Recovering after a workout is almost as important as the workout itself. Your body needs time to heal after a successful workout. You should push yourself past your comfort zone, but don’t overdo it — just try to do more than you did last time at the gym. Food, stretching, sleep and rest all play a major role in the recovery process.
Food & Hydration
Your recovery begins before your workout even starts. Digestion is a lengthy process, so the proteins and carbs you intake before a workout will still be circulating afterwards. However, you should eat two hours before a workout to prevent cramping, plus you must give your body fuel to be able to grow. Also, potassium is great for recovery because it is a key mineral that helps muscle energy. Bananas are great sources of potassium and mix well with protein shakes. Along with food, you should hydrate to prevent dehydration and flush out unnecessary toxins.
Not getting enough sleep will not only affect your recovery, it will also affect your mental well-being. Lack of sleep can cause a negative impact on the drive you have to workout. Seven hours is the ideal target to aim for, however some athletes may need nine for a full recovery due to the energy they exert. If necessary, implement changes to promote an earlier bedtime, whether that be not using technology after 10pm or putting your TV on a sleep-timer. Sleep will help reduce stress that can take a toll on your recovery. If you take steps to reduce stress, you will be able to bounce back quickly.
Rest days are crucial to allowing your muscles to take a break after the beating they have received due to a workout. We suggest doing some light movement, including swimming, walking, jogging, bike ride or mobility drills. If you partake in “active recovery,” then you will experience recovery-promoting effects, allowing you to reach your goals and feel better doing it.
Stretching before and after a workout will help you recover at a faster rate. Plan on spending 20 minutes after your workout to stretch and cool-down. This will relieve muscle tension and reduce the soreness you may experience later.
Recovery allows your body to heal and build muscle. Make sure to eat lean protein, along with complex carbohydrates. Also, it is recommended to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water after working out. Get a good night’s rest to ensure you are giving your body time to heal. Finally, practice “active recovery” on your rest days to stimulate blood flow. Recovery is important and will help you reach your goals.