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Medical Well-researched nutrition information

  1. Jul 17, 2008 #1
    I started working out again after a long break, and my muscle fatigue is lasting for days, really destroying my motivation to stick to my schedule. I was just wondering if anyone knew of any legitimate, well-researched nutrition information, supplements, or techniques that I should know of to deal with this? I'm not sure I trust BodyBuilding.com, which advocates use of creatine, Branched Chain Amino Acids, and ice baths.

    Thanks ahead of time!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2008 #2
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Are you sure it's not something that you're overlooking? Are you slowly building back up with your exercise/fitness routine, or are you doing too much, too often? How's your diet at the moment? Are you eating a relatively well-balanced diet with adequate nutrition, or do you need to clean up your food intake? Are you getting adequate sleep and rest? Are you stretching regularly and warming up and cooling down properly?

    I've used creatine in the past (works pretty well, but I didn't use it when starting back up on an exercise routine) - but you'd get better results AFTER you've established a baseline of physical exercise instead of relying upon it from the get-go. Ice baths do work, but I'm not sure I've heard of people using them to reacclimate themselves to an exercise routine. Never tried BCAAs myself, but I've heard positive and negative comments about them.
  4. Jul 17, 2008 #3
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    I'm starting up slowly, so slowly that I'd rather not say what my exercise regimen is. Honestly, my diet has always been the most neglected aspect of my fitness, but I abhor junk food and I drink soda maybe once in a blue moon. I eat a lot of rice (I'm Chinese, go figure) with veggies and meat, but mostly meat. I was hoping to supplement instead of changing my eating habits, but I'm willing to do so if need be. Everything else is just fine.

    I'm somewhat skeptical of anything other than vitamin or mineral supplements, due to a certain phobia about tinkering with my biochemistry, so I'm not likely to take creatine or BCAAs. Should I rethink this?
  5. Jul 17, 2008 #4
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    To be honest, that you're complaining of muscle fatigue that lasts for days makes me think that this is a case of overtraining. However, there's also the factor that you are getting back into a fitness routine after a long layoff - you're going to be sore and fatigued, even if you are getting back into it slowly. I don't know what your exercise "mix" is, but if you're not hitting the weights excessively (3 times a week is generally enough) and not overdoing the cardio, it's probably just your body flushing out the crud and getting used to being stressed again on a regular basis.

    You may want to look into meal replacement powders, especially after exercise. Just your basic mix of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Other than that, the biggest issues to keep in mind are adequate warm-up and cool-down before and after exercise, and getting plenty of sleep/rest, which is the oft-underappreciated side of the equation. You need to let your body repair and rebuild itself.
  6. Jul 17, 2008 #5
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    The "crud" comment makes me think maybe I should drink more water and just keep it up. Thanks for all the help, Mike!
  7. Jul 18, 2008 #6


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    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    A lot of people really do overtrain when they start out, not realizing it's overtraining. For example, how many people think that you might need to start a weight lifting routine with NO weights? If it's been a long time, just a few reps of the bar without any weights could be too much. Same for even just walking for cardio, if you have been very sedentary, just a 5 min walk on a slight incline could really strain muscles that haven't been used for a while.

    If you haven't seen a physician for a check-up in a while and are starting a new workout routine, it's good to go in for a physical and get an "all-clear" to start your workout program. Make sure this fatigue that's lasting for days isn't due to some underlying problem that you should be aware of. If it's just muscle fatigue, then backing off and more gradually picking up the routine may help.
  8. Dec 3, 2009 #7
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements


    Nutrition Supplements are something we have all heard of over the years but what exactly does the term mean. It is a fact that all the food we eat have nutritional content. Nutrition supplements are simply food in a concentrated form designed to give the benefit of eating a large quantity of food in natural form.
  9. Dec 3, 2009 #8
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Most supplements are a waste of money. Why? Because it's simply cheaper to just eat right. Eat lean meats, quality carbs, some fruit and veggies. Simply as that. Now that said, I do drink a protein shake after each workout because it's easy and has a faster absorption than eating a chicken breast.

    You should have a rest day between any workout. After all, you build muscle resting, not during workout.

    What you may be experiencing is DOMS (delayed onset muscle syndrome). I get it all the time due to my soccer sessions always being a few weeks apart. This is simply where you shock the body a bit and as moonbear said maybe go to hard too soon.

    Don't take creatine, it doesn't make you stronger, just look a bit bigger and there are plenty of side effect stories out there.

    Again, if you want to spend $50 on a tub of protein powder, great. But you can do just as good if not better with a $2 chicken breast.

    However I would suggest taking fish oil capsules. It's a natural anti-inflammatory and helps the your joints. Take 3-4g daily.

