What is”bodybuilding workout hangover”?

No one likes a hangover, especially a bodybuilder. A bodybuilding hangover is extreme muscle soreness and fatigue that occurs when a heavy workout one day results in soreness the next day.


The actual cause of the bodybuilding hangover is unknown. The leading theory is that stretching and contracting a muscle causes “micro-tears,” or micro-damage, in the muscle.


Bodybuilding workouts are more intense than the light cardio and “toning up” routines that are part of more general fitness routines. If the micro-tear theory is correct, the harder a bodybuilder pushes himself, the more micro-tears he will cause.


The simplest way to prevent the bodybuilding hangover is to not push yourself as hard–but for many bodybuilders, that is like telling a fish not to swim. A study at the Human Performance Laboratory in Vermont revealed that regular consumption of cherry juice may decrease muscle fatigue.


The only “cure” for the bodybuilding hangover is time. Sleep also plays a vital role in recovery. Sleep releases growth hormone, which is responsible for building mass and repairing cells and tissue. Giving the muscle time to repair itself will help prevent injury.


All bodies are different. Before starting any workout regimen or diet plan, you should speak with your doctor. If you experience pain after a workout, contact a physician with your concerns.


The Journal of Physiology: Muscle damage from eccentric exercise: mechanism, mechanical signs, adaptation and clinical applications

British Journal of Sports Medicine: Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage

Campus Health Services: How to Care for an Exercise Injury

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: In Brief: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep (PDF)

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