Few sports are as fun as soccer, but anyone who has played a full game knows that it can be as exhausting as it is entertaining, especially if you haven’t played in a while. The constant running up and down the field, the motion of kicking the ball, and the frequent mid-sprint changes in direction can quickly leave your legs week and your muscles sore, making it difficult to stay in the game (or even walk to your car afterward). However, just because you ran yourself ragged playing soccer doesn’t mean you have to suffer afterward. By adding an effective post-workout supplement to your routine, you can help reduce the pain of sore muscles after playing soccer and get yourself ready for your next game. For more on what supplements to look for to help reduce soreness after soccer, keep reading as the team at aminoVITAL® explains.
How to Help Muscle Soreness After Playing Soccer
Anytime someone engages in intense physical activity, such as the kind that takes place when playing soccer, some amount of damage is inflicted on their muscle tissue. The result of this damage is a condition referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. By understanding what causes DOMS, you can determine the best way to mitigate it, reducing the soreness you feel after soccer or any other type of exercise.
The first way that your muscles are damaged during a soccer game is through physical stress. Considerable force is required to propel your body forward, make a quick cut to change direction, jump into the air for a header, or send the ball flying with a powerful kick, and these forces leave their mark in the form of tiny tears in the muscle tissue. These tears cause discomfort, and only by healing them can you return your body to full strength; luckily, supplements can help hasten this recovery process.
The second cause of muscle soreness after soccer is catabolism, the process by which the body breaks tissues down to their base components to use them as a source of energy or resources. When you play soccer, you gradually use up your body’s reservoir of glycogen, a form of glucose stored in the muscles and liver and used as the go-to energy source during exercise. Once this glycogen supply runs out, your body begins breaking down your muscle cells to use the amino acids they contain as an alternative fuel source, further damaging your muscles and contributing to the soreness people tend to experience after playing soccer.
To reduce the damage to muscles from both of these sources and, by extension, limit the severity of any soreness, you should aim to do two things: prevent as much damage as possible and give your body the resources it needs to heal whatever harm is still inflicted, objectives that can be achieved through proper supplementation and nutritional support.
Supplements That Help Sore Muscles After a Soccer Game
When deciding what supplement you want to take to help sore muscles after playing soccer, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Below, we’ll go over some common options for post-workout and mid-workout supplements that can reduce soreness and aid recovery.
Most active individuals are familiar with the reputed effects of protein shakes – namely, that they can help boost muscle growth. This effect can not only improve the results of weight training, but it can also help improve recovery times after playing soccer by spurring the creation of new muscle tissue as part of the healing process. Protein shakes and powders also tend to contain lots of calories, so they’re good for those who don’t want to lose weight or who are trying to gain weight.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
The three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are leucine, isoleucine, and valine – compounds that serve a number of purposes during and after exercise. In addition to promoting the same kind of growth that conventional protein provides, these amino acids can protect the muscles from damage1, and because your body can use them as an energy source, they can keep you energized when playing soccer without forcing your system to break down muscle tissue for energy – all benefits that can help with sore muscles.
Like the BCAAs, glutamine is an amino acid that offers benefits during exercise. Studies have repeatedly shown2,3 that supplementation with this compound can reduce muscle soreness, limit the damage to muscles wrought by exercise, and help restore peak strength faster. If you frequently play soccer and experience sore muscles, glutamine might be a worthy addition to your routine.
Tart Cherry Juice
Believe it or not, tart cherry juice is becoming more and more popular as a substance that can help with post-exercise soreness. One study4 conducted using long-distance runners found that drinking this juice in the week leading up to a race and during the race led to far less muscle soreness – about three times less, in fact – which could make it a good option for helping with sore muscles after playing soccer.
Try Amino Acid Supplements to Help with Sore Muscles After Playing Soccer
Though there are a number of options when it comes to fighting sore muscles, amino acids offer perhaps the widest array of benefits, and they come with few calories and little to no sugar, too. Add the Action intra-workout mix from aminoVITAL® to a bottle of water for better hydration and muscle protection in the middle of a soccer game, or enjoy our Rapid Recovery post-workout mix for a dose of amino acids (including the three BCAAs and glutamine) plus a few grams of carbs to replenish your body’s glycogen stores. To learn more about these effective products, visit aminoVITAL® online or call (888) 264-6673 today.