How To Relieve Sore Muscles: Advice from a Pro Athlete

by Renee Metivier

Muscle soreness can put a massive damper on your training as an athlete, and poor recovery can ultimately lead to injury.

The older I get the more I realize how crucial recovery is to not only healthy training but longevity.

I’ve been running for a long time.

I started running in high school and at the University of Colorado where I won the NCAA title in 2005 and then went pro. Since then I’ve won:

  • 2010 USA Track & Field (USATF) Indoor 3000m National Champion
  • 2012 USATF 20k Road National Champion
  • 2016 USATF 1/2 Marathon Trail National Champion
  • 2017 USATF Marathon Trail National Champion
  • 2020 3-Time Treadmill World Record Holder

I have had multiple injuries that resulted in major surgeries and intensive recovery.

An injury to my Achilles in 2011 led me to the Olympic Training Center In Colorado Springs, where I had access to the best doctors, physiologists, physical therapists, and trainers. The works!

I realized many people, including elite athletes to the average person, don’t have access to these resources,   so I wanted to create a facility that offered the best therapists and coaches along with the latest research that was affordable to the public.

With my journey, it became really important to me to help rebuild people stronger and more resilient.

So, I founded Recharge Sport here in Bend where I’m the owner, head coach, and personal trainer with a focus on biomechanics and correctional exercise.

As a coach as well as an athlete, preventing and relieving muscle soreness is on my mind a lot.

The Myth About Muscle Soreness

When your muscles get that tightness the day after an intense workout, it’s actually not lactic acid that’s the culprit. That’s a big misnomer.

It’s delayed onset muscle soreness – a result of microscopic muscle tears.

Typically, you will clear all the lactic acid out of your muscles fairly quickly, but the delayed muscle soreness (DOMS) is what happens when your muscles are overstressed. DOMS is completely normal and should only last 24-48 hours as your body recovers – this is the adaptation phase where recovery should be prioritized.

Don’t ice after a really hard workout unless you have noticeable inflammation and pain, because icing will prevent the necessary blood flow for full adaptation and muscle repair.

Research recommends going from hot to cold to hot multiple times so that you get that pump-through vasoconstriction in the cold and vasodilation in the hot to help push inflammation out but also keep new healing blood flowing through the tissues.

I like to finish in the hot last to keep that blood flow moving. I drink some Ablis CBD sparkling water as well to hydrate and increase vasodilation.

Related: Myth Busting: Is Sparkling Water Bad or Good For You?

It’s All Maintenance

It’s most important to get that vascularity, get your blood vessels moving, and flush out those toxins.

With blood flow, you’re not only flushing out toxins, the new blood being pushed in is bringing growth factors and platelet-rich plasma to your tissues as well.

That’s what speeds up the healing.

A lot of people focus on that lactic acid, but your heart works really hard when you work out to pump blood to your tissues.

When you’re tired after a workout, your heart is slower in pumping it out. So, anything to increase that vascularity and get that blood pumping is good!

Your muscle tissues actually get micro-damaged after a hard workout. Your body has to repair in the adaptation phase, and that’s when your body overcompensates and how you get stronger.

That’s why you need to incorporate progressive, systematic stress to your body that’s not too much that you can’t recover from. Stress can be good when you have an adequate recovery to adapt!

You need those recovery periods, but anyway you can speed up the process and increase that blood flow, the shorter those periods become which leads to better adaptation and fewer injury risks

Make Recovery Part of Your Nightly Routine

The best is to avoid injury from the beginning and take care of your body as early as you can.

Recovery and healing in that adaptation period are just as important as working hard in training, if not more so.

Longer sessions in the infrared sauna or hot/cold tubs are fantastic, but even 5 mins each evening can be a game-changer. I keep everything I need for my muscle relief routine next to my bed and set an alarm for myself every night as a reminder.

I  massage the tinctures straight onto my ankle then stretch before I go to bed using my stretch rope.

