7 Secrets for Fast Post-Workout Recovery Posted in: Workout – Tags: bodybuilding, workout recovery
Muscle pain, apathy, loss of motivation are not about your weakness. This means that your body needs to replenish spent reserves and restore internal balance (homeostasis) after the previous load. The better your post-workout recovery is, the more chances you have to turn everything you have gained through hard training into great results. Therefore, before we reveal to you the secrets about quick recovery from training, let’s look at the concept of “recovery” from a physical point of view.
There are two stages of recovery:
- Stage of urgent recovery. It starts immediately after completing your workout and lasts approximately 2 hours. Physiological parameters that have been changed during training return to normal. We are talking about heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, the chemical composition of the blood, the concentration of hormones in it. The heart rate and pressure decrease, the frequency and depth of breathing, the acidity of the blood (due to the excretion of metabolic products) are normalized, the concentration of stress hormones decreases.
- Stage of slow recovery. The stage of urgent recovery passes into it. It can last up to 72 hours or more. During this time, the body restores energy reserves in muscle tissue, restoration of muscle and connective tissue from damage that occurs due to intense exertion, an increase in the level of synthesis hormones – anabolic hormones (insulin, testosterone, growth hormone). They are necessary for the recovery processes to proceed. Plus, the water-salt balance is normalized.
All loads have two types of effects: on the body as a whole and specific. And the course of the recovery process will vary depending on the type of training. However, we have tried to highlight for you seven main secrets that will help you effectively recover on the path to excellence.
1. Warm up and cool down
The first rule of competent recovery begins even before the training process, and it’s about warm-up. You should never skip a warm-up. During this time your muscles and joints are preparing for training as well as the nervous and cardiovascular systems do. So, prepared body will not be “shocked” by training, and the concentration of lactic acid (lactate) in the blood and muscles will decrease.
In turn, a cool-down at the end of the workout will help tired muscles to get rid of accumulated hydrogen ions and utilize lactic acid. This means, you will be able to feel much better after training: the muscles will not be so stiff and heavy, the risk of injury will decrease, fatigue will be much less, and your mood will be better. Stretching exercises or yoga are great as a cool-down. Over time, you will feel a positive effect in the form of a decrease in soreness.
2. Hydration at Post-Workout Recovery
Water contributes to the proper functioning of body processes that support muscle recovery after exercise. Muscle consists almost 75% of the water. And if the body does not have enough water, then the volume of blood in the body decreases. This means the heart will have to work harder to pump blood to all parts of the body that need vital oxygen and nutrients. All this will lead to fatigue. And accumulated fatigue not only hinders post-workout recovery, but also reduces motivation and desire to continue exercising. So, we recommend you do not forget to drink water during your workout.
3. Proper nutrition for workout recovering
If you feel hungry after training, then the activity has not been in vain and your body needs nutrients. For proper muscle function, post-workout meals are essential. It is important to eat foods saturated by carbohydrates as well as protein. Your organism breaks down proteins into amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle fibers. Without protein, the body will consume amino acids from other sources, which should not be allowed. BCAA also provides amino acids, but it should be taken directly during training. They helps to stop catabolic processes in the body – and can reduce pain the next day. The regular reception of creatine will help you to improve energy metabolism in the muscles. And, of course, don’t forget to ensure you get enough vitamin C, magnesium, zinc and iron in your daily diet. Vitamins and minerals release hormones are necessary for regeneration.
If you are actively exercising, the key to recovering from your workout is getting enough sleep. Dreams provide an intensive recovery of the muscles. So, the better you sleep, the better your muscles recover. Lack of sleep can lead to problems of concentrating, bad state of health and increase recovery time, which leads to the risk of injury. The required duration of sleep depends on the individual characteristics of the organism, but in general, scientists agree that you need to sleep at least 7-8 hours a day.
It is the best way for quickly regenerate after exercises. Stimulating muscle mass can prevent pain that usually occurs 2-6 hours after intense exercise. Good massage enhances blood circulation in internal organs, relaxes and relieves pain in muscles, improves their regeneration and recovery processes. Also it helps to increase the flow of lymph, activate metabolic processes and eliminate congestion in tissues, improve mobility in the joints. In a matter of fact, muscle massage has a purely positive effect, which professional athletes are well aware of.
Therefore, when you feel that the muscles are clogged and stretching does not help, feel free to start a massage. At home, a massage roller is suitable for these purposes. It improves general mobility and relaxes the limbs. Try a few minutes of massage in the morning and evening, and after a while you will feel the difference. Massage will reduce the risk of injury and promote muscle recovery.
6. Warm or cold bath
A warm bath after exercise increases circulation and metabolic processes in the body, and also relaxes the muscles. It is worth taking a bath no later than 2-3 hours after training, preferably before bedtime.
A cold bath (either applying ice) is less often used for recovery, but is excellent for reducing muscle pain, as it helps to flush out decay products from the body. We recommend you to drink hot tea and covering yourself with a blanket after cool bath procedures.
A contrast shower can be distinguished separately. A contrast shower has a positive effect on blood vessels, ligaments and connective tissue. Different temperatures cause alternating vasoconstriction and dilation, resulting in improved blood supply to organs and tissues. In addition, a contrast shower increases vitality and makes it easier to wake up in the morning.
7. Exercises for active Post-Workout Recovery
Moderate cardio and active recovery on rest days are great for flushing out toxins and improving muscle nutrition. The essence of the exercises is light and short strength training. For example, jogging or cycling. Yoga and its less energetic forms such as hatha, yin, or slow vinyasa are also well suited for this purpose.
Now you know that the better your body recovers between workouts, the better your results in the gym. Well, we sincerely hope that this knowledge will help you achieve great success in the gym.