14 Mar Post Workout Recovery Tips
Working out and training hard is a huge part of your physical and mental well-being. However, spending your week lifting weights, running, rowing or surfing also calls for mindfulness in your post-workout recovery. Many trainers will argue that recovery is just as important as exercise itself, since recovery is imperative before you make progress.
There are certain things that can speed up recovery to make your next day back in the gym even more effective. Below, we’ll go over 6 different ways that will ease muscle soreness, improve results and allow you to look and feel your best.
1. Eat Well
If you’re training and working out muscles, it’s not the time to skimp on nutrients, especially protein. Protein sources are vital to rebuilding muscle tissues, so the best way to hack your recovery is by filling up on healthy protein. Research suggests that most athletes need to eat between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight per day. That being said, it’s imperative to eat enough good carbs even on your off days for maximum recovery.
2. Stay Hydrated
There’s no excuse to not stay hydrated these days with the amount of water drinking apps and types of portable water bottles. There are even water bottles that light up so you know you need to drink more! Drinking one ounce per pound of your body weight is a good way to start upping your water intake. H2O is imperative to muscle function, recovery, performance and even affects the way you eat.
3. Take Your BCAA’s
Branched-chain amino acids or BCAA’s are important to post-workout recovery. Whether you eat steak for breakfast or you’re a vegan, there are plenty of high-quality BCAA’s to add into your training and nutrition regimen. Try to take five grams of BCAAs in between meals to ensure protein synthesis throughout the day.
4. Up Your Potassium
Potassium rich foods are important to include in your post-gym snack. Intense workout sessions drain your potassium levels and electrolytes. Bananas are popular and easy to blend into a delicious shake with a high-quality protein powder. Other good sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, watermelon, frozen spinach, butternut squash and black beans. Another favorite way to replenish those electrolytes is by cracking open a coconut or just running to your local supermarket for some coconut water.
Sleeping well for optimal workout results is key. 7-9 hours of sleep is suggested for post-workout recovery. Not sleeping enough can hinder training and negatively influence the effects of anabolic hormones. Whether that means turning off social media notifications early on or setting a timer for your Hulu binge, you’ll want to make sure your bedroom environment is set up for sleeping well.Your body needs adequate sleep to restore itself, recover and optimally perform.
6. Add in Active Recovery
While rest days are important, sitting on your couch for 6 hours may not actually be the best way to recover faster. Try to add light, low intensity workouts like a relaxing yoga class or walking to the store. If your muscles feel extra tight, foam rolling has been shown to help.
7. Check Your Vitamin D Levels
Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere sunny year round, your vitamin D levels can get too low, especially in the wintertime. It’s important to get these checked and make sure you’re not Vitamin D deficient as it can lead to slower post-workout recovery.
Stress can affect the body’s ability to cover. We live in a fast-paced, busy world so it’s understandable that stress can get to you and impact you physiologically and physically. That’s why it’s so vital to incorporate deep breathing, stretching and de-stressing to maximize your recovery time. Spend time getting to know what decreases stress for you personally and try to plan for it in your training schedule. This will not only help you sleep and recover- you’ll be even more ready to train at maximum levels.