I’ve got it down where it doesn’t have to take forever.  I do some longer, full-body sessions in the week, but I’m always doing at least five to 15 minutes of something specific every day. For me, it is my “diva” ankle and also my hips that are my constant focus.

My routine helps me sleep better too. I’m deep breathing, drinking my CBD, massaging with the muscle rub,  foam rolling, and stretching for 15 minutes and I usually sleep more soundly after. And better sleep is one of the most important things you can do for increased overall health and wellness.

Consciously make it a part of your nightly routine until it becomes a habit and easy to stick with!

Recovery Time is Key

One of my favorite quotes from Deena Kastor, the American marathon record holder, is “It’s not about over-training, it’s about under-recovery.”

Under recovering is what creates over-training and what leads to injury and burnout.

Everyone is different when it comes to their recovery time.

The quicker you recover, the better you can adapt and also minimize injury risk, but it still depends on the individual and how well you’ve been training.

As I get older, I need two to three days between really hard efforts.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, if your heart rate isn’t coming down between intervals or it’s staying too high, that’s a good indication of needing more recovery time.

Sleep is still number one and it’s a factor in your training.

Your legs are a good indicator as well. Are they feeling like lead or are they pretty bouncy? That seems pretty simple, but it’s a very tangible way to listen to your body’s needs.

Also, pay attention to stiffness in the mornings.

I train six days a week, but I only go hard running-wise on two of those days and I have one day that I run at about medium.

I lift heavy weights twice a week and balance lifting with my hard running days.

But if I need an extra day because I don’t feel recovered, I’ll take it. And I am always making sure to do functional mobility, prehab, and self-care regularly.

I think that’s the biggest problem. People don’t put enough emphasis on recovery in their training.

You’re only as good as how much you can recover from, especially in the long-term.

You may be able to get away with it in the short term, but it could lead to injury or poor performance down the road.

Injury is Preventable

None of us are rational with ourselves. Not even me. I need a coach too!

We don’t typically and regularly check-in and say, “Oh, my hamstrings are extra tight on the warmup. What’s going on there?”

“Are there any spots that I’ve started to neglect that are basically screaming at me but I’m ignoring?”

Knowing when to push and when not to push is a skill, it’s hard to do.

Having someone on the outside that is knowledgeable can see those better.

Listen to your body.

Your body gives you signs, and it’s very important to have optimal recovery so that you can reap the benefits from your hard work.

My college coach was really, really big on that. I thank him every day for really teaching us to listen to sensory data.

When I run, I’m not big on checking my heart rate because I can feel it. But that can be a good tool to use when you are learning to listen to your body.

I check in with my breathing, check in with my heart, see how my ankles land on the ground, feel for any tension in my jaw, and relax my shoulders.

I call it my dashboard. 

I think everyone should create their own mental dashboard.

Checking in helps you to stay in the moment, stay present, and listen to what’s going on with your body. The mental side is not talked about enough and it is a big proponent.

The number one performance enhancement is getting enough sleep. I don’t think I can say that enough!

A lot of people think it’s a badge of honor to be able to function on low sleep, but it really shouldn’t be. You’re actually lowering your health by depriving your body of rest.

It can make all the difference in your workouts, but also your overall cognitive function.

Stretching is Critical

I like to use Ablis’ tinctures and muscle rub while I’m doing mobility and stretching.

I stretch my muscles, but more importantly, I focus on the full range of motion of my joints including my ankles. I need increased dorsiflexion and to make sure my talus is shifting smoothly inside the ankle joint. I spend about five minutes on my ankles specifically every day since that is my “Achilles heel.”

I’m always going to have to spend extra time on the areas I’ve injured, so I make it my first priority.

Then, I’ll go into my full body stretches.

The performance of my ankles and Achilles, which can get stiff, feels — and performs — ten times better after stretching and my injury risk goes down.

I also get a full-body massage once or twice a week with MCT oil.

