How can you properly recover after an intense workout?
Working out is great. Working out hard is even better. The problem is that after a while, we get to a point where we’re pushing ourselves so much that our muscles take a while to recover. This can sometimes be painful and could actually impact our daily lives or prevent us from growing muscle or from working out again for a few days if we don’t know how to fix it. Muscle recovery is vital to building muscle and working out properly.
The good news is that we can actually take advantage of the situation and/or fix it with little or no complication. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be able to recover faster after a workout:
Consume Plenty of Protein
As you work out, the proteins that make up your muscle fibers will become damaged. Some people will refer to this as your muscles tearing, although this isn’t exactly an accurate description. After your workout, you should consume between 20 and 40 grams of protein to provide your body with what it needs to repair and grow your muscles.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet will help prevent nutrient deficiencies that may prevent your muscles from recovering. This means eating enough protein, fruits, vegetables, grains, and fiber every single day. It also means that you should minimize your consumption of ultra-processed foods and beverages, which include things like fried foods, sodas, cheese-flavored chips, energy drinks, etc.
Avoid Alcohol & Tobacco
Most of us like to have a drink every once in a while, but the truth is that alcohol isn’t good for muscle recovery. In fact, it’s pretty darn terrible for muscle recovery and many other aspects of your health. Drinking alcohol impairs protein synthesis and your muscles’ ability to replenish glycogen after endurance exercise. You should also avoid smoking, which may also have a negative impact on muscle recovery.
Always Drink a Lot of Water
A primary key to good muscle recovery is hydration. This means you need to drink a lot of water after you’ve worked out. Water will carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells and regulate your body temperature.
If you don’t properly hydrate, it will be difficult for your body to normalize your blood pressure and stabilize your heart rate. And you definitely won’t see the benefits of a good workout.
Consider Taking Supplements
If you want to recover faster after a workout, then you really should consider taking some supplements. The two that we’d suggest are creatine monohydrate and protein powder. Creatine has been shown to reduce muscle damage and inflammation, while protein powder adds a full spectrum of essential amino acids to your diet.
Get Enough Sleep Each Night
Many of us don’t get enough sleep each night, and that’s a real problem. If you want your muscles to recover properly, then you need to get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping at least eight hours each night will help you recover quickly while also reducing your chances of injury each time you work out. Sticking to a regular schedule should be your goal.
Resist Skipping Rest Days
When people get really gung-ho about working out, they want to exercise every single day. That sounds really great, and we totally support you, but we beg you — cool your jets a bit. You definitely need to skip a day every once in a while.
At the very least, you need a rest day every 7 to 10 days. This means taking a break and basically not doing much else so that your body can recoup for a full day.
Schedule a Deep Massage
Anyone who’s had a massage probably already knows that it helps with muscle soreness. A deep massage is even better.
They increase blood flow and speed up the recovery process. This increase in blood circulation will reduce the feeling of fatigue after a tough workout. If you don’t want to do a deep massage, that’s perfectly okay. Even a regular massage will definitely help.
Wear Compression Garments
Many people have found success by wearing compression garments to aid in muscle recovery. There’s limited evidence for this, but some people swear by them, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. This actually involves compression therapy, where items such as compression stockings, compression wraps, or bandages are used to increase blood flow in your legs and to your heart. This, in turn, aids in muscle recovery.
Contact Dunedin Fitness and Movement for Faster Muscle Recovery
Dunedin Fitness and Movement is home to the best personal trainer in Dunedin and the surrounding areas. If you have any questions for our holistic fitness trainer or would like to learn about muscle recovery time, give us a call at (727) 755-3485 today.