Skipping Soreness? Can Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness Be Avoided After Exercise?

Author: Sonja Squires

We’ve all been there—enduring the debilitating soreness and stiffness that comes with walking around after a tough workout, usually accompanied by the all-too-familiar “waddle” used as an attempt to reduce the tenderness of tired muscles. This phenomenon is known in the science world as “delayed-onset muscle soreness”, or “DOMS” for short. It was given this title because research has consistently shown that this painful sensation begins approximately 24 to 72 hours following a particularly strenuous workout, making the “onset” of the pain “delayed”. Despite the general population having such a strong familiarity with this experience—whether you’re an athlete with a strict training plan, or you exercise recreationally—the world really doesn’t know as much about DOMS as you’d think .

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How Does Anger Affect You: A Brief Look from a Physical Performance Perspective

Author: Allen Attar

Anger is a well-known facet of athletic performance and survival instinct. But how exactly does it affect your mind and body? When you work yourself up before a difficult performance or notice your coworker has taken your lunch, how does anger change you at a psychological and physiological level so that you are ready to perform? In terms of physical performance anger affects you on two levels, physiological and psychological .

Physiological Components: 

With anger comes a myriad of physiological changes, we will be focusing on the ones pertaining to sports performance. In a paper by Hendricks et al., 2013 some of these responses are explored. The responses that are most suited towards performance are the increase in heart rate and the release of cortisol and adrenaline. Anger can increase heart rate from the average of 80 beats per minute to as high as 180 beats per minute without much activity which helps to prepare the body by increasing cardiac output. An increase in cardiac output means that more blood is circulated throughout the body, delivering nutrients and oxygen to the cells more rapidly than normal. Anger also releases cortisol, better known as the “stress hormone”, which gives the body a short-term energy boost. This is coupled with the release of adrenaline which increases sympathetic nervous system activity, better known as fight or flight response. This response diverts blood flow away from the “rest and digest” systems and prepares the body for activity by dilating your windpipes to allow for more airflow, increasing heart rate, and increasing sweating. These changes in blood flow allow for oxygen and nutrients to be more available to working muscles and the brain, dilating the windpipes allows for greater oxygen intake, and sweating helps the body regulate internal temperature which is important for regulating the heat produced by muscular contraction. Adrenaline also has a re-energizing effect on fatigued muscles which is explored in a paper by Paoli et al., 2007. It was found that adrenaline increases muscle excitability (How much effort is needed to contract a muscle. Increased excitability means less effort is needed.) and allows for a recovery of force of up to 75% of baseline in fatigued muscles when paired with lactic acid (A cellular energy source that is produced during exercise.). One last factor that plays a role in performance is muscular tension. Anger increases resting muscular tension which in turn can make contractions more powerful through increased sensitivity of the stretch reflex. Stretching  your muscles quickly induces an involuntary contraction which is stronger than normal. The stretch  reflex is controlled by sensors inside the muscle called muscle spindles that detect the rate of muscle lengthening and muscle length. The reason tension plays a role in this is that if muscular tension is increased the muscle becomes shorter and less mobile which induces an elevated sensitivity to the stretch reflex. These factors prime the body for physical activity by preemptively activating the systems necessary for performance no matter what state the body is in.

Psychological Components:

When it comes to psychology and skill performance a study done by Ruiz and Hanin, 2011  explored the effects of anger on performance in karate practitioners of various levels. It was found that feeling moderate levels of anger before an event increased performance while feeling high levels of anger before an event hindered performance. This is related to a psychological principle called arousal. Arousal is how “hyped–up” you feel before and during a task and different tasks have different optimal arousal levels. For instance, a one-rep max deadlift has a high optimal arousal level while writing an essay has a low optimal arousal level. The anger felt by the participants in this study likely correlated to their level of arousal. What this means is that when anger pushed the athlete’s arousal into the optimal zone, they performed well but, when they began feeling high levels of anger they were pushed out of the optimal zone and performed poorly. This was also shown in a study done by Bebetsos et al., 2013 which explored what effects anger, aggression, and anxiety have on performance in elite water polo players. It was found that the players who could regulate their anger and anxiety performed better than those who could not. This ties in directly to the previously discussed concept of psychological arousal. In summary, when it comes to the psychological effects of anger it is better to maintain anger at a level that optimizes psychological arousal in order to perform at your best.


During performance or exercise anger and adrenaline help to keep you going. Psychologically, when kept at a stable level, anger helps maintain focus and motivation. Physiologically adrenaline mobilizes energy and maintains the beneficial effects discussed in the physiological components segment. However, if anger and arousal are not kept at reasonable levels performance will decrease. The muscular tension will hinder fluid movement, the elevated heart rate will waste energy, the heightened anger will distract your focus, and the excess cortisol release will leave you exhausted. This is why many elite athletes have heightened levels of emotional control (Betsebos  et al, 2013) because if they were to let things slip on a bad day it will cost them in the sport they play, one way or another .


