When you lead a busy lifestyle, fitting a workout routine into the mix can be challenging. With so much on the go, even doing a short workout feels like a huge win. What if we told you that there was a way to maximize your workouts and get even more mileage out of them? That’s where workout recovery comes into play.
Whether it’s your first time out for a run or you know everyone hanging out around the squat rack by name, it’s never too late to start a workout recovery regime. What you do after you get your sweat on is equally important as the exercise itself. That’s because proper recovery helps your fitness gains, your performance, and contributes to effective training. The most significant benefit is that recovery aids in muscle and tissue repair, which allows you to build strength.
Did You Know: It can take anywhere from 24-48 hours for muscles to repair and rebuild themselves. Overexertion can lead to tissue breakdown but a proper post-workout routine helps you recover faster (and safely!).
Top Tips For Optimal Workout Recovery
We understand that you have to live your life and continue being awesome, but we’re here to tell you that not only is effective post-workout recovery essential, but it also doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Explore our five favourite tips to wind down after your workouts and help get the most out of your hard work.
1. Reach for Rehydration
The sign of a good workout is sweat and lots of it. Your first instinct might be to jump in the shower to refresh, but you need to refresh your body from the inside too. While you workout, you lose a lot of water while you’re sweating and rehydrating is key to increasing your performance potential and speed up the body’s recovery process. The minimum amount of daily fluid intake is different for males and females. It’s suggested that males consume 3.7L/day and 2.7L/day for females. Keep a reusable water bottle handy throughout the day to make sure you stay hydrated and that way you’ll have no excuses.
2. Pack On The Protein
The foods you put in your body will make a difference in your muscle growth and recovery. Consuming protein will help with this process. You don’t even need to consume a ton of protein for it to be effective; around 10-20 grams is enough.
The following are some foods high in protein to try post-workout:
- Greek yogurt
- Hemp protein (vegan/plant-based friendly)
- Whey protein powder
- Chocolate milk
- Navy beans
- Canned tuna
- Trail mix (low in sugar and sodium)
- Cottage cheese
If you’re in a hurry, try snacking on some of these foods post-workout or incorporate them into a full meal to get all your nutrients in.
3. Perk Up With A Probiotic
Probiotics aren’t just for when you need digestion help. They are excellent support for overall immune system wellbeing. Probiotics are a combination of live bacteria (the good kind) and yeasts that naturally live in your body. A healthy immune system means you are prone to fewer illnesses and helps your body better defend against stress. That includes exercise! Pumping it out to your workout tunes on the elliptical may not feel like the same stress as a work deadline, but the additional exertion on your body is still a type of stress. When your immune system is ready to tackle stress, such as from a hard workout, it aids in your overall recovery.
Taking your probiotics on the run can be tasty and quick, with one of our light and refreshing vegan cold-pressed juices packed with over 3 billion live probiotic cultures. Now that’s a lot!
4. Melt Into A Massage
What is better than the satisfaction of a good workout? Getting rewarded for it! Treat yourself to a post-workout massage. Trust us; this isn’t too good to be true—it’s beneficial for your body’s recovery, your mind, and it feels great. Whether you go and get a professional massage or have a friend treat you at home, it will help you reduce muscle soreness. The pressure can bring down inflammation and improve recovery time by speeding up cell regeneration. For optimum results, make sure your massage takes place right after your cool down. This can help with delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMs) by 30%.
Did You Know: Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is pain felt in your muscles 1-2 days post-workout. If you feel pain after a workout, it’s referred to as acute muscle soreness. It stems from that burning feeling you get during exercise due to the buildup of lactic acid.
If you’re looking for an affordable and accessible at-home option, look no further than a foam roller. This handy long cylinder of foam comes in different densities, lengths, and some even have raised textured bumps to help target deep into muscle tissue. There are many different exercises you can try out and you can massage virtually every part of your body.
A 20-minute session of foam rolling on a high-density roller right after your workout and every 24 hours after has proved to reduce muscle soreness and DOMs.
Roll away your worries and more:
- Alleviate soreness
- Reduce muscle inflammation
- Aid in muscle repair recovery
- Prevent injuries by supporting muscle length, remedying tension and tightness
- Increases blood flow, the elasticity of muscle tissue, joints, and fascia (connective tissue)
- Promotes relaxation
5. Score Some Sleep
As if you need another reason to get some quality pillow time. Getting a good night’s sleep has a ton of health benefits such as boosting your immune system, improving memory, preventing weight gain, contributing to a positive mood, improving productivity, and enhancing exercise performance. It is suggested that adults get 8-10 hours of sleep to properly assist with the body’s repair and growth process post-workout.
During a hard workout, your muscles experience small tears. A solid sleep heals those microscopic tears as your body produces larger molecules to repair your muscles. To build muscle mass, the body synthesizes proteins quicker than it breaks them down. While you’re asleep, you are not consuming any food (sleep-eaters excused), so this is prime time for the body to use absorbed nutrients for protein synthesis, in turn, helping you build muscle mass.
Recover, Reset, and Renew
Try out these tips and see which ones give you the best results. Incorporate them all into your post-workout routine for optimal workout recovery. You will notice your body feeling stronger, healing faster, and you’ll be ready to attack your next workout.