We have all experienced soreness and muscle fatigue after working out. We hydrate, rest our bodies, and hope the next day isn’t worse. Depending upon the level of soreness and fatigue we are experiencing we may be held back from exercising for a few days to let our bodies heal.
Recovery is essential for muscle growth, size, and even our health. But instead of just sitting on our butts drinking tons of H2O try some of these methods to help your body feel better faster!
- Get more sleep. Sleep is prime time for the body to undergo protein synthesis, so getting in a few extra zzzs after a tough workout might help with stronger muscles and better endurance. Same goes for a nap! Research shows a nap roughly 2 hours after a workout helps the body enter deep, restorative state of sleep.
- Consume protein before bed and in the am. Protein helps our bodies repair muscles over night and gives us a great boost of nutrients to recharge and rebuild muscles. Consuming protein in the am can also help decrease food cravings later in the day.
- Drink chocolate milk! yum. This is a fantastic post-workout snack! The protein kick starts muscle recovery and the carbs help decrease the time it takes for the body to get ready for its next workout!
- Tart cherry juice. This juice helps reduce muscle swelling that occurs when we rip and cause tears during an intense workout.
- Cold ice baths. Funny I have totally filled my bath tub up to do this after an insane workout. But even though the full body plunge seems nerve wrecking, research shows that taking a dip after a workout can significantly reduce soreness and inflammation for up to 24 hours after exercise!
- Foam roll or massage. Massages help break up scar tissue and reduce stiffness. By digging into the muscles, adhesions are broken down allowing for proper muscle function and the stages of repair to occur.
It is ALWAYS important to rest 2 days between workouts involving the same muscle group. Also, water. Hydrating our muscles helps reduce the risk of injury to muscles as well as aiding in the recovery of muscles.
There is no gold standard for recovering faster and everyone is different. Plus, depending upon the workout completed recovery may vary as well. Find what works best for you and if you notice your performance is decreasing from workout to workout, it may be time to schedule in a few extra rest days!
What are some of your recovery methods??