  • Davis, E, et al. “BPS Publications.” British Pharmacological Society | Journals, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 29 Jan. 2009,
  • Paoli, F. V. D., Overgaard, K., Pedersen, T. H., & Nielsen, O. B. (2007, May 23). Additive protective effects of the addition of lactic acid and adrenaline on excitability and force in isolated rat skeletal muscle depressed by elevated extracellular K+. The Physiological Society. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from

Training Comparisons between Plyometric Training and Contrast Training in Athletes

Author: Damon Harrell

Throughout time athletes have sought out the best ways to train to gain an advantage over their competitors. Athletes and exercise scientists have looked into different training methods to improve performance and longevity in their respective sports. One athlete that represents the golden standard for longevity and peak performance is Lebron James. It is reported by Business Insider that Lebron spends 1.5 million dollars a year on training and the maintenance of his body. The pursuit for athletic greatness and the curiosity of how the human body reacts to different
types of training has led to comparisons of different types of training. Two popular training methods that are used to improve athletic abilities like speed, agility, strength, and vertical jump are contrast strength training and plyometric training.

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Treatments and Long-Term Effects of Sports-Related ACL Injuries

Author: Emily Agemura


In sports, injuries are inevitable. With the amount of agility, athleticism, and, in some cases, contact involved in sports, it is no wonder why there are so many injuries. One of the most debilitating injuries for competitive athletes are anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. With  approximately 250,000 to 300,000 individuals in the United States tearing their ACL every year, it is one of the most common injuries seen by orthopedic surgeons (Erickson, Pham, & Haro, 2016). Individuals who are in sports such as football, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, tennis, and skiing are at an increased risk of an ACL injury (Gulick, 2020).  Some other risk factors for ACL injuries in sports may include being female, improper shoes, the playing surface, and dry weather conditions (Alentorn-Geli et al., 2014). Being female may be a risk factor because of the differences in the muscles women use compared to men when using their legs. This difference in muscle activation puts different levels of strain on the ACL and contributes to the higher incidences in females (Cleveland Clinic). Having the right shoes on is also important because they typically help provide traction and stability. It was found that some shoes provide greater traction and support than others, so it is important to carefully research which shoes are best for the sport being played, especially when the sport requires them to play on artificial turf (Alentorn-Geli et al., 2014). Playing on artificial turf has been shown to increase incidence of ACL injuries since it is not as forgiving of a surface as natural grass, and it is easier for a player to get their foot stuck in artificial turf compared to natural grass (Hospital for Special Surgery). If they are playing on natural grass, dry weather can cause the ground to be harder and make it more difficult to remove cleats from the ground, leading to more stress on areas such as the knee (Alentorn-Geli et al., 2014). Since most of these risk factors are uncontrollable, we can see why ACL injuries occur so often in sports .

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Common Pre-Workout Ingredients: Do they Help or Harm?

Author: Madeline Leone

Pre-workout has become one of the hottest new trends in the world of exercise. Pre-workout supplements can come in many forms, the most common being powder. Powder forms of pre-workout are frequently consumed by mixing with water or any other beverage. Although pre-workout has become a fundamental step in many people’s workout routine, what are the costs and benefits of consuming pre-workout ?

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Can Kinesio Tape Enhance My Athletic Performance?

Author: Kandeija Bagurusi

Introduction Within our society, there is a constant desire to further enhance athletic performance through advancements in technology. A little over a decade ago, athletic taping and specifically Kinesio Tape gained popularity within the United States, although the method originated in the 1970s. Today, Kinesio Tape has been used as a means for enhancing athletic performance, and prevention or treatment of sports injuries by physical therapists, athletic trainers, and throughout the healthcare field. The use of Kinesio Tape has stirred controversy over its efficacy, as we will discuss below, especially pertaining to its ability to enhance athletic performance .

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The End of Women’s Sports?

Author: Jamie O’Brien

When we think about people playing sports what is it we want to see? Sportsmanship? Good will between athletes? Fair and level playing fields? Unfortunately, in recent years, a new issue has arisen that compromises what we consider fair and level playing fields: transgender individuals in sports. As a society we have begun to more openly accept individuals of transgender and non-binary gender identity into every level of society. This includes things like local, national and international athletic competition. To many however, the issue is not as simple as allowing individuals to participate in the league or competition that conforms to their gender identity. Biological differences between the male and female sexes lead to an unfair advantage in favor of individuals with male biological characteristics. Several cis-gender female athletes have claimed the practice of allowing transgender women to compete with them is unfair and damages the idea of a level playing field. I am not here to argue of the place of transgender individuals in Western society, but to address the unfair aspects of male to female transgender athletes in female athletic competition.

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Effects of Stem Cell Injections on Osteoarthritis

Author: Anna Parr

What is osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is caused by the deterioration of cartilage between joints of the body and has limited capabilities for self-regeneration. According to Lu, it has been shown that around 9.6% of men and 18% of women over the age of 60 have symptoms of osteoarthritis (Lu, 2019). Kumar states that chronic low back pain due to disc degeneration is one of the leading causes of disability and causes a huge social and economic impact on patients. Additionally, approximately 80% of adults have experienced low back pain at some point in their life, with percentages increasing with age (Kumar, 2017). When looking at the article by Freitag, currently, the chosen treatment for knee osteoarthritis is a total knee replacement which can result in significant complications. Additionally, 20% of patients having undergone a total knee replacement have reported persistent pain or loss of function 12 months after the procedure (Freitag, 2019). Lastly, Davatchi states that the available treatments for knee osteoarthritis are more symptomatic  than preventative. Some treatments may slow down the progress of cartilage degeneration, but none reverse it leading to more and more cartilage loss and eventually a joint replacement (Davatchi, 2016). This got health care professionals thinking that there has to be a better, less invasive way to treat osteoarthritis.

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