Sore muscles after an intense workout? It’s happened to all of us! The stiffness, soreness, and discomfort in muscles may be caused by starting a new workout program, adding new types of exercises into your workout, increasing the intensity of physical activities, or exercising without having enough breaks. 
In any case, sore muscles could affect the physical performance of not only athletes, but also of every individual that experiences this condition: it could trouble the range of motion, disturb ordinary body movements and limit physical activity freedom. 
When that happens, people often look for traditional and natural muscle relaxers, and antispasmodics (foods, OTC medication, supplements) to prevent, ease, and improve muscle soreness.
This article will guide you through various natural muscle relaxers that could help you with stiff, painful muscles, or the so-called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
Let’s get started!
According to a 2017 paper published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, supplementation with some herbs may prevent and alleviate exercise-induced muscle soreness, stiffness, and tenderness.  The source suggests that the controlled intake of the following herbs may be beneficial:
Keep in mind that herbal supplements may have dangerous side effects and interact with various medicines. Therefore, herbal supplements and medications should be prescribed by a practicing health professional to ensure safety and efficacy. In RawBeautySource we stand against unsupervised supplementation as it could be dangerous and may trigger adverse effects.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Considering that muscle soreness could be associated with inflammation in the body, the measured intake of Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce DOMS. Evidence suggests that taking 1.8-3 grams of Omega 3 may significantly reduce inflammation and alleviate muscle pain after exercise. 
Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids include  :
- Fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout)
- Fish oil
- Flaxseed (and oil)
- Chia seeds
- Canola oil
Recent 2019 evidence suggests that long term consumption of the following antioxidant-rich juices may improve DOMS symptoms and relax the muscles :
- Cherry juice
- Pomegranate juice
- Watermelon juice
- Beetroot juice
Protein and amino acids
The following protein and amino acid supplements were found to have a minimal positive effect on sore and stiff muscles :
Branched-chain amino acids- food sources include  :
Creatine- food sources include  :
Hydroxymethyl butyrate (HMB)- food sources containing small amounts include  :
L-glutamine- food sources include :
- Taurine- food sources include :
Keep in mind that more research is still needed to define safe and effective doses for supplementation with these compounds. Consult your healthcare provider before reaching for supplementation in order to prevent and minimize adverse effects and complications in your current health condition.
According to a 2014 review paper published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, caffeine intake (5mg caffeine per body weight 24 hours after exercising) may reduce sore muscles after a workout. 
Natural food sources of caffeine include  :
- Green and black tea
- Cocoa (and dark chocolate)
Evidence suggests that other approaches for relaxing sore muscles include  :
- Electrical and ultrasound therapies (performed by a professional)
- Physical movement increases blood flow and nutrients and promotes healing
- Exercising and physical movement (provide temporary relief)
Consult your healthcare provider whether these therapies are suitable for you!
A warm shower or bath is a wonderful and effective way to ease sore muscles. Understanding that muscle repair and recovery post workouts is a highly metabolic process. This translates into burning fat and calories to keep the muscle alive and well!
Embrace the workouts and the process that makes you stronger. As you get stronger, the time needed for the body to recover lessens.
Adding a yoga class to your workout regimen would add a great balance to prevent extreme soreness in the future.