Related: MCT Oil with CBD: Best Uses and Recipes

Don’t Underestimate Proper Hydration

Hydration is an important factor in recovery because it aids in getting that new blood with the platelet-rich plasma and growth factors through the body.

I’m really bad about it, so I love Ablis’s sparkling water because I get CBD while I’m hydrating, and it tastes great! I drink it multiple times a week and sometimes multiple times a day – especially after hard training days or while recovering and relaxing in the infrared sauna.

I use all of Ablis’s products in conjunction, to be honest. It depends on what’s going on and what my needs are at the time. From helping me hydrate and flush my system post-workout to actually turning off and get fully relaxed, Ablis has become a big part of my post-workout routine. 

Keep Reading: The Best Mountain Biking Trails Near Bend, Oregon

*The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


CBD Education

Is CBD Legal? Here are the Facts

It’s no surprise that we get asked a lot about the legality of CBD.

We totally get it! It’s a lot of information to absorb, and the laws have evolved a lot over the past few years. 

It can be overwhelming when navigating CBD products. There are so many to choose from, and new ways to manufacture and consume CBD are being created at a pretty crazy rate. 

This has caused a lot of confusion around the legality of hemp-derived products like CBD, so let’s clear the air and break down the legal stuff. 

Embracing Hemp Products

The U.S. is finally embracing hemp products and the possibilities of CBD, but it hasn’t always been that way.

The 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act categorized cannabis and hemp as a Schedule 1 substance. This restricted the public’s access to cannabis and hemp-derived products for decades until states began to realize the potential of hemp. 

Hemp got a bad wrap for a long time until the government realized it was a hot agricultural commodity.

Luckily, Ablis is located in Oregon. We are lucky to have some of the most quality hemp to produce our CBD because our state was way ahead of the curve.

Oregon has historically been one of the most progressive states in terms of cannabis laws, and our hemp laws followed suit. We legalized medical cannabis in 1998 and recreational cannabis, including hemp, in 2014. 

So, we were more than ready to contribute to the growing CBD market. 

The Legalization of Hemp

The Farm Bill was passed in 2018.

This bill legalized hemp cultivation and CBD extraction on a federal level by making a clear distinction between hemp and marijuana-derived products. 

It also placed the regulations for CBD in the hands of the FDA. The FDA allows CBD products, with 0.3% of THC or less, to be sold anywhere (as long as they don’t make any big health claims).

The interest and the demand for CBD was pretty much instant. And that’s when Ablis switched from THC-infused products to all CBD.

We decided to take advantage of the amazing hemp here in Oregon and create products that supplemented an active lifestyle with CBD.

Related: Clearing the Top CBD Myths

THC vs. CBD Legality 

THC is still illegal federally, but CBD is now legal in most states. 

THC is the cannabinoid found in cannabis that gives you a high sensation, which is not the case with CBD.

Since recent studies have been able to isolate and research specific cannabinoids, it has been confirmed that CBD does not contribute to any of these psychoactive effects, leading lawmakers to revisit hemp legislation and eventually pass the Farm Bill. 

Because of this, THC is still federally illegal and categorized as a Schedule 1 drug.

Since the CBD cannabinoid can be isolated from THC, CBD products are available almost everywhere in the United States.

Although CBD is legal on a federal level, there are a few states that still have strict regulations when it comes to hemp and CBD. 

Related: Can CBD get you high? The Scoop on CBD vs. THC

Hemp is Still Illegal in Some States 

Certain states have still banned the cultivation and manufacturing of hemp products.

Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota do not allow any production of hemp or hemp-derived products locally, however their shipping laws are a little unclear. More clarification is required before we’d recommend having CBD shipped to these states. 

Each state with CBD friendly laws now has regulations for hemp. They do vary, but all regulate labeling, cultivation, and testing. 

However, regardless of the state, CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% of THC to meet federal regulations laid out by the FDA and in the Farm Bill.

Testing requirements break down all cannabinoids present and determine if any pesticides or solvents were used. Legitimate CBD products will be labeled with a lot of this information. 

