Did you know that your recovery routine is just as important as your diet, training, and exercise?
Without it, you'll be left sore, achy, and sitting on the sidelines until you're healed and rested.
(If you don't have a recovery routine and you're not sore and achy the next day, you're not training hard enough. Get out there and push your boundaries.)
Today, we'll talk about 7 muscle recovery tips that you can start implementing immediately.
...and they don't all include supplements.
WHY YOU NEED A RECOVERY ROUTINE
Do you struggle to sit the day after a heavy squat day because your legs are too sore and tired? Are your muscles sore and stiff the day after a tough workout?
What's the cause?
DOMS can cause:
- Tender Muscles
- Pain and Stiffness
- Muscle Fatigue
Also referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, DOMS is the next day(s) muscle soreness that we're trying to conquer.
Let's talk about seven ways to reduce DOMS to keep you training.
5 MUSCLE RECOVERY TIPS TO START USING IMMEDIATELY
- Use Natural Supplements
- Stay Hydrated
- Eat Nutritious Meals for Fuel
- Get Adequate Sleep
- Incorporate Active Rest and Recovery
ADD NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR RECOVERY ROUTINE
Supplements help to fill the gaps in your diet!
- Pre Workout
- Grass-Fed Protein
- Branched Chained Amino Acids
On top of a nutrient-dense diet, use supplements to your benefit to help optimize your exercise, training, and performance.
Muscle recovery supplements are specifically formulated and designed to reduce the effects of DOMS. If you're engaged in high-intensity training, it's best to take your muscle recovery shake immediately after training to refuel your muscles and shorten your recovery.
Look for a muscle recovery supplement that uses the widely studied 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein for the best recovery.
High glycemic carbohydrates, such as Maltodextrin, immediately replenish muscle glycogen stores to improve the recovery process and saturate your muscles for your next training sessions.
Protein from grass-fed sources promotes protein synthesis and reduces protein degradation. In layman's terms, protein helps to rebuild your muscles and stimulate muscle repair to ward off DOMS.
Protein from grass-fed cows have a greater nutritional advantage than protein from grain-fed cows.
- Less Total Fat
- More Antioxidants
- Increased Levels of Omega 3's
- Higher Levels of CLA
- More Vitamin A and E
After exercise and training, you have up to 6 hours to replenish your protein sources.
Remember, if you're engaged in high-intensity, strenuous workouts, you want to take in your protein immediately after exercise, but if you're training at a lower intensity level, your protein window gets extended.
Protein after your workout is essential to repair damaged muscle tissues that were broken down during exercise to reduce soreness and improve your recovery time.
Best taken prior to or during your workout to support your muscles.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) are critical to support your muscles by:
- Preventing Loss Muscle Mass
- Promoting Muscle Protein Synthesis
- Decreasing Fatigue
- Improving Recovery Time
Made up of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine - BCAAs should be added to your supplement routine to support your muscle during and after exercise.
Leucine boosts muscle protein synthesis.
Isoleucine improves muscle recovery after strenuous training sessions.
Valine repairs muscle tissue fibers.
We all need them.
Especially the sweaters out there. No, not the ugly Christmas sweater hiding in your closet, the athletes that sweat profusely no matter how light they take it.
Your body needs electrolytes to reduce muscle fatigue and regulate muscle contractions.
Electrolytes are easy, take them before, during, and after your workout to replenish the electrolytes you lose during exercise through sweat.
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
We can't stress it enough!
But you need more than just water. You need to replenish your electrolytes.
If you're running low on these important electrolytes, you're bound to cramp up after training.
Sodium regulates muscle function, nerve function, and blood pressure control.
Chloride maintains fluid balance and oxygen delivery.
Potassium ensures proper muscle functioning, metabolizes carbohydrates, and synthesizes protein.
Magnesium is critical in regulating nerve and muscle contractions, energy production, and immune functions.
Without electrolytes, your body wouldn't be able to function and perform optimally.
Hydrate smarter with electrolytes.
EAT FOR FUEL
You are what you eat!
If you're eating shit food, it's a no-brainer that you're recovery will be affected and you'll be sitting on the sidelines.
Your body is an engine, it needs fuel (good fuel) to perform and recover.
EAT THIS NOT THAT, CHOOSE:
- Grass-Fed Protein over Grain-Fed Protein
- Whole Foods over Processed (duhhhh)
Antioxidant-rich fruits like cherries help to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness post workout.
Vitamin-rich foods like eggs, spinach, and broccoli help to repair and create new muscle cells in the body.
Creatine-rich foods like red meat, salmon, and poultry supplement your body's natural production of creatine to support your muscles.
A nutrient-dense diet and lifestyle can help you train harder and recover smarter.
GET ADEQUATE SLEEP TO REST AND RECOVER
Sleep isn't for the weak, sleep is essential, especially after a hard day of training.
You'll need at least 7 hours of good quality to help your body's recovery process.
When you sleep, your body uses it as a time to reset, restore, and repair.
Sleep allows the body to:
- Repair Damaged Muscles
- Rejuvenated Muscle Tissues
- Stimulate Tissue Growth
During sleep, the body is on a mission to restore and repair itself, and your muscles are no exception. According to studies on the relationship between rest and muscle recovery, sleep is essential for muscle repair, and a lack of sleep hinders the muscles from recovering appropriately.
INCORPORATE ACTIVE REST AND RECOVERY INTO YOUR LIFESTYLE
There will be days when your body is downright sore and your brain needs a reset.
Instead of sitting on the couch, get your body moving with active rest and recovery activities.
- Stretching or Foam Rolling
- Outdoor Activities
Active recovery facilitates muscle recovery by allowing you to maintain an exercise routine, eliminates toxins from the body, and reduces the buildup of lactic acid in your body’s muscles.
Light exercise helps your body slowly get back to its form.
Sometimes, you need to give your body a break, but that doesn't mean to lay on the couch all day.
Get outside, get moving, and stay active.