Best Ways to Recover After a Workout
Health & Fitness - June 6, 2023

A healthy recovery program is critical for ensuring your body gets the most out of each workout. What you do (or don’t do) after a workout can make or break your results, from replenishing depleted energy levels to allowing appropriate rest time.

In this article, we’ll go over the best science-backed ways to recover after a workout, from why it’s so essential to the most effective ways you can assist your body in recovery to help you maximize your gains and get more out of your workouts.

To begin, it is critical to understand the key physiological changes during exercise, which make post-workout recovery necessary.

protip -Strengthen your core and posture during exercise with specialized belts, making recovery more efficient.

Why Recovery is Important

Muscle fuel stores are drained during a strenuous workout, and your body loses fluid and electrolytes through sweat.

Working out can also cause muscle fiber damage, raise inflammation, and suppress your immune system, putting you at risk for soreness, injury, and diseases.

The longer, harder, and more frequently you exercise, the more prone you are to these effects.

It is for these reasons that it is critical to recover after exercise. According to research, a proper recovery regimen can help your body repair damaged muscles, enhance strength and body composition, and reduce exercise-induced inflammation and immune suppression.

Ways to recover post-workout

Take carbohydrates and proteins

Following an exercise, your body enters into repair mode, rebuilding muscle tissue and refilling depleted glycogen stores.

It needs carbohydrates, protein, and water.

According to research, the best time to begin replenishing food and liquids is 15-60 minutes after exercising. This is because delaying carbohydrate administration by as little as two hours can limit the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis by 50%. And you don’t want this.

Carbohydrates replace depleted glycogen stores in the muscles and liver. Experts recommend 1.2 g/kg/hr for the first 4-6 hours of recuperation.

Besides taking carbohydrates, you also should take plenty of proteins. Protein in the diet stimulates muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

Interestingly, research reveals that consuming 20-40 g of protein within two hours of finishing a workout causes significant improvements in MPS, which can benefit both recovery and future performance.

The higher your level of activity, the more protein and carbohydrates you will require to meet the physical demands of training and recovery.

A post-workout recovery supplement, such as protein powder, has been demonstrated to improve physical performance and recovery while increasing lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy, and strength.

Rehydrate with Water and Recovery drinks.

Fluids are necessary for optimal physiological function, supplying crucial nutrients to weary muscles and eliminating metabolic wastes and pollutants. Dehydration also worsens muscular discomfort in the days following exercise.

According to the study, you’ll need roughly 3 cups of water (24 fluid ounces) for every pound of body weight decreased.

If weighing yourself before and after an exercise isn’t possible, drink enough fluids to make your pee pale yellow or lighter.

If you’re working out for more than 45 minutes, exercising in a hot and humid climate, or if you’re a salty sweater, consider an electrolyte-enhanced recovery drink.

There are numerous recovery drink options on the market, including ready-to-drink shakes and powdered mixes.

For the best outcome, go for recovery drinks such as LifeAid beverages that contain a decent mix of carbohydrates and protein, with a carbs-to-protein ratio of roughly 3:1 or 4:1. This ratio aids in glycogen replenishment and delivers amino acids for muscle repair.

You should consume your recovery drink within 30 to 60 minutes of your workout. This is known as the “anabolic window” or “glycogen window,” and it occurs when the body is most sensitive to nutrition intake and your muscles can efficiently replace glycogen stores.

Try Supplements

You may wonder what else you can include in your post-workout nutrition plan to enhance recovery after focusing on carbs, protein, and water, right? There are many supplements you can use to help you with your recovery. These supplements include:

Creatine: it is one of the most extensively researched supplements for athletic performance. In addition to increasing speed and strength and improving body composition, studies have shown it to improve recovery by increasing glycogen resynthesis and muscle protein synthesis while decreasing delayed onset muscle soreness.

Creatine can also help to reduce muscular injury and inflammation.

For a great experience, go for creatine monohydrate. Begin with a loading dose of 20 g/day for 5 days, followed by 3-5 g/day thereafter.

Glutamine: Glutamine, like creatine, is a naturally occurring amino acid in muscles. Glutamine supplementation can prevent strength loss, increase strength recovery, and eliminate muscle pain.

L-glutamine supplements, often known as glutamine supplements, are available in powder and pill form. Daily doses ranging from 0.21 to 0.42 g/kg are safe and helpful for improving athlete recovery.

Take a Cold Bath

Cold water immersion (CWI) is a popular recovery treatment among athletes who want to improve their recovery after rigorous activity.

CWI has been linked to various short-term benefits related to post-exercise recovery, including decreased muscular soreness, tiredness perception, signs of inflammation and muscle damage after strenuous exercise, and faster muscle strength recovery.

Cold water immersion has also been shown in studies to reduce muscle soreness, inflammation, and pain, which can contribute to increased sleep quality, another important aspect of workout recovery.

Typical CWI techniques in studies involve submerging the limbs and/or torso for 5-20 minutes in water chilled to temperatures ranging from 46-59°F (8-15°C).

If you enjoy weight lifting, you should be cautious because CWI may have some disadvantages for strength athletes, such as slower gains in muscle growth, strength, and force.

These effects, however, have not been observed in endurance athletes, and the benefits of CWI may still outweigh the possible negatives for strength athletes who are chronically trained, doing high-frequency training, or are acclimated to the cold.

While cold immersion is a great way to recover after a workout, it is not ideal for everyone, particularly those with certain medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease or Raynaud’s disease.

Before attempting cold water immersion, speak with a healthcare practitioner and confirm you are safe.



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