The Different Types of CBD 

It’s good to know the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. 

These three distillation processes allow certain cannabinoids, like THC, to remain in the finished product or not depending on the desired result. 

Full-spectrum is the least processed, with all of the cannabinoids present in the hemp, including small amounts of THC. The THC levels will not exceed 0.3% of course. The THC is present to aid in what’s called the “entourage effect.”

The THC and other trace cannabinoids are said to help facilitate the absorption of the CBD, which can be beneficial for some. It all just depends on how your body responds to CBD. 

Broad-spectrum goes a step further, removing all the THC cannabinoids, but leaving other trace cannabinoids behind. This is a safer option if you’re looking to keep THC out of your system, as it has been known to build up over time. 

The CBD isolate distillation process isolates the CBD from all other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, leaving you with CBD and CBD alone. This is the safest and most legal option. 

This is the method used for the CBD used in Ablis’ products. That’s why we are allowed to ship nationwide. 

Related: CBD Isolate Definition and Broad vs. Full Spectrum

Always Read the Label 

This is key. The label will give you a lot of information like the amount of CBD in the product, where it was manufactured, what type of CBD it is, the batch number and date, dosing suggestions, and a list of all ingredients.

If you’re worried about travel/shipping restrictions or keeping your system free of any THC for possibly a drug test at work, read labels carefully, and make your decisions accordingly. 


*The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

CBD Education

CBD Isolate Definition and Broad vs. Full Spectrum

CBD is still fairly new to many and the choices are overwhelming. 

Whether you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, need to be able to pass a drug test at work, or require some holistic relief, knowing what to look for is the hard part these days. 

If you’re struggling to understand the jargon and processes involved, allow me to explain. 

CBD is manufactured using predominantly three different methods. All three methods utilize the hemp plant, yielding vastly different results. 

That’s right. There’s way more to it than just a CBD label!

These three types are isolate, full spectrum, and broad spectrum CBD. 

At Ablis, we use CBD isolate to infuse our beverages, so let’s start there.

What is CBD Isolate? 

CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form. Just as it sounds, it is isolated from the rest of the cannabinoids in hemp giving you nothing but a dose of natural balance. 

This means you’re only enjoying the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) and no other plant compounds found in the hemp plant are present. 

Isolate contains absolutely zero THC, which means maximum legality and no chance of a high-feeling.

To achieve this level of purity, after the oil is extracted with CO2, a method called winterization takes place, followed by a distillation process. This removes all excess wax, terpenes, and remaining cannabinoids, leaving it in its purest crystalline form. 

What About Full and Broad Spectrums?

Full spectrum CBD is the most unfiltered method and contains all the natural phytochemicals found in the hemp plant including terpenes, oils, and moderate amounts of cannabinoids. It is the least processed form of the three types. 

This means it can contain trace amounts of THC (0.03% or less), giving you the possibility of some mild psychoactive effects, though highly unlikely. (Get it? Highly?)

Full spectrum creates the “entourage effect” by facilitating those interactions between cannabinoid receptors. The entourage effect is said to be what causes cannabis to be the most potent because the cannabinoids work in tandem to create a synergy and optimize each compound.

Some of the noteworthy cannabinoids that can be found in full spectrum extracts are CBN, CBDV, CBDA, CBG, and CBC. 

Broad spectrum CBD contains all of the plant’s compounds except for THC. The method of extraction and refinement is similar to isolate, however, it only targets the THC cannabinoid. 

This type of CBD can produce a similar entourage effect like full spectrum. 

Both broad and full spectrum contain terpenes and flavonoids that have distinct flavors. 

The least amount of information is known about broad spectrum since it is the most recent method to make its way into the industry. 

Related: CBD vs. THC: They Are Not The Same

What’s the Big Difference? 

Aside from the variation in cannabinoids, price is a prominent difference. 

Keeping consistent ratios of CBD and THC compounds is not simple by any means. This makes full spectrum the most expensive of the three types of CBD. 

