An effect of ascorbic acid on delayed-onset muscle soreness

Pain. 1992 Sep;50(3):317-321. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(92)90037-C.


Delayed-onset muscle soreness following strenuous use of the posterior calf muscles was studied to determine if ascorbic acid might have an effect on the appearance of this familiar pain. A double-blind, randomized, crossover study compared the soreness in subjects taking ascorbic acid against those taking a lactose placebo. Visual analog scales were used in conjunction with a variety of pain-challenging methods, and the results indicated a significant difference between experimental and placebo groups at the height of soreness. Typical soreness abatement scores of 25-44% were observed. A sample size of 19, lack of an untreated control group as well as the singular nature of the exercise and its intensity were considered limitations of the study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactose / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / drug effects
  • Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Palliative Care*
  • Placebos
  • Time Factors


  • Placebos
  • Lactose
  • Ascorbic Acid