Muscle pain and soreness are inevitable consequences you will feel when you’re working out regularly. But, don’t worry. Most of the time, these discomforts can mean that your body is getting stronger. However, these body aches and tenderness can also interfere with our daily lives. The good news is that you can hasten your body’s healing process by following these tips for faster workout recovery.
1. Always Stay Hydrated
A common recommendation is to drink fluids before, during, and after exercising. There are various reasons to follow this advice.
First, proper hydration will help your body replenish its energy stores and maintain a normal temperature. Aside from that, dehydration may also lead to a build-up of lactic acid, resulting in muscle soreness. Lastly, your body is able to get rid of the toxins when you drink lots of fluids.
For most people, water is enough to hydrate their bodies after exercising. According to a study, coconut water is also an excellent post-workout beverage. The main reason is due to its essential nutrients such as potassium, sodium, and antioxidants. These substances will restore your lost electrolytes and speed-up your body’s recovery. But, always remember that drinking too much coconut water can lead to bloating. Thus, it is best to drink this refreshing beverage slowly and moderately.
2. Replenish Lost Electrolytes
During a workout, we sweat and lose electrolytes or nutrients such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. This can pose a serious problem because electrolyte imbalance can cause nausea, cramps, fatigue, and confusion. Because of these negative effects, replenishing lost electrolytes is one of the most important tips for faster workout recovery.
Like various sports drinks, coconut water can provide nutrients and balance your electrolytes. But, if these products are unavailable, you can also eat foods rich in minerals like potassium. Some highly recommended products are bananas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
3. Eat Lots of High-Quality Proteins
As you know, workouts, especially strenuous exercises, can cause tiny tears in our muscles. To repair these damages, you need to consume enough high-quality proteins throughout the day. Remember, your body’s recovery is an ongoing process. Thus, proteins are not only valuable after your workout. Protein-rich foods should be a part of your every meal, including snacks.
Aside from that, including carbohydrates and healthy fats in your diet is also essential for optimum recovery.
4. Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Aside from the above-mentioned foods, other valuable products in this list of tips for faster workout recovery are anti-inflammatory foods. Keep in mind that these beneficial products can ease muscle soreness and hasten your body’s healing process.
An example for this is tart cherry juice. According to various studies, drinking this healthful beverage can help reduce muscle pain and soreness. These effects are due to tart cherry’s anthocyanin and flavonoid contents that fight free radicals and reduce swelling.
Other anti-inflammatory foods you can eat are almonds, walnuts, blueberries, ginger, olive oil, and some green leafy vegetables.
5. Get a Massage
Aside from proper nutrition, another great way to speed-up your recovery is to get a full body massage from a licensed therapist. This type of therapy is a bit pricey, but it can offer numerous benefits.
Keep in mind that a good therapist knows how to ease your muscle tensions and discomforts. Furthermore, a massage therapy can also improve your blood flow and get rid of toxic substances. Lastly, this activity can also help you relax – physically and mentally.
6. Use a Foam Roller
Aside from the above-mentioned tips for faster workout recovery, using a foam roller is another effective method you can try.
Basically, a foam roller is a cylindrical piece of foam you can roll against your muscles. Through this method, you can improve your blood flow, reduce muscle tensions, and release build up lactic acid. Overall, a foam roller will not only relieve post-workout pain and soreness. This amazing product can also help prevent injuries by improving your flexibility.
7. Get Adequate Rest and Sleep
Fitness experts recommend taking at least one rest day per week to allow your muscles to recover. However, a day off is not enough to completely heal your body. Getting adequate amounts of sleep is also necessary. The main reason is due to the growth hormones released when we are sleeping, which helps in muscle development and recovery. But, that’s not all. Always remember that sleep deprivation can lead to health problems such as stress, chronic fatigue, and mood swings.
- Recovery Effects of Tart Cherry Juice (UNM)
- Coconut Water Versus Sports Drink (NCBI)
- The Importance of Rest (Michigan State University)
- Proteins for Recovery (NCBI)