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Exercise-induced muscle damage: mechanism, assessment and nutritional factors to accelerate recovery

Abstract

There have been a multitude of reviews written on exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and recovery. EIMD is a complex area of study as there are a host of factors such as sex, age, nutrition, fitness level, genetics and familiarity with exercise task, which influence the magnitude of performance decrement and the time course of recovery following EIMD. In addition, many reviews on recovery from exercise have ranged from the impact of nutritional strategies and recovery modalities, to complex mechanistic examination of various immune and endocrine signaling molecules. No one review can adequately address this broad array of study. Thus, in this present review, we aim to examine EIMD emanating from both endurance exercise and resistance exercise training in recreational and competitive athletes and shed light on nutritional strategies that can enhance and accelerate recovery following EIMD. In addition, the evaluation of EIMD and recovery from exercise is often complicated and conclusions often depend of the specific mode of assessment. As such, the focus of this review is also directed at the available techniques used to assess EIMD.

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Abbreviations

4-HNE:

4-Hydroxynonenal

BDNF:

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor

CK:

Creatine kinase

CMJ:

Counter movement jump

COX:

Cyclooxygenase

DOMS:

Delayed onset of muscle soreness

DTI:

Diffusion tensor imaging

E-C:

Excitation contraction

EIMD:

Exercise-induced muscle damage

FRAP:

Ferric reducing/antioxidant power

H2O2 :

Hydrogen peroxide

HV:

High volume

IL:

Interleukin

Mb:

Myoglobin

MDA:

Malondialdehyde

MRI:

Magnetic resonance imaging

mRNA:

Messenger RNA

NEFA:

Non-esterified fatty acids

RBE:

Repeated bout effect

RE:

Resistance exercise

RM:

Repetition maximum

SC:

Satellite cells

TBARS:

Thiobarbituric acid-reactive species

TNF:

Tumor necrosis factor

VO2max:

Maximal oxygen uptake

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YG, JRH and SB conceived and designed the idea. All authors wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yftach Gepner.

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Communicated by Michael Lindinger.

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Markus, I., Constantini, K., Hoffman, J.R. et al. Exercise-induced muscle damage: mechanism, assessment and nutritional factors to accelerate recovery. Eur J Appl Physiol 121, 969–992 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04566-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04566-4

Keywords

  • Muscle damage
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Inflammation