport level, the following applies: If another training stimulus occurs during this period of regeneration, the required rest is extended and, in the worst case, ends in a downward spiral or causes an increase in the risk of infection and injury.
What are the consequences of neglecting regeneration?
Without adequate recovery, an intense training stimulus inevitably creates overload, overtraining and, in the worst case, injury.
It is not without reason that leading sports scientists and sports physicians are of the opinion that the Tour de France is not won by the professional cyclist who rides the best bike, but rather by the one who regenerates best.
Because by the second of the three-week race at the latest, the drivers are exhausted and no longer able to deliver their absolute top performance. They then get on their bikes already tired. This becomes visible in the changed blood values with increased inflammation markers, lower hematocrit and iron values, increased occurrence of gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections and a "sluggish" heart rate.
DR. LUTZ GRAUMANN
dr Lutz Graumann is a doctor specializing in sports medicine, chirotherapy and nutritional medicine. His focus is on promoting individual performance.
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