Low Carb Diets and Muscle Soreness

With low carb diets all the rage lately amongst the fat loss crowd, more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, while low carb diets can definitely offer a great deal in the way of being successful at stripping the body of that pesky fat that just seems to hang around no matter what you do, there are some drawbacks to low carb dieting that you need to be aware of.

One such drawback is your recovery from your workouts and muscle soreness. Because of the fact that the body can best recover from workouts when post-workout carbohydrates are eaten (as this is the point when muscle glycogen stores - what fuel the body during exercise - are refilled the fastest), if you skip these carbs, you’re essentially shorting your recovery.

That said here are some things to keep in mind.

Introduce More Carbs Immediately After

Obviously the easiest way around this problem is to simply eat more carbs right after your workout. This really will not hinder your weight loss progress at all, as long as the total calories on that low carb diet are still in line.

Many people also do not feel very well on extremely low carb diets (less than 100 grams a day), therefore this may be a better option for them anyway.

Start with 25-50 grams of carbs after the workout and adjust as necessary.

Decrease Volume

Next, another way to improve your recovery ability and reduce muscle soreness while on a low carb diet is to reduce the overall workout volume.

Since the more sets and reps you are performing the more muscle glycogen you’re going to deplete, the fewer you do, the fewer carbs you essentially need.

Couple this with the fact that high volume training while dieting is just a recipe for disaster and muscle loss and this proves to be a very viable option.

Never Forget To Stretch

Now, when it comes to pure muscle soreness after a workout, stretching is something that you can easily do that will help with that soreness, regardless of what you’re doing diet-wise.

For the most part, many of us forget to stretch entirely, so we’re really shorting ourselves here.

Take ten minutes after your workout and just do it. When you’re crawling out of bed the next morning you’ll be thankful you did.

Consider Heat Therapy

Finally, the last thing you can do non-diet-wise for muscle soreness is apply heat to the sore muscles. While if it’s actual pain that’s present ice is likely the better option right afterwards, if it’s just that tense, knotted feeling in the muscle, heat will help increase blood flow and loosen up the muscle - which is what you want to reduce that soreness.

Hot baths, hot pads, or anything else you can think of that will heat the region will all work great.
So, if you’re on a low carb diet, make sure you keep these points in mind.