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Are Sore Muscles Due to a Lack of Protein?

Just like the rest of your body, your muscles need protein to grow and develop. Most American women get plenty of protein from their diet. According to Fitness.gov, your muscles do not require excessive amounts of protein — even if you’re an athlete. If you’re worried that you may not be getting enough protein, talk to your doctor and express your concerns about muscle development and protein needs.

Too little protein is known as hypoproteinemia. This condition occurs when you do not consume adequate amounts of protein or you have a malabsorption disorder that prohibits your body from absorbing protein as well as other nutrients from your diet. Your muscles only need around two to three servings of protein every day, in addition to two to three servings of dairy, to help build muscle mass. You can easily consume enough protein on a daily basis by having eggs for breakfast and a turkey sandwich for lunch or by having a lean, appropriately portioned cut of meat for dinner.

Hypoproteinemia does not cause muscle soreness, but overworking your muscles can. You can develop muscle soreness if you’ve overworked, overstretched or tore a muscle. Any type of muscle injury can cause soreness. You can also experience muscle cramps if you’re not getting enough nutrients, such as potassium, calcium or magnesium. Muscle cramps over a period of time can cause your muscles to become sore and tender. Inadequate blood supply and nerve compression can also cause muscle cramps and soreness.

If you have sore muscles, there are treatments to help alleviate the pain. It’s important that you do not ignore the pain because a torn or injured muscle can require prompt medical care. Take a cool bath to help ease muscle pain. The cool water will act as a whole-body ice pack. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to reduce muscle soreness. With physician clearance, a good massage can help ease muscle tension. Always seek physician approval prior to massaging a torn muscle as this can cause further damage.

Do not increase your protein intake without consulting your physician. Too much protein can be stored as fat, according to the Fitness.gov. Your physician can test your protein levels via blood testing to determine if you’re getting enough protein in your diet. Tell your physician which types of exercises you normally perform during your workout routine as you may need to adjust it or modify some of your exercises to prevent muscle soreness.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.