What you do after your workout is almost as important as what you do during your workout. That’s right – a post-workout recovery routine is non-negotiable, and an absolute must Workout recovery is important because it allows the body time to rest and allows muscles time to repair themselves so you can actually see more gains and better performance.
- 1 5 Common Post-Workout Recovery Mistakes
- 2 Tips to Maximize Your Post-Workout Recovery
- 3 Ease Post-Workout Muscle and Joint Pain with Topical Creams and Ointments
5 Common Post-Workout Recovery Mistakes
Before tackling the best post-workout strategies, here are a few common mistakes people make when it comes to workout recovery:
1. Justification for grabbing that chocolate chip cookie…or cookies. Perhaps the most common mistake to beat all common post-workout mistakes is to use your workout to justify eating a huge meal, too many sweets, or anything that’s just plain bad for you.
2. Starving yourself. Another common workout recovery mistake is not eating enough. The muscles need protein to help with repair and growth. The muscles also need glycogen, or sugar, in the form of carbohydrates to replenish its energy stores. Eating the right amount of protein and carbs after your workout is essential to see optimal results.
3. Going too hard. Working out too many days in a row or even multiple times a day without scheduling any sort of workout recovery can actually hinder your progress. In sticking to a workout recovery routine, the number on the scale or the amount of weight you can handle might change quickly.
4. Resting too hard. Yes, your muscles need time to recover, however, that does not mean sit on the couch and binge-watch your favorite TV show for the rest of the day. It’s important to still stay mobile while you’re in post-workout recovery mode so your muscles and joints stay lubricated and loose.
5. Skipping the post-workout stretch sesh. This one goes hand-in-hand with staying mobile and not relegating yourself to the couch after your workout. Never ever ever skip stretching after your workout. Stretching helps to prevent injury, increase flexibility, and keeps your muscles and joints healthy.
Tips to Maximize Your Post-Workout Recovery
Here’s a shortlist of surefire ways to get the most out of your workout recovery routine:
Food is fuel
Do you live to eat or eat to live?
Even if you place yourself in the live to eat category, it’s important to take on an eat to live, or “food is fuel,” mantra after your workout.
This is when your body needs proper nutrition the most, and, as previously mentioned, should typically come in the form of protein and carbohydrates.
A good rule of thumb is to follow a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio when eating during your workout recovery time.
For instance, you could eat one banana and 2 tablespoons almond butter, or a serving size each of hummus and whole-wheat pita should do the trick.
Other workout recovery snacks include:
- chai-turmeric smoothie bowl.Add ground flax seed for an added protein boost
- almond butter and an apple
- chia seed pudding with mango
- avocado toast with hemp or pumpkin seeds
- quinoa bowl with edamame
- for a great on-the-go snack, try date energy balls
Rest and digest before and after workouts
The body’s ability to rebuild protein and glycogen is at its peak after a workout. Therefore, consuming that award-winning, workout-enhancing combo of protein and carbs should be done no more than 45 minutes after your workout.
You have some wiggle room with this timing if you ate right before your workout.
It’s never a wise idea to go to bed on a full stomach, but it is a wise idea to make sure getting enough sleep is part of your workout recovery routine. Sleep is the ultimate opportunity for your body to recover, not only from your workout but from everyday stresses, as well.
As part of your workout recovery, muscle-building hormones called anabolic hormones see a boost during sleep. Conversely, muscle-wasting, or catabolic hormones experience a decline during sleep.Therefore, getting enough sleep allows your muscles to adequately recover.
Plus, getting about 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night will increase performance, combat fatigue, improve mood, and allow your body to adapt to your workout faster.
Always stretch before and after workouts
The best way to ensure proper workout recovery is to do a bit of gentle stretching after each workout. Stretching helps with mobility and flexibility, as well as improves blood flow, which can lead to quicker muscle recovery.
As you climb over the 30-40 year mark, you’ll really feel abuse you put on your body. Do yourself a favor and stretch to prevent or reverse the damage.
Hydrate before and after workouts
While you’re stretching, why not replace some of the fluids you lost during your workout? Drinking plenty of water post-workout and throughout your day will:
- prevent dehydration
- help rid the body of metabolic waste and improve metabolic function
- allow the body to recover and function at its best
Drink 8 ounces of water every 30 minutes during your workout(if you are doing a particularly intense workout or are profusely sweating, you can drink more). Make sure to drink 8 ounces half hour after your workout, as well.
Ease Post-Workout Muscle and Joint Pain with Topical Creams and Ointments
Another way to find relief post-workout is to use a product like CBDMEDIC™’s Active Sport Pain Relief Ointment or Active Sport Pain Relief Stick. The active ingredients of menthol and camphor can provide relief, not only after, but before and during a workout. They can also help relieve any discomfort as a result of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which tends to occur about 24-hours after a workout, bringing along with it reduced range of motion and flexibility, muscle soreness and stiffness. If you are suffering from back pain post-workout you should consult a health expert.
For more information on post-workout muscle soreness and the importance of workout recovery, read Post-Workout Muscle Soreness – Everything You Need To Know.