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Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness refers to the percieved soreness or tender state of muscle tissue following physical exercise, usually manifesting after a short delay (and hence its common name of 'delayed onset muscle soreness' or DOMS).

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Things To Know & Note

Also Known As

Delayed onset muscle soreness, DOMS

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect muscle soreness
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b - High See all 3 studies
Although one study suggests a decrease, most evidence suggest no significant influence
grade-c Notable - See study
The lone study using citrulline acutely pre-workout noted a 40% reduction in muscle soreness the following two days after the workout.
grade-c Minor - See 2 studies
It is possible bromelain might reduce muscle soreness, but currently the evidence does not support this claim (although the trial to note a failure of bromelain also noted a failure with Ibuprofen, a known active drug)
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
A possible reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness, but this topic is a bit contested
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in muscle soreness has been noted with catechin ingestion
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
The decrease in muscle soreness appears to correlate with the reduced muscle damage
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in muscle soreness has been noted in the one study conducted in athletes (when measured at week 4 only) to the degree of around 23%, but muscle soreness was not overly high in the study to begin with
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in muscle soreness has been noted with MSM preloads before exercise
grade-c Minor - See study
May decrease muscle soreness at high doses, with the efficacy of lower doses uncertain.
grade-c Minor - See study
A possible reduction in muscle soreness the day after exercise may result when preloading exercise with Vitamin C
grade-c - - See study
Perceived muscle soreness and pain from a workout was unaffected by anatabine supplementation.
grade-c - - See study
Despite the reduction in muscle damage and increased rate of recovery, there are no significant changes in subjective muscle soreness
grade-c - Moderate See 2 studies
No significant influence on muscle soreness when assessed 2-3 days after exercise that is preloaded with BCAA supplementation
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence on perceived muscle soreness following exercise with HMB supplementation
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on perceived muscle soreness
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence of betaine supplementation of subjective ratings of muscular soreness nor the pump relative to placebo.
grade-d - - See study
500 mg of a potent extract failed to reduce muscle soreness in healthy, recreationally active participants. These results can't be extrapolated to people with highly sore muscles or people undergoing intense physical exercise.
grade-d - - See study