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Why it may be smart to target Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

There is a difference between post-workout muscle soreness and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Understanding this distinction, and offering a targeted formula that helps mitigate DOMS, can set your active lifestyle products apart from your competition by offering unique benefits in the active nutrition space.

DOMS happens after sporadic or unaccustomed strenuous exercise. For some, muscle soreness is what can happen after pulling weeds in the garden. Regardless of the type of movement, basic muscle soreness reaches its pinnacle a few hours after activity, and continues for a day or so.

In contrast, DOMS is the outcome of pushing yourself too hard. DOMS discomfort is caused by an inflammatory response to microscopic damage to muscle cells. Characterised by elevated CPK enzymes, DOMS is the cellular repair process in response to microtrauma, not injury. It may start with muscles feeling sore and tight, then discomfort kicks in 24–48 hours later. It gets worse before it gets better.

Formulas addressing DOMS can have broad appeal

“DOMS can happen at any age and to just about anyone,” explains TSI Vice President of Business Development Shawn Baier, MS, MBA. “It can happen whenever you’re engaged in an activity that you’re not used to doing, and that pushes you beyond your usual threshold, be that shoveling snow for the first time in early winter, or suddenly increasing the intensity of workouts.”

Maybe you hike a steep trail after being sedentary for a while; or you’re trying a new exercise regimen. DOMS can be inevitable to those who are stationed at a desk during the week and load all their exercise on the weekends. The last thing you want to do is become so uncomfortable that you’re right back on the couch.

Less muscle damage = less discomfort

Baier says proactively supplementing with HMB helps to mitigate the damaging effects of intense activity.

“Its known mechanism of action is to increase protein synthesis and minimise protein breakdown. This dual mechanism has been known to blunt damage to the muscles, meaning that there’s less energy and time required for your body to recover, and you can get back to training harder and sooner. There’s a lot of talk about this on social media from hardcore athletes and weekend warriors.”

HMB’s ability to limit muscle damage from strenuous exercise has been confirmed in studies. For example, a published placebo-controlled human study involving professional soccer players found that HMB supplementation reduces muscle injury indices, significantly decreasing creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels. This is something we see all the time in our training studies as well.

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“HMB is a tool to recover more easily from higher intensity activities,” Baier concludes.