Broad spectrum is less pricey, however not as widely available since it’s new on the scene. 

Isolate is easy to find and typically the most affordable option.

I previously mentioned legality, which may seem irrelevant given that hemp and CBD are federally legal (thanks to the Farm Bill passed in 2018). 

However, certain states still have stringent regulations around all products that fall under the category of cannabis. It’s a good idea to look into your local and state regulations before choosing a CBD product. 

Which One is for You? 

Everyone is different. Each one of us contains a unique Endocannabinoid system internally. Many different factors can affect the way CBD interacts with your system.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; you’ve just got to experiment! Start small. 

If you are someone who finds a ratio of both CBD and THC to be advantageous, you might consider full spectrum. The entourage effect could be appropriate depending on the individual.

If you are sensitive to THC or live in a more restrictive location, broad spectrum or isolate might be a better choice.

Even trace amounts of THC can build up over time, putting you at risk in non-legal states. If you anticipate a drug test soon, save yourself the anxiety and stick to isolate

Unfortunately, mislabeling is a recurring pattern in the industry and many are sadly motivated by profit alone, so trusted brands with transparent testing and nutritional information are a must. 

It may take some time to figure out which type of CBD is a good fit for your needs, but it’s worth the wait! 

Why Did We Choose CBD Isolate at Ablis? 

We started in 2014 making a beverage that contained THC but eventually pivoted to CBD due to a growing demand for CBD products without the high associated with THC. 

We wanted to achieve a maximum reach with CBD, which meant the most legal route was the wisest. 

By ensuring that our process of extraction leaves no traces of THC, we can ship across state lines and sell just about anywhere.

Our sparkling CBD beverage might actually be the first of its kind.

We also care about quality. We have third-party testing, use crazy-good Oregon hemp for our isolate, and put only the essentials in our products. (No artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or additives!)

Isolate is odorless and flavorless, so it doesn’t leave that plant-matter-y taste behind. This seemed like a no brainer to me during the meticulous process of creating flavor infusions for our sparkling water. 

Another reason we are big fans of isolate is because we don’t want anything to slow down your lifestyle. If trace amounts of THC could potentially mellow out an intense hike or mountain bike ride – it simply isn’t ideal for our super active customer. 

Most of all, we think CBD is a powerhouse amongst the different compounds found in cannabis.

There’s nothing quite like starting or ending your day with CBD. Isolate allows you to do that without worry and still enjoy all the potential goodness the hemp plant has to offer.

How can Ablis infuse your lifestyle? 

Related: Staying True To Our Craft Beverage Roots

*The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Is Sparkling Water Bad or Good for You?

The cautionary headlines are everywhere – is sparkling water good for you? Bad for you? Should we be worried that this millennial fave is killing us all? 

I’m kidding. It’s truly not that serious. 

Allow me to explain some of the fear and ease any anxiety you have about your favorite fizzy drinks. 

The Myths About Sparkling Water 

Acidity is a term that seems to freak people out.

Most of the claims about sparkling water have to do with conditions surrounding acidity and the damage it can potentially cause.

These issues include bone density loss, tooth decay, and heart health concerns (i.e. inflammation and plaque build-up on the arteries). Pretty serious stuff!

After many clinical studies and research, basically all of these myths have been debunked. 

The issue was that early studies were basing these claims on carbonated sodas. As it turns out, sugar combined with carbonation was the real culprit for enamel erosion, bone loss, and inflammation issues. 

Once the CO2 was separated from the sugar, (most likely excessive) additives, and preservatives, it was quickly realized that carbonation is actually not the bad kind of acidic. 

Simply put, the touch of acidity is what gives carbonated beverages like sparkling water that satisfying bite in every sip. Although it is slightly acidic with a pH of between 3 and 4, drinking carbonated water doesn’t affect the alkaline levels in your body at all.  

