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Athletes are some of the most common sufferers of chronic inflammation. Muscle soreness, joint pain, and fatigue may follow a particularly exhausting workout, and symptoms may continue for an extended period of time with little reprieve. Inflammation is not only painful, but it slows recovery time and hinders performance progress, especially in those who may be pushing themselves particularly hard.
Chronic inflammation in athletes is most commonly referred to as an immune system response to tissue damage. Initiating repair and removing cellular debris from the site of damage, inflammation produces symptoms of pain in order to hinder strenuous activity during the healing process. This is a step that is crucial in building bigger, stronger muscle fibers and building resistance to further damage in the future.
Unfortunately, inflammation also causes delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS, increasing the risk of injury and placing stress on the joints. DOMS is the reason that you may feel much more sore the morning after (or even two days after) a strenuous workout, rather than immediately afterward. The main problem with DOMS is not just the persistent tissue trauma and chronic inflammation, but the hindrance it places on progression and growth. It’s hard to hit the gym hard when you’re having trouble walking from the run you went on earlier that week.
So, if inflammation is a necessary evil in the pursuit of bigger, stronger muscles, yet it makes us prone to injury and joint damage, then how can we avoid inflammation while still making progress as athletes?
An emphasis must first be placed on reducing the tissue damage that is caused by your daily workout. Because of the way that your body is built, only workouts that suddenly increase in strenuousness will result in high levels of DOMS, inflammation, and notable fatigue. Therefore, slowly progressing through your levels of exercise (or training levels) will help you avoid a significantly lengthy recovery period.
As your body recovers from inflammation it is actively repairing itself, and requires a variety of important nutrients to do so.
While a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can greatly assist you in preventing inflammation and providing you with Omega-3’s, there are other key components to joint repair, such as Omega-5ᵉ that can’t simply be gained by eating the correct foods.
AlphaFlex® with Omega-5ᵉ isn’t a mystery supplement packed with chemicals and unknown substances. Its efficacy has been tested by professional athletes across the United States and it has been shown to be a crucial component in restoring a healthy inflammatory response. Learn more about AlphaFlex.