Quick Navigation

Muscle Damage

Muscle damage refers to the breaking of muscle tissue during exercise, and is approximately by measuring some biomarkers in the blood released by damaged muscle (such as creatine kinase). Reducing muscle damage may alleviate soreness from exercise.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect muscle damage
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b HMB Notable High See all 3 studies
Decrease creatine kinase exists following acute supplementation (15-30 minutes before a workout) of HMB free acid to about a third of control, and is effective in trained individuals
grade-b Creatine Minor Moderate See all 6 studies
Not overly protective, but there appears to be a degree of protection.
grade-b L-Carnitine Minor Very High See all 4 studies
Biomarkers of muscle damage including creatine kinase and muscle soreness are both fairly reliably reduced following ingestion of carnitine and pairing with exercise
grade-b Vitamin C  
grade-c Blueberry  
grade-c Coenzyme Q10  
grade-c Melatonin  
grade-c Methylsulfonylmethane  
grade-c Panax ginseng  
grade-c Rhodiola Rosea  
grade-c Vitamin E  
grade-c Anatabine  
grade-c Astaxanthin  
grade-c Fish Oil  
grade-c Glutamine  
grade-c Phosphatidylserine  
grade-c Taurine  
grade-d Ashwagandha  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.