Many believe that, because of the acidity, sparkling water is less hydrating than flat water. But with stable alkaline levels and healthy water retention shown in several studies conducted on the subject, we now know this to be incorrect information. 

Simply put, sparkling water is just as hydrating as flat water and has not been proven to cause tooth decay, bone density loss, or heart issues.

So, Are There Any Benefits? 

A few, potentially! 

Sparkling water is said to activate and strengthen the muscles in the throat used to swallow. Fun fact, both mustard and sparkling water stimulate the nerve endings which have been known to decrease that need to persistently clear your throat. 

It has also been reported to settle upset stomachs, ease indigestion, and help with constipation. 

The bubbles have been reported to give a sense of fullness that flat water simply can’t, and is said to aid in weight management by keeping you fuller longer and prevent excessive snacking.

However, some have reported uncomfortable bloating.

We’re all different, folks. Experiences may vary!

One controlled study showed a decrease in bad cholesterol and an increase in good cholesterol after consuming sparkling water. That same study also showed a decrease in inflammation and blood sugar levels. 

Some research in animals has led scientists to believe that carbonated water could potentially improve bone health, with very little evidence to the contrary. In one study, hens showed signs of stronger leg bones after carbonated water was added to their diet.

More research and clinical studies are needed to determine if these benefits are truly benefits, but the data so far is pretty compelling. 

So, what exactly is sparkling water? 

In short, it is pressurized carbon dioxide that has been forced into cold, flat water, creating a magical bubbly consistency. 

Bottom line, it’s carbonated water. 

Sparkling, Soda, Club, Fizzy, Seltzer … is There a Difference? 

Yes and no. 

They’re all just different forms of carbonated water with some variation in mineral content.

This is dependent on where the water was sourced, if it is distilled, and if mineral compounds (like sodium or sulfur) are added for taste.  

Distilled water typically removes a lot of that natural mineral content (the ones we, at Ablis, try to keep in our beverages). 

Mineral profiles will vary between the different types, but overall these beverages are in the same family. 

Are all sparkling waters created equally?

Nope! Like most things, some are going to be better than others.

Some sparkling water beverages contain added sodium, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. 

Like I said earlier, distilled waters are stripped of a lot of those minerals that make sparkling water better (in my humble opinion).

With Ablis, you get nothing but the super hydrating benefits of traditional – not distilled – sparkling water with natural flavors and, of course, CBD. 

RELATED: We’re Ablis, And This Is Our Story

What Sets Ablis Apart from the Rest? 

We use the bare minimum for maximum taste. 

Ablis is lucky enough to have access to one of the most exceptional water sources in Oregon at our doorstep. 

Using a local source is beneficial to us in many ways, but you can’t beat the quality and taste. 

It also allows us to keep our business entirely local, which is something that has been important to Ablis since its infancy.

Our water is not distilled, so it stays true to its glorious, original form. 

Not to mention, our beverages are infused with high quality, hemp derived CBD, so they’re instantly cooler than most.  

Our flavors have been carefully chosen by yours truly, using all natural essences and very little added sugar (if any). We offer some pretty unique flavors in comparison to most sparkling water brands, such as Cranberry Blood Orange and Strawberry Mojito

We pride ourselves on promoting an active, outdoor lifestyle. We don’t put any ingredients in our products that will slow you down. Just the opposite, in fact. 

Ablis beverages offer a super-hydrating sparkling water experience and are a delicious way to add CBD to your lifestyle.

RELATED: Staying True To Our Craft Beverage Roots

What’s the Verdict? 

There is still a lot to be learned about sparkling water and its effects on your body. 

However, to make any of these negative health claims even remotely true, one would have to really stretch the facts. With the existing studies, it’s clear these claims have no basis in reality. 

My advice? Just try it and see how you feel! 

Bloated and burpy? Not for you. Thirst quenched and taste buds happy? It’s the one!

Never fear. You’re not damaging your heart, your teeth, your bones, your pH level, or your cholesterol.

You’re just drinking harmless, little bubbles.