Staying fit is one of the best ways to keep you healthy and in great shape. While getting enough exercise should be a part of your fitness program, many of us fail to realize just how important muscle recovery is after every workout. Failure to support muscle recovery increases your risk for potential injury, decreases your drive to exercise consistently, and even reduces your overall performance.
The problem is, many people are not doing enough to support muscle and tissue repair after each workout. It is not enough that you try to work out different muscle groups each time. If you want to optimize muscle recovery, you need to quit the following habits:
Indulging in Sports Drinks
Hydration is essential during a workout. You can also fill up your body with fluids after each session to improve recovery. But know that sports drinks are actually filled with sugar, making these the last thing you want if you are trying to lose weight.
You are better off drinking water to keep yourself hydrated. How much water you need will depend on your weight. You only need to multiply 0.03 by your weight in kilograms.
This means if you weigh 55 kilograms, you should be drinking at least 1.65 liters each day. It also helps to check the color of your urine. If the color is darker than apple juice, then you need to drink more fluids.
If you are trying to limit your calorie intake, consider adding a protein supplement to your diet. You can mix casein in your whey protein shake for better results. Taking this immediately after a workout can help hydrate you and aid in maximizing your workout efforts.
Not Taking a Fitness Break
It is a common misconception that you need to keep on working out specific muscle groups you want to improve to garner the best results. In reality, you need to give your body enough time to recover. The recovery period will depend on the type and duration of your workout.
You will also need to consider how often you work out, how intense each workout session is, and what you eat. Experts suggest that newbies rest for up to 72 hours to regain strength. It helps to get up to eight hours of sleep each day to facilitate recovery.
Try to relax and consider doing nothing to promote recovery after intense workouts. You can avoid overtraining by getting adequate amounts of rest. So, don’t take rest for granted.
Depriving Yourself of a Massage
Nothing feels better than a good massage after an intense exercise. The good news is, the best time to get a massage is the soonest time possible after working out. This will help reduce your chances of experiencing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
DOMS is the pain you feel after exercising. You can usually start feeling this within six to eight hours after working out. This can last for up to two days after exercising.
Studies show that massage helps with muscular strength and proprioception. But know that massages are never created equal. To avoid DOMS from wrecking your plans, get the right kind of massage therapy.
Skipping Your Post-Workout Meal
Some people indulge in workouts to aid in their weight loss. Others simply want to gain more muscles to look and feel good. But just because you want to achieve a better weight and more muscles, does not mean you should not eat after every workout.
In general, you should eat your post-workout meal 45 minutes after exercising. This is since exercise partially depletes your muscles with proteins and glycogen. To restore glycogen and muscle proteins, you can speed up the process by eating right.
A combination of carbs and protein is essential after every workout. This is why gym junkies would drink their protein shakes after exercising. You don’t necessarily need to skip eating fat even if your goal is to burn fat in the first place.
Focus on foods that are easily digested. Think of nuts and avocado for your fats and eggs, salmon, tuna, chicken, and Greek yogurt for your proteins. As for your carbs, oats, dark, green leafy veggies, whole grain pasta, fruits, and quinoa are advisable.
Do you often find it hard to eat within 45 minutes after your workout? Then consider consuming meals before training. This is since a delay in carb consumption can reduce your glycogen synthesis by up to 50%.
You work hard each week just to complete your regular workout regimes. But if you don’t adopt the right habits post-workout, then your efforts won’t pay off. For best results, be sure to rethink your post-workout regimen. Practice the right habits that can help boost muscle recovery so you can enjoy better workout results.