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Carbohydrate Supplementation May Help Lower Muscle Soreness After Exercise

Intense bouts of exercise training can result in a post-exercise increase in muscle damage markers such as delayed-onset muscle soreness. According to a new study, post-race carbohydrate supplementation may help reduce muscle soreness more than protein supplementation.

Participants in the study included 323 recreational runners who took part in a 15-km road race. Participants consumed a 250 ml dairy-based protein supplement or a 250 ml iso-caloric carbohydrate drink directly after the race, and 1-day and 2-days after the race. Muscle soreness was evaluated using the Brief Pain Inventory at baseline, and 1,2-, and 3-days post-race. Muscle soreness was measured with a strain gauge algometer and creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase concentrations were also measured.

Participants in the protein group reported higher muscle soreness 24 hours after the race compared to participants in the carbohydrate group. Participants in the carbohydrate group had higher quadricep muscle pain thresholds post-race compared to the protein group. No differences were seen in creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase concentrations post-race.

The study was conducted by researchers from Radboud University Medical Center and University Medical Center Groningen.It was published online ahead of print on March 5, 2021 in the journal Nutrients.

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