    Ice baths do work. I used to do them all the time. Immediately after a hard workout, chug a protein shake. Then turn on the cold water in your tub. Take a bag of ice or a bucket of freezer ice and dump it in the bath. It really sucks and I usually start swearing a storm getting in, but you will get fairly used to it. If you start going numb then you have it a bit cold and you should get out. When you get the temp right, you should be in there for 20min. I usually get my laptop in the bathroom and play a tv show to pass the time. The next day I am still sore, but much much better than if I had not. Pro athletes do this after most games. It works.
  10. Dec 3, 2009 #9
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Hi there,

    It took me many years to find out a "miracle" solution against muscle sorreness. For years I was doing alot of sports, like training, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and sometimes all in one day. I could suffer for a few days of over working my body.

    One day, my wife saw me in one of these state, and told about a revolutionary method against muscle pain. OK it is not so revolutionary, but it works: MAGNESIUM. Magnesium is the essence of muscle contraction. It will not help you grow, it will not make you slim. It will only make you last longer and recuperate faster. Give fuel to your muscles and you can keep on going. And I am not talking about the super heavy-duty stuff you buy in a fancy store, just buy some dissolving tabs of magnesium at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Get the cheapest one possible (there anyway more or less the same) and take one or two tabs a day. You might see some very good results, anyways worked for me.

  11. Dec 3, 2009 #10
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    It's Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness.
  12. Dec 3, 2009 #11
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    I advise against taking information from internet sources regarding training. Most of what is out there is pure ****.

    I dont know details about your training program, but for anyone (regular ppl, I dont talk about athletes) who gets back in training after a very long period or is training for the first time, I recommend to begin with a simple general conditioning program for 4 to 12 weeks depending on age and fitness levels. I usually design it in a way which produce adaptations over a pretty large spectrum, but it's main purpose is to enhance the work capacity of the organism. This include aerobic work too. Essentially, recovery is driven by aerobic processes and having a strong foundation on which you can later build strength / hypertrophy / power / whatever work is important.

    The most important "supplements" for any athlete are : adequate nutrition and adequate sleep. Make sure you eat balanced, that your protein and CHO requirements are met. Make sure you go to bed early and sleep enough. I cannot stress enough the importance of sleep.

    Ice baths, contrast baths, sure they are things which DO work. But many of those are required only in advanced athletics , in high intensity and shock microcycles.

    The question which you ask yourself in the first place is if the training program is adequate to your current level of preparedness. It may be too much for you to handle. Its kinda unwise to look for supplements and artificial means to cut back on DOMS so soon after you started training. The silver bullet is in persistence and consistence, not in supplements. If you are unsure how to proceed, hire a good PT for several months, just to get you booted.

    Don't forget, adequate nutrition and quality sleep !
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  13. Dec 3, 2009 #12
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    And speaking about quality nutrition information, you can find all you need in this book:


    A new edition is due shortly, and it worth every penny. You will find accurate information and heavily referenced materials regarding a lot of topic in nutrition applied in athletics. All authors are scientists and many of them where directly involved in applied nutrition in high level athletics. Practical experience with athletes its a huge boon for scientists involved in human performance.

    The information you are likely to find on internet is mostly driven by marketing and money coming from the supplementation industry. Another part is purely mythical in nature. For 70 USD, the price of this book, you can save yourself a lot of pain of trying to discern between myths , plain lies , and accurate info floating around.

    (I am in no way associated with the publisher or editors of this book. Recommendation solely made on the basis of perceived usefulness)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  14. Dec 3, 2009 #13
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    What's wrong with creatine and ice baths?
  15. Dec 3, 2009 #14
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Ice baths are fine if done correctly. Google "creatine side effects". It doesn't even make you stronger. Just gives you a pump by retaining more water.
  16. Dec 3, 2009 #15
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    The latest article I read about muscle fatigue was "ACSM: Chocolate Milk Aids Muscle Recovery."

    I must admit that I like a morning blender drink of fruit, milk, and a scoup of GNC's Women's Ultra Mega - Maximum Nutrition Formula prior to going to the gym. Personally, the combination of exercise and the drink gives me a lot of energy throughout my busy day. :smile:
  17. Dec 3, 2009 #16
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Unless research has revealed something new in the past 5 years, creatine has been shown to increase strength gains. I don't use it now, but have used it in the past. I can't think of a single person who I have spoken to that has used it, who would claim that it didn't do anything.

    Yes, many fallacies here :) but it's still my contention.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2009
  18. Dec 3, 2009 #17
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Agreed, creatine is the first source of energy your body turns to during those high-intensity periods. It's been shown that ingesting larger amounts of creatine increases the amount of creatine available for your muscles. If you even eat high-glycemic carbs. while supplementing creatine you can increase the efficiency and available amounts of stored creatine in your muscles... (Yes this will lead you to increased strength and performance in high-intensity anaerobic excercise... the time when creatine is used as an energy source).
    Not a lot of regular people working out do this type of training though, for instance interval training making sure that when you sprint you are going full-out. High creatine also IIRC help with building muscle mass after a workout

    @OP: This won't help you with muscle-cramps though... in fact some side-effects of creatine supplements ARE sore-muscles... Ice baths do work... You never said how long your muscles have been sore though, are we talking 2 days or 2 weeks? If it's only 'pain' for about 2 days and then it goes away this is completely normal nothing to worry about you don't even have to change your exercise routine... just make sure that the soreness subsides before you go back to training.

