Working Out: Vitamin E, Muscle Soreness After Workout, and Exercise Over 50

Not the best-looking model, but cheap and available whenever I need!
Not the best-looking model, but cheap and available whenever I need!

A Decade of Fitness

If you want to get to the point, read the end of the article.  If you want to understand how I got to the point, keep reading!

I try to stay fit.  Since I turned 40, back in 2000, I've tried to exercise a lot, and eat right.  When I got married, the eating right got harder, because Monique's such a good cook.  It's hard not to go back for seconds, or thirds.  So anyway, it all went pretty well for a long time.  Started with bicycling.  Added some weightlifting.  Pushups, pullups, over the years there's been a lot of variety.  Then around the 45-year-old mark, I broke my knee.  Snapped backwards.  I heard two loud noises like firecrackers going off, and next thing I knew, my leg wouldn't hold me.  So for a few months, no exercise.  When I was finally allowed, I started over.  Bicycling, weights, whatever.  I have a decent home gym setup in the second floor of our shed, so access was easy enough. 

I'm not getting older... (yeah, right!)

But as I've gotten older (I'll be 50 in a couple of months), it's become harder to stay fit.  A couple of summers ago, working out in the shed, I had a heat stroke.  I've always been super-tolerant of heat, and intolerant of cold.  Now, if I get too warm, I get sick.  So I've had to be more careful how I work out.  To make matters worse, it got so that every time I exercised, I felt great that day, but got sick the next day.  Flu-like symptoms, usually bad enough to lose 2 or 3 days of work.  Maybe I was trying too hard.  Up till then, I'd been exercising just under 2 hours every other day, with weekends off.  Did that for years, no problem.  Then, boom.  Can't handle it any more. 

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

So I started trying to push less.  Shorter, lighter workouts.  Simpler workouts.  Bodyweight exercise programs.  No matter how much I gave up, it didn't get any better.  Friends even noticed how I got sick every time I exercised.  Eventually, very depressed, I gave up.  Went about 9 months without exercising.  Gained too much weight, lost all the fitness I'd worked so hard for.  I tried to hide how much it bothered me.  But it was really pretty obvious.  I spent too much time obsessing on things that had no value.  Wasted a lot of my life.  Wanted to sleep all during the day, too. 

It's only Whining if Someone Else Is Doing It

The 'whine' list goes on and on.  Until Christmas, last year.  For Christmas, Monique got me a consultation with a personal trainer.  She knew I'd wanted to get professional advice on my workout.  I figured maybe a pro trainer would be able to design a workout that worked for me, and wouldn't make me get sick all the time.  It was a great idea, but the trainer I got wasn't the trainer I needed.  Nice guy, good at his specialty, but his main job was to keep people safe, and monitoring the customers at his gym.  Not what I needed.

Realizing - I Make My Own Choices

Now I felt worse, because Monique had tried to get me a very meaningful gift, and it didn't turn out so well.  But it was a turning point.  After a few days moping about it, I realized --  Nobody but myself is responsible for my health and fitness.  Hoping for someone else to solve my problems was non-productive.  So I started searching for solutions again.  For a while, I tried a bodyweight workout that had promise, but honestly, it bored me and I just wasn't keeping up with it very well.

I'm not subsidizing this brand... this was a gift from someone who knows I take them!
I'm not subsidizing this brand... this was a gift from someone who knows I take them!

So What's The Point?

I've found something that works for me.  As a matter of fact, I'm keeping a very careful 3-month record of my experiences.  When the time is up, I'll present my success or failure in a hub.  Until then, I don't want to jinx things by talking too soon.

The problem?  And, yes, finally the point of this hub?  (Bet you thought I'd ramble forever!)  I currently exercise 30 minutes a day.  At that length of time, I get incredibly sore the next day or two.  It's called Delayed Onset Muscle Stress (DOMS).  There are several things you can do to reduce the pain, but the most effective one for me?  Yeah, like the title says- Vitamin E.  There was a study done in 2002, but I'm not going to go all medical on you.  I'm boring enough without that kind of help.  If you're feeling scholarly, click here.

