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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 lead by Kamal Patel
All content reviewed by Examine.com Team. Published:
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 Fish Oil - High See all 3 studies
Although one study suggests a decrease, most evidence suggest no significant influence
grade-c Citrulline 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 Bromelain 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 Ginger  
grade-c Green Tea Catechins  
grade-c L-Carnitine  
grade-c Leucic Acid  
grade-c Methylsulfonylmethane  
grade-c Theaflavins  
grade-c Vitamin C  
grade-c Anatabine  
grade-c Blueberry  
grade-c Branched Chain Amino Acids  
grade-c HMB  
grade-c Phosphatidylserine  
grade-c Taurine  
grade-c Trimethylglycine  
grade-d Saffron  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.