    Make sure you are:
    -Stretching before and after training. (stretching after doesn't really help the soreness but always do this to prevent injuries and I personally think it feels good lol :tongue:)
    -Warm-up with some light excercises
    -After your work-out you should move directly into a light-aerobic exercise. During your rest period you should also be doing some light-aerobic exercises. Both of these will help and neither will decrease performance or hinder your muscles in anyway.
    -KEEP HYDRATED... this is EXTREMELY important always keep drinking preferably water or some sort of sports drink during your training. By the time you feel thirsty you are ALREADY dehydrated.
    -Massages work wonders
    -Ice baths do work... if your interested in doing that.
    -Make sure your work out routine is set up so that you can meet the goals you are trying to acheive through working out.

    Make sure that you know the difference between accute muscle pain and DOMS. Acute muscle soreness is very abrute and sharp; you should see a doctor. If your soreness lasts more than a week you should probably also go see a doctor.

    Something that I used to do so that soreness wouldn't interupt my training was train different areas of my body on different days. After awhile of training and your body becomes used to it the soreness after a good workout should feel more good than painful. :smile:
  19. Dec 3, 2009 #18
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  20. Dec 3, 2009 #19


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    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Sounds like you are experiencing DOMS. Is the soreness the worst on the second day?

    I've been working out for over 21 years with weights and I still to this day get sore for a couple of days.

    I can tell you from personal experience that Amino Acids have always improved my recovery time.

    Creatine has never had any effect on my recovery but I have noticed that it increases my stamina in the gym and provides me with a "pump" while working out (i.e. my muscles feel pumped up).

    All that being said, different peoples' bodies react slightly different to supplements. I would suggest consulting your physician for proper medical advice.

    Hope this helps.

  21. Dec 3, 2009 #20
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    chicken breasts are great. so are eggs and milk and lean red meat and fish. but there's absolutely nothing wrong with a tub of protein powder, it's a rather thrifty way to get a little extra protein and it's convenient.

    fish oil is great stuff, yes it is. you may want to go as high as 10g/day. not sure there's any proof it helps joints, but they may at least feel better.

    but you are absolutely wrong about creatine. it is one of the few supplements that actually does work. there are a ton of studies on Pubmed to confirm it works. and there's no proof i'm aware of these undesirable side effects unless you're taking 200g/day like one dummy did. and even then, the symptoms correlate just fine with someone overexerting themselves in the gym to induce rhabdo, which happens more often in the Crossfit cult.
  22. Dec 3, 2009 #21
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    First off, the OP (faitswulff) asked the question almost a year and a half ago and never returned to the topic. At this point in time, we are only speculating what might have been the actual cause for his or her mention of *muscle fatigue*. One thing we do know to a degree is a “long” period prior to the person ‘working out again’ seemed to result in the person becoming discouraged after having used muscles that may have not been used which might have resulted in *muscle weakness*. Hopefully, Faitswulff has resumed a healthy lifestyle and enjoying the benefits of it.

    Since there is now a discussion about creatine, Medline Plus, a service of U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, outlines the pro’s and con’s about Creatine. The page was last updated on August 26, 2009.

  23. Dec 4, 2009 #22
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Hi there,

    You can definitely go with some state of the art supplement, but there is nothing that replaces good healthy living. If you want protein, eat a steak, with some "not too cooked" eggs as a side dish. After that one, even Mr.O would not need any more protein for that day. And you have some other good stuff with it.

    I would just be very very careful before starting with any supplement diet. Make sure that your body can process it, that it does not store it, and that it might be useful for your lifestyle. Some supplements can turn out to be uneffective, and unhealthy if you don't really need it, and your body stacks it.

    From my point of view, if you have problems recovering from too much sports, talk to a physician or a nutritionist about it. Test can be made to determine what you are laking, and what you could take to help.

  24. Dec 4, 2009 #23
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Not everyone in the world has the luxury of eating a steak. I am a big fan for fortified drinks! :!!)

  25. Dec 4, 2009 #24
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    In my experience, ppl just coming into strength training lack the most common sense. They have unrealistic expectations just about everything regarding their progress. They want the fat they got on them in 10 years off in a month, they want to become strong overnight. When they see that reality is a bit different, they start to look after silver bullets. And soon all falls down, and 90% of them quit in another 1-2 months.

    How about some plain old skool common sense ? Patience, consistence , persistence. Unfortunately we have no tests for those :P Rome wasn't built in a day.
  26. Dec 4, 2009 #25
    Re: Nutrition/Supplements

    Eating right after excercising also works. More of the energy from the food will then go into your muscles.

    What also works is doing a light exercise a few hours after the main exercise. This brings extra energy to the muscles and help them to recover faster.
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