How to Improve Muscle Recovery After an Intense Workout

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muscle recovery

Most adults are no stranger to the hangover that comes from a wild night out on the town. But who knew you could also get a fitness hangover! Yes, a fitness hangover is really a thing. But sore muscles after a workout don’t have to cramp your style. We’ve got some hot ideas on how you can boost muscle recovery after your workouts and crush your fitness goals.

Read on to learn more.

Why Does Everything Hurt?!

Whether you are a long-time athlete or an occasional weekend warrior, chances are you’ve had a day where everything hurt. You pushed too hard, or forgot to cool down, or didn’t schedule sufficient rest, whatever the case you’re in pain. Everywhere.

Researchers have come to call this delayed onset muscle soreness, DOMS for short. You see, when we work out we are inflicting tiny amounts of damage to our muscle fibers. This is totally normal and part of the muscle-building process.

DOMS is not the same as a strained muscle. Typically, a strain will happen during an activity. You’ll feel pain or a pull or something not-quite-right during your work out.

Whereas DOMS will set in after the activity is complete, maybe even the next day. Generally lasting for 5-7 days. Anything longer than that and you should consult your physician.

The tricky part about understanding muscle soreness and workout recovery is that everyone experiences pain and exercise differently. An exercise that may generate muscle soreness that’s really painful to you, might be no sweat for your tri-athlete friend. So it’s important to keep in mind that your work-out routine, pre, and post, should work for you.

Muscle Recovery 101

Rest and recovery are essential parts of any workout regimen. Despite this, they are often the first things that are overlooked or skipped entirely.

Your muscles actually need 24 to 48 hours to repair after a workout. If you skip this step you run the risk of damaging your muscles and encouraging tissue breakdown rather than growth.

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This is why people schedule leg days and arm days. By breaking up your workout routines this way you give the muscles a chance to grow bigger and stronger. Breaking up workouts is one way to promote muscle recovery, but there are many more.

Let’s have a look at our top muscle recovery tips.

Hydrate and Replace Lost Fluids

This first one is a bit of a no-brainer. When we work out, we sweat and lose lots of fluids. Ideally, you’re making efforts to hydrate all day long, but if nothing else you can hit the water hard post-workout.

Sports drinks can contain a lot of sugar and aren’t the best. A smoothie or water with lemon or cucumber are better choices.

Water is critical to optimal health and muscle recovery. It plays a role in every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in your body.  Adequate hydration is a simple way to support muscle recovery.

If you aren’t a big fan of drinking water, you can get an IV infusion of saline plus other supplements to support recovery at an IV spa. These are growing in popularity across the country and provide a quick hydration boost.

Support Your Workout Efforts With a Healthy Diet

Not a fad diet but a lifestyle change. Eating healthy means eating a diversity of plants and high-quality proteins, minimally processed foods, and very occasional sugary snacks (looking at you Standard American Diet).

Choosing the right fuel will help your body repair damaged tissue and generate the energy you need to go about your day. Some people find it helpful to keep a food journal. Logging what you eat can clue you in to where you can, or should, make dietary changes for optimal workout recovery.

Commune With Cannabis

A recent study was done by the University of Colorado which found that 82% of subjects partaking in legal cannabis spark it up before workouts. They say it makes the workout more enjoyable and helps them recover after a workout.

Which makes sense when you consider that both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes cannabis well-suited to treat muscle soreness, joint pain, and arthritis. For a super sleek and discreet vape that works for flowers or concentrates, we recommend checking out https://thefirefly.com/

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Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Stretching is important both pre and post-workout. It can be as simple as 5-10 minutes before and after your workout. Implementing a routine that you enjoy can help address muscle soreness afterward and prevent injury.

Actively stretching the muscles you are working will help them become long and lean rather than bulky. You can increase your range of motion and of course, you’ll just feel better.

Take Time to Rest

The value of getting to bed early and getting restful sleep can’t be understated. When you are working out your body needs more time to rest than normal, and already most people don’t get enough sleep. When you make rest a priority your workout efforts will be more fruitful and your recovery time will lessen.

In addition to getting sleep, you should plan at least one full rest day a week. This will allow your body to integrate the work you’ve done, which in turn helps you recover after your workouts.

Listen to Your Body

Perhaps the most important pearl of wisdom we have is to listen to your body. The human body wants to be in balance and will do everything it can to make it so. When you start working out you should become more attuned to what your body is telling you it needs or doesn’t need.

This is super important to developing internal trust and preventing injuries. Take a moment at any time, before, during, or after your session to really listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs most.

The World of Muscle Recovery Is Vast

We touched on just a handful of ways you can promote muscle recovery but know that there are many more. Each body is unique and what works for one may not be best for another.

If you liked this article make sure to check out the rest of our content. We’ve got loads of content, full of tips and tricks to live your best life no matter what you do or where you are.

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