The Scoop on Muscle Soreness

Ugh! That dreaded feeling when you sit down and discover muscles that you didn’t know you had! Muscle soreness is so common and yet it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it is absolutely not the sign of an effective workout.

Without getting technical, at all, muscle soreness is essentially the “damage” from activity. It’s important to understand that “damage” is a critical component to improving your fitness. That doesn’t mean that there should be so much muscle soreness that you can barely move a day or two after your workout.

Research, and my 20+ years of experience, supports the use of protein around workouts to help prevent or alleviate muscle soreness. I know without a doubt that a solid dose of protein immediately after a workout substantially reduces muscle soreness.

This year I had the honor of fulfilling one of my career-long dreams. I teamed up with Promax Nutrition to create the protein bar that I have been searching for to use around workouts. The problem with most protein bars is that they are low carb and therefore do not support your fueling needs during exercise. Together, we created an outstanding bar that works brilliantly, and tastes amayzing. I eat half of a bar before my strength workouts and half immediately after.

Because of the speed of digestion and assimilation, some protein sources are better around workouts than others. Whey and egg white protein are two of the best, and therefore are what I used in my Promax Pro Series bars. Other great sources of protein around workouts are:

  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Low fat, high protein Greek yogurt
  • Vegan protein powder
  • Whey protein powder
  • Egg white protein powder

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Women’s Strength Nation is committed to improving the ratio of women to men strength training around the world. You can Join the Movement by sharing your thoughts and questions below. Your thoughts and ideas may help another woman’s journey. Please join the conversation and leave a comment below!


And lastly,

Today’s #Strengthspo

Set a goal so big that you cannot achieve it until you grow into the person who can.


Stay strong, friend. 

21 replies
  1. Abbe
    Abbe says:

    Does it have to be low fat Greek yogurt or is full fat okay? Asking because I’m looking to add more healthy fats to my diet.

  2. Selena
    Selena says:

    Hi Holly!

    Thanks for another wonderfully informative video. I’ve been trying to figure out my breakfasts in the morning, as my workouts are usually in the morning.

    3 days I week I do strength training, following your book. With that I add 10 minute cardio before and 20 minutes after. So before a workout I have 1 egg white. Afterwards I have some greek yogurt, an egg, or some cottage cheese. I usually like to add a banana or grapes to post workout treats. According to your video, I should have more protein?

    I have a little bit of soreness, about a 4, the next day following a strenth workout, but as that day goes on, the soreness goes away. Is that a good sign? Or should I not have any kind of soreness?

    I am a wateraholic and a proteinaholic. I MUST have a significant amount of protein per meal, and I love finding new ways to add protein into my diet. Brussel sprouts? I’m going to give it a shot even though 10 year old me is begging me not to. My water is about a gallon a day.

    Thanks again for your wonderful insight.


  3. Ramona
    Ramona says:

    Extremely helpful tips. Thanks as always Holy!
    PS: thank you also for replying to my recent email. You’re a woman of your word 🙂

  4. Julie Ross
    Julie Ross says:

    Hi Holly. I am new to Strength Nation but not new to weights. As a Physical Therapist, I have always encouraged my female patients to do some type of resistance training but have had few online resources to direct them to. I find your videos both informative and entertaining and especially appreciate your message that weights (and the weight room) are nothing to be afraid of. Keep up the good work!! Julie

    • Holly Perkins
      Holly Perkins says:

      Hi Julie! SOOO great! I have spent tons of time learning under PT’s and it is the core of everything that I do. You guys are the master minds! Thank you for your thoughts and let me know if you see any opportunities for new workouts or things to incorporate to keep our peeps healthy. I’d be happy to include it! More videos coming here on the site!

  5. Valerie
    Valerie says:

    Hi Holly – are there specific ingredients you look for in a protein powder and more importantly are there ingredients to stay away from in order to be using a quality product?

    • Holly Perkins
      Holly Perkins says:

      Hi Valerie!
      I suggest that you avoid artificial sweeteners; I’m really not a fan and avoid as much as possible. Watch out for Sucralose, Splenda, Ace K. Then, there are lots of pros and cons to which protein source you’re choosing. I like whey protein isolate and sometimes concentrate if my tummy can handle it. I think the biggest to avoid is artificial sweeteners! Stevia and erythritol are NOT artificial, fyi. Stay strong!

  6. Jenna
    Jenna says:

    Holly, thank you so much for your suggestions on the previous comments! My goal is to find my fit all around as you discussed in your fantastic book. I hit the big 40 in April so definitely feel that it’s possible to do so by then. Consistency has been an issue so your suggestions of using protein around my strength training workouts was a great reminder as I usually find myself extra sore around my neck (it aches) whenever I do my upper body. My neck isn’t as happy as it was 20 years ago after Being a Veterinary Tecnician for so many years and getting beat up by the big dogs. I haven’t been in great shape since my second child … 8 years ago so I am excited to find the muscle I remember seeing years ago under the excess weight I am ready to reduce. Thank you for keeping me motivated! Grateful!!!

    • Admin
      Admin says:

      Hi Jenna!

      Glad to hear that I helped as a reminder to have your protein! As for your neck being extra sore around your upper body workouts. I would suggest going a little lighter on the weight to avoid using your traps. Once you have become stronger, go higher on the weight. Thank you for being a part of Women’s Strength Nation. LOVE the feedback!

      Stay Strong,


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