How Much Vitamin E Do I Need?

The main result was that people who took 1,000 IU daily had less pain later (Though it's possible less is just as effective).  For best results, Men's Health Magazine recommends taking it within a 30-minute window right after you've worked out.  Vitamin E not only reduces physical stress, evidence suggests that it slows aging (along with proper exercise).  Vitamin E seems to be a major protector from free radical damage.  Again, not getting too technical, just a brief mention.

I like the capsules, they're easier to swallow
I like the capsules, they're easier to swallow

Works For Me

While research indicates great things for E, it's not been absolutely confirmed medically.  It's hard to get someone to commit to a firm statement.  But E has proven itself to me.  Time after time.  Now I take it right after working out.  If I forget, I hurt.  High levels of hurt, that usually last at least 2 days. 

But when I take Vitamin E just after my workout, I'm better the next day.  Instead of lots of pain, there's a different sense.  My muscles feel tight, and full, like they should be hurting, but aren't.  It's hard to describe.  But compared to how I usually feel in the mornings, it's 100% better.

How Best To Absorb Vitamin E

In a Nutshell...

Well, that's it.  My background, so you know where I'm coming from.  A small amount of research, hopefully not enough to chase most people away.  Then my personal experience.  For me, Vitamin E works. 

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Comments 15 comments

SEO IT! profile image

SEO IT! 6 years ago from Tucson, AZ

I'm coming up on 40 and have recently started working out again. I don't know why I thought it would be as easy as it was when I was in my twenties... The Vitamin E tip is great and I'm going to give it a shot. Great info!


Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio

I should remember to take my Vitamin E. Perhaps it will help with my neck stiffness.


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 6 years ago Author

Thanks very much SEO, I hope it helps you as much as it helps me!

Hi Kay! I'm not sure, but it can't hurt to try. I've seen an amazing difference since I've been taking the E.


Daddy Paul profile image

Daddy Paul 6 years ago from Michigan

I agree with you on vitamin E. I have also found Calcium magnesium and zinc are also very beneficial.


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 6 years ago Author

I agree with you. I can't feel an immediate result like with the E, but I still believe they work! Thanks Daddy Paul!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Thanks for the tip - just checked to see what you were writing about, too - and that might just help my arms that are not the same length! Seriously, between the mal yanks and my job as a transcriptionist (and writing, etc), my muscles have gone beyond DOMS - I think they are over the top. I take calcium, magnesium and zinc/vitamin D too but vitamin E couldn't hooit! Thanks for the tip! And let me know if you ever want to upsize to a mal - I know a great breeder! Seriously - love all sizes and species of dogs and have rescued so many I still have the hubs in the making. But these mals - sigh - they hooked me!


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 6 years ago Author

LOL... I had to laugh all in caps. You're fun to read. Like you, I take a combination of supplements, but E has been especially good to me!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Going to do it - I figure ABCDE - we might be on to something here!


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 6 years ago Author

Sounds fun... and educational at the same time. Good luck, and let me know how it works for you. I skipped my E yesterday, and today I'm creaking around like an old guy. (I know, I kind of AM an old guy, but I don't usually feel like one.)


Thrift 6 years ago

Hi, I liked your comments on vit e. may give it a try.


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 6 years ago Author

I'm glad you liked it. Works well for me, especially after a hard workout!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Great writing, great info. Thanks!


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 6 years ago Author

RTalloni, Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it!


ebeginnersworkout 5 years ago

I did not know that about Vitamin E. I have taken it regularly for years, but I'll try it right after my workouts. Stretching after your workouts help with minimizing DOMS as well.


Crewman6 profile image

Crewman6 5 years ago Author

@ ebeginners- you're absolutely right! Thanks for reading :^)

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