How does sore muscles develop?

Anyone who has ever been physically active, knows him - the sore muscles. But what exactly is soreness and how does it arise?
For energy generation, the aerobic (with oxygen) and the anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolic pathways are available to the muscle. The fuels used are carbohydrates and fats. In the aerobic route, these fuels produce water and carbon dioxide (CO2), which are exhaled through the lungs. This requires oxygen. This route can be exploited during moderate stress such as walking.

"Acid" muscles?

With heavy loads the body needs more energy, which must be provided quickly. The oxygen transport is overwhelmed and draws on the anaerobic metabolic pathway, whose end product lactate (= salt of lactic acid) is. The more intense the muscle work, the more lactate is formed. Degradation of lactate to water and carbon dioxide is slower in exercise situations than lactate production in muscle cells. The consequence is an overacidification of the muscle. Mistakenly, this was previously thought to be the cause of muscle soreness. The hyperacidity hypothesis had to be rejected for various reasons:

  • Soreness only occurs with a delay to the operation. At this time, lactate is already mined.
  • Soreness usually occurs only at high stress of an untrained body. However, lactate is also produced by experienced athletes.

miniature injuries

The so-called muscle soreness denotes muscle pain, which occur after a time delay after unusual physical activity. Today, sports physicians assume that muscle soreness is a microtraumatization of muscle cells. Small tears of the muscle fibers and the associated blood vessels (microruptures) with local inflammation and swelling thus trigger the unpleasant pain and are responsible for the limited elasticity.

Tips and information

Some sports are especially "muscular dandruff". For example, Sports with extreme running and braking movements such as squash. Those who fall into hibernation in the cold season and then fight the fat pads in the summer, also gets problems. Continuous muscle work protects against the annoying pain. Furthermore, it helps to warm up sufficiently before training and to stretch the muscles after exercise. If the sore muscles are there, a warm bath or a sauna visit is beneficial. This increases the blood circulation and facilitates the healing process.

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