15 Tips To Boost Your Post-Workout Recovery : After working out, you need to give your body time to recover. Also, your muscles will probably hurt in varying degrees. Nonetheless, it’s a sign that your muscles need to recuperate. Although exercise usually involves muscular pain, thankfully, there are ways to improve and speed up recovery.
Now it’s important to note that, among the many things you can do to boost post-workout recovery, nothing beats adequate rest or sleep and having a good diet. But you can also use post workout CBD supplements to complement your balanced diet and healthy lifestyle for optimum results.
That said, here are a few tips to boost post-workout recovery:
When you work out, you use a lot of energy. And as you burn calories, you also produce sweat. Your body excretes a fair amount of metabolic waste that needs to be disposed of in a fluid form. That’s why we sweat during exercise. So, physical activity is dehydrating. Therefore, after every workout, you need to rehydrate. You don’t need someone to remind you to rehydrate, because thirst acts as a signal that your body needs replenishment.
Now, remember, not all fluids are good for recovery. For example, you need to avoid coffee and alcohol after your workout because they may dehydrate you. So instead, drink pure water. If you don’t have bottled water, drink tap water. Or you can drink healthier fluids, such as green tea, coconut water, and even chocolate milk. These drinks contain essential nutrients such as protein in milk and antioxidants in tea and coconut water. It now simply depends on what fluid you prefer as a pre- or post-workout drink.
Another option is low-sugar sports drinks. They load these drinks with electrolytes such as sodium and potassium that aid in muscle recovery and prevent muscle cramps.
If you don’t have a balanced diet, you could have a nutrient deficiency that could affect your muscles’ ability to recover. So, while protein is very important in muscle recovery, other nutrients and vitamins are also equally important in maintaining your overall wellbeing.
Therefore, you should closely monitor your diet and make sure that it’s balanced to avoid overindulging in specific types of nutrients but lacking other nutrients. You can take a good multivitamin to help with this. But you can’t solely rely on it to provide all the nutrients you need. Therefore, you need to maintain a balanced meal with portions of calories, proteins, minerals, and vitamins for as long as you’re involved in physical activity.
Your body needs protein for your muscles to function properly. Muscles synthesize protein to promote muscle recovery and growth. With insufficient protein, muscles won’t recover or grow as fast. Ever wonder why bodybuilders drink protein shakes?
Therefore, to boost recovery, you need to ensure that your diet is protein-rich. There are many healthy sources of protein out there. Just try to incorporate them into your diet. Think of meals with milk, cheese, eggs, lean meat, fish, nuts, and seeds, amongst others.
If need be, you could take protein supplements too. But perhaps you should consult with a doctor or qualified trainer first when taking these. Take protein at least 2 hours before bed and also as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Another way to add protein to your diet is adding protein powder to your meals. Protein powder has a healthy dose of amino acids and collagen, which promote healthy bones and muscles.
Eat Healthy Carbohydrates
With carbohydrates (carbs), realize that not all of them are good for your health. Let alone post-workout recovery. Although your body needs carbohydrates during and after a workout, you need to choose your carbs wisely. Choose carbs like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, quinoa, amongst others, which are healthy.
Also, as a pre-workout meal, consider carbs with a high glycemic index such as wheat bread, cereal bars, and fruits if you are going to be involved in high-intensity or back-to-back workouts. But by all means, avoid processed or unhealthy carbohydrates like white bread and sugary pastries, especially immediately before or after workouts.
Eat A Healthy Snack
To help boost recovery, eat a healthy snack immediately after or within 45 minutes of your workout. You want to have a meal or snack that is rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates help to revive the energy levels in your body and muscles, which are much needed after a workout. While proteins help to repair and rebuild muscles. Thus, both nutrients are essential.
During exercise, you deplete your energy stores understandably, and to replace them, you’ll need to eat healthy snacks. A good post-workout snack could be an energy bar, for example.
This may understandably come as unwelcome news for tobacco smokers. But, it’s necessary. Tobacco increases your risk of muscular injury. Moreover, it’s associated with an increased risk of bone fractures, joint complications, and slow healing.
According to a study from the American Journal of Physiology, smoking makes it difficult to build muscle because it deprives blood and oxygen flow to them. So, to boost post-workout recovery, it’s best to stay from tobacco.
As mentioned before, alcohol dehydrates your body, contrary to what your body needs during recovery. There’s evidence that alcohol impairs protein synthesis and your muscles’ ability to replenish glycogen after exercise.
Plus, alcohol is damaging to your overall wellbeing. No matter how tempting it is to grab a bottle of beer or glass of wine during rest, resist it. Especially immediately before and after workouts.
