Does Whey Protein Help With Muscle Soreness?

Back neck pain concept
Muscle soreness symptoms can be improved with whey. (Image: Catalin205/iStock/Getty Images)

If you have trouble getting out of bed the day after your intense workouts, you may be looking for ways to reduce your post-workout muscle soreness. Muscle soreness is a common response after an intense workout session. However, unexplained muscle soreness can be a sign of a medical condition that should be treated by a physician. Taking whey protein may help reduce the symptoms of muscle soreness.

DOMS

Delayed onset muscle soreness is the painful feeling that you experience after exercise. This condition can occur soon after your exercise session or in the days following and can be extremely uncomfortable and may limit the physical activities you can undertake. According to professor Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico, delayed onset muscle soreness has two primary causes. The first is lactic acid buildup within the muscle. However, Kravitz says that the primary source of delayed onset muscle soreness is tiny tears in muscle fibers known as muscle tears.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is a popular dietary supplement among athletes, particularly bodybuilders. Whey protein is formed from cow's milk and is typically found in powder form. According to the Whey Protein Institute, whey protein is a high-quality protein source that's easily digested by the body. Because it contains large amounts of muscle-building branch chain amino acids, whey protein is ideal for active people, according to the institute. Whey protein may also improve insulin sensitivity, boost immunity and promote heart health.

Evidence

Whey protein is a fast-digesting source of protein that can boost muscle recovery after strength training, the September 2007 issue of the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" reports. This review paper cites a research study that found consuming whey protein immediately after a resistance training bout reduced symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. Whey protein accelerated the healing of muscle fibers -- the underlying cause of most delayed onset muscle soreness cases.

Considerations

The "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" notes that whey protein is best taken when combined with fast-digesting carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help shuttle the protein into your hungry muscles. Also, people with lactose intolerance may not be able to tolerate whey protein. As with all dietary supplements, do not take whey protein before getting the OK from your doctor.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.