Why do muscles twitch after exercise?
As you are aware, when you work out at the gym, you break down your muscles. Those muscles need time to recover and rebuild into more muscular fibers – this process is known as muscle regeneration. While one of the essential elements in regenerating the muscle tissue is getting enough rest, other elements have a significant role.
This article will tell you more about why do muscles twitch after exercise? If you want to discover how to completely rejuvenate your muscles, read my articles on supplements for bodybuilding.
What happens after working out?
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Whether endurance sports or bodybuilding training at the gym, your muscle fibers are broken down when doing any workout routine. Working out increases blood circulation in your body, promoting fatigue. When you are exercising or working out, the tired muscles need more blood flow to go through their recovery stage, which is why they feel sore after you’re done with your training session.
As soon as you complete exercising, your muscle cells start releasing chemicals that signal the brain that they are tired and need to be repaired. Those chemicals are called cytokines or proteins. Other cells in the body, such as macrophages, rush inside the affected area to heal them by enhancing muscle tissue repair and increasing muscle cell growth.
The role of ATP
If you’ve done any workout routine before – whether it’s cardiovascular exercises, endurance sports, or weight training at a gym – chances are you’ve heard of ATP.
ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate and is considered the energy currency within our cells. According to research, it takes approximately 30 seconds for your body to switch from aerobic metabolism (which requires oxygen) to anaerobic metabolism (where there is no oxygen required).
Anaerobic metabolism includes sprints, pushups, pull-ups, or deadlifts. During each second of intense training that lasts longer than 30 seconds, muscles use up their stores of ATP very quickly. As a result, muscle fatigue also occurs. The body can only produce more ATP by tapping into creatine phosphate reserves in muscles instead of blood/glycogen.
Creatine can regenerate ATP and is considered the essential energy source for high-intensity exercises such as weight lifting, sprinting, or boxing.
The effect of this process on muscle fibers is that those fibers go into a state of contraction because they quickly fatigue and need to rest. It’s common knowledge that heavy or intense workouts make your muscles feel sore and tight. Those feelings usually last for about 24 hours (overnight), but it’s not uncommon for you to experience stiffness and pain up to 72 hours after working out.
During these first few hours following a workout, the neurotransmitter nor-epinephrine increases in concentration within the damaged muscle tissue.
This triggers two reactions:
vasoconstriction and metabolic activation of the damaged fibers, which is why your muscles feel tight and stiff after working out.
What causes muscle contractions?
During these first few hours following a workout, the neurotransmitter nor-epinephrine increases in concentration within the damaged muscle tissue. This triggers two reactions: vasoconstriction and metabolic activation of the damaged fibers, which is why your muscles feel tight and stiff after working out.
The contraction that takes place is part of the healing process. A study done by Ginting et al. suggests that when you exercise or work out, an enzyme known as calpain is activated in your muscles. Calpain has been proven to break down collagen found in muscle tissues – collagen is what connects, supports, and stabilizes muscles.
According to the study, two kinds of calpain may work before workouts or exercise to signal adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production to provide enough energy for the workout routine. The other strand of calpain responds after your muscle tissues have been damaged by working out and repairs them using collagen found in your body.
When you work out hard, you experience all types of muscle contractions – some that cause muscles to tighten or feel sore, while others give you pleasant feelings such as tingling sensations or waves of relaxation traveling down your legs after a challenging workout. The latter type can be attributed to what’s known as fasciculation – these are contractions that cause a muscle to twitch involuntarily.
What causes fasciculations?
The most common reason for fasciculations is when you do not get enough electrolytes, especially potassium, from the foods you eat. One of the most common causes of this symptom is dehydration.
Other possible causes include obesity – since muscles require more energy and nutrients when they have more mass to carry around – and vitamin deficiencies such as a lack of magnesium or calcium. It might also be caused by nerve irritation in cases where a person has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Some medications have been known to push them too, including statins used for cholesterol control and beta-blockers prescribed high blood pressure.
Fasciculations are also commonly seen in healthy athletes who do intensive workouts. However, there are cases when fasciculations can be a symptom of more severe neuropathy, myopathy, muscular dystrophy, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).