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How to Improve Muscle Recovery after Workout

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Can you recall one of those days on which evening moving would hurt? This happens when on an intense workout day. If you want to stand in the gym the next day, you must recover.  What’s your remedy for an aching body? Popping an Advil and sucking it, right? But if your goal is to build muscle mass, you have got to do something else to boost the recovery and crush working out in the gym.

After all, you can’t make the most of your workout if you don’t rest and treat your body well. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the tips to improve muscle recovery after an intense workout:

 

Get to Sleep


Hands down, the best way to recover from sore muscles is to get sleep. After a tough workout, your body needs rest to recover and sleeping is the way thing you can do. Getting enough sleep can also improve your athletic performance since your body won’t be tired. 

 

Eat the Right Food


Food has an important role to play in muscle recovery. Your body needs protein and carbs. Here is what your food intake should look like:

  • Post-workout protein intake

An intense workout damages the proteins that make the muscle fibers. That’s why as soon as you are done working out, you must consume protein. Your body needs it in raw form in order to initiate muscle damage.

20 to 40 grams of protein is enough for maximizing muscle growth.

  • Protein pre-workout

It’s also helpful to eat protein before the workout. This boosts the muscle protein system. Taking 0.4 to 0.5 grams of protein of your body weight is recommended.

  • Carbs post-workout

Muscles store carbs in the form of glycogen for energy. During an intense workout, the muscles use this glycogen as the primary form of energy. 

 

Use a Foam Roller


The cause of soreness after exercise is when your muscles and fascia (the connective tissue running throughout the body) get knotted. 

To get some relief, use a myofascial foam roller to reduce these knots. Get a semi-rigid roller to relieve the pain. It’s a great alternative when you need a massage badly but can’t afford one.


Take a Daytime Nap


A good old nap doesn’t just take the blues away but it makes you alert and enhances performance. Sleep does not have much effect on the strength but any tiredness caused by sore muscles can be reduced by taking a short nap. Make sure it’s a quick power nap, though.

 

Take a Day Off From Exercising 


If you are too tired or sore, it’s ok not to skip a workout day. Some people need more rest and that’s totally fine. Factors such as your age and fitness level determine how much rest you will need between workout sessions.

If you continue to work out without giving a break, this can reduce your performance and might as well cause an injury. Stay safe and rest if your body demands it.

 

Take a Cold Bath


Athletes and bodybuilders take a cold bath after working out. It reduces inflammation and soreness to a great extent. 

Cold water immersion sure is great when it comes to reducing inflammation in the muscles but it is not as effective as active recovery. So don’t rely on it completely but neglect it either.

 

Drink Tart Cherry Juice


When you are stiff as a board, tart cherry juice is a supplement that will reduce the swelling caused by damaged muscles. It will reduce the pain and help the body recover faster. 

Research has shown that tart cherry juice can reduce inflammation and can help with DOMS after exercise.

 

Drink Lots of Water


This shouldn’t go without saying. Water is essential for fast recovery. It helps remove the metabolic waste out of your body produced by a heavy workout. 

One should drink 8 ounces of water 30 minutes after the workout and between 16 to 24 ounces of every pound of your body weight lost during the workout session. You can loseup to 4 liters of water per hour in the heat so make sure to stay as much hydrated as possible.

If it’s hard to drink water, then get Gatorade. 

 

Muscle Recovery Time – How Long Does it Take?

 

The time it takes for muscles to recover after an intense workout depends on how fit you are and the difficulty of the workout performed. The duration, intensity, and volume of the exercise have a significant role to play in determining what your body went through.

If it was a light workout, it will take 24 hours for your muscles to recover. On the other hand, if it was a challenging workout, it will take 2 to 3 days. In case the workout was intense, the recovery might take a few more days.

These are some of the factors that are likely to affect your recovery time:

  • The amount of sleep you get
  • Nutrition your body is receiving
  • How you are dealing with stress 
  • Type of exercise performed 

You must give your body the time to recover. During the recovery period, the muscles repair themselves from the wear and tear after the exercise. The body must clear lactic acid-producing during the strenuous workout. If you don’t give them the rest and care they need to repair, you may end up injuring yourself. The pain might as well keep on lingering for days and you won’t be able to continue working out.

 

The Takeaway


After reading the above, it is clear that if you fail to allow your muscles to fully recover, you are putting yourself at risk of injuring. 

Let’s say your muscles feel sore and you are unable to see improvements in your fitness level. This is a sign that you must spend more time recovering from your workout. if you are training to stay in top shape, the best way of maximizing muscle recovery is to get restful sleep and a healthy diet. 

Also, follow the tips mentioned here to improve your muscle recovery time and you will be good. 


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