Listen To Music
This may seem out of place, but it isn’t. Music affects our mood, and different variations of it affect us differently. You can use music to calm your nerves down after a workout and when you are laying down in recovery mode. Listen to the soothing music of your choice to help bring your heart rate down. It won’t take away the pain after strenuous exercise, but it can help to calm your nerves down.
Take A Cold Bath
It’s common for athletes to take cold baths after heavy exercise in the field. Studies show that taking a cold shower helps with muscle recovery and reduces inflammation. You may be uncomfortable at the thought of jumping into a cold shower, which is understandable. But you will get the hang of it once you do it more often.
There’s an alternative to this known as contrast water therapy. This is when you alternate between hot and cold water for a short period. Perhaps this will be a more convenient compromise for you! This action causes rapid dilation and contraction of your blood vessels, which increases heart rate. The research on the effectiveness of this method is limited, but there is sufficient reason to believe that it works for certain individuals based on those few studies.
This is a more extreme spin on taking a cold shower. This method entails exposing your body to frigid temperatures for a couple of minutes. Studies have shown that it helps to relieve inflammation, soreness, and tiredness. Consult with your doctor or trainer first before trying this out. Ideally, try it upon recommendation from your doctor because it normally applies to athletes who are prone to serious injuries. However, if you’re not an athlete, you may not require this.
Wearing compression garments has become increasingly common over the years. As clothing technology has advanced, the materials used in compression outfits have become more effective in working out.
There are a few studies that show how these outfits lower the recovery time. It’s effective at minimizing soreness after exercise as the compression of these outfits mimics a low-level massage on the muscles. It also helps increase the temperature of your body. Thus, promoting better blood flow for your recovery.
Massages are an easy and cost-effective solution for quick muscle recovery. It helps to relax your muscles after a workout. Often after heavy or light exercise, it’s normal to feel stiffness in your muscles and even in your joints. Now, while stretching before and after a workout will help, it may not always suffice. That’s why you ought to either massage yourself or look for someone else to massage you.
Fortunately, there are creative ways you can massage yourself, for example, by using different size rollers to massage your back.
Moreover, massage helps to reduce your heart rate and allows you to have more controlled breathing as a consequence. Anyone who’s received a good back rub after a strenuous day at the gym would know the power of a good massage!
Sleep is a very important aspect of post-workout recovery. Why? Because during sleep, a muscle-building growth hormone is secreted. This hormone helps build more muscle and repair damaged muscle tissue. So, the more sleep you get, the better. Plus, if you want to get enough energy for your workout the next day, you’re going to need enough sleep.
Besides, after strenuous exercise, it’s usually easier to fall asleep and sleep longer due to fatigue. The body naturally wants to rest and recover after a strenuous workout.
Furthermore, some studies show that depriving yourself of sleep impairs muscle recovery and growth. The more you engage intensely in physical exercise, the more sleep you’ll need. That’s why some athletes allegedly sleep no less than 9 hours a day. That’s understandable, given the extent of muscle repair that needs to be done.
Every person who works out regularly probably knows that ideally, you need to have some rest days. These are the days when you don’t work out to allow your muscles to rebuild and recover.
Depending on the individual, it can be anything from 2 to 4 days a week. Of course, for athletes, this rest period may be less. But they still need it too. If you notice your performance deteriorating, it could be a sign that you need to rest your muscles. It’s not good for you to exercise your muscles and not allow them time to recover. Inadequate rest could lead to muscle tears and joint pain. So don’t cut back on the amount of rest you need to give your body.
Moreover, if you wish to maintain proactivity during your rest days, you can do light exercise. But you have to make sure that you keep activity to a minimum. Perhaps, something like a roller could be your perfect companion. You can use this to do ab workouts to keep your blood flow going. Also, that light 2-minute workout will help to stimulate your machine memory. This especially applies to those who rest for 3 or 4 days and do relatively light lifting at the gym.
Between workouts or reps, give yourself some time to cool down. Ideally, at the end of every workout, you need to have a cool-down period. Mind you, blood is rushing through your body. Cooling down will help to bring your heart rate down. It involves very light activity, like stretching, for example.
This helps prevent lightheadedness as well, which is common if you’ve had a hard workout. When you’re working out, your body sends blood to every part of your body, including your legs. That blood needs to be pumped back up to the heart to make a complete circuit. If your body sends too much to your lower body while neglecting the brain, it could cause lightheadedness. It’s rare, but it happens, and when it does happen, drink water and cool down.
People differ in terms of fitness. Fitness level affects the speed of recovery. For example, it’s fair to say that the recovery required by a football player differs from someone who does cardio at the gym. No matter how fast or slow your recovery is, it’s still important to take time to do so. Neglecting recovery puts you at risk of injury. It may also affect your muscles’ ability to repair themselves. Use the above guide to help you boost post-workout recovery this year.
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