After subjecting your muscles to extreme tension, it’s important that you practice a healthy post-workout routine. This is the fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout while ensuring that your muscle gains are in the works even after your gym session. Every squat and bench press carves your brawns but the price is too high to pay if you don’t know how to cool down properly.
Remember that muscle growth don’t necessarily happen while you exercise. It starts once your finish. It’s only after you end the strenuous routine that the body will start to repair the damage and thicken your layers of muscles. If you don’t have a tried and tested routine to aid this process, the microtears on your muscles will surely make its presence felt soon.
One of the common mistakes of people trying to gain mass is overlooking the importance of both pre-workout and post-workout routines. They get too focused on the workout proper without any solid plan thereafter. And this is what exactly this post will try to fix
1. You have to refuel
Your body loses a lot of fluids and nutrients during a workout session. And to sustain your muscle growth, it’s just right to refuel and replenish these lost chemicals. Post-work nutrition should be your number priority since it will play a big role in the recovery of the muscles.
Within the first 30-45 minutes after your workout, the body experiences an anabolic stage. Your system craves for carbs, protein, and other energy sources to restore glucose levels and support muscle recovery. If you don’t heed this call, you’ll eat a lot later on. Most likely, it would be “unclean” food which you’ll devour a lot more than what you planned. That’s not the fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout as far as we are concerned.
You can sip shakes after a workout. Pay for one ahead of time so the store will just hand it to you when you pass by. This will also prevent your cravings for unhealthy food items.
Before anything else, pack up with water. Do this before, during, and after a workout. It’s one of the basic refuelings you should do for your body
2. Stretching isn’t just a pre-workout thing
Yes, you stretched before your workout, and you should the same after the routine. It’s an excellent cooling down process to avoid soreness. Your muscles contract a lot during exercise, if you don’t stretch it right after your workout, it stands the chance of becoming very short. The result is stiffness and difficulty of moving.
Depending on what works for you, you can perform either dynamic or static stretching. Static stretches are the old school choice known as the “move and hold” routine. Since dynamic stretching requires a lot of movement, many prefer to do it as a pre-workout stretch.
Most of the time, gym buffs think stretching isn’t necessary if the goal is to gain mass. But like any other routines that tax the muscles, this form of cooling down is quite indispensable.
Health experts recommend at least 20 minutes of stretching after your workout. This will help reduce muscle soreness and even control cholesterol levels. Always plan for your stretching routine, since the more you don’t think about it, the more that you will skip it. Do this if you want to practice the fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout.
3. Roll it!
After toning down, you may want to give yourself a nice massage using foam rollers. Baseballs and massage sticks will also do here for better circulation and reduction of soreness in the muscles. This might be a bit painful but experts say that it’s an excellent way of removing muscle adhesion and scar tissues.
Just be gentle with your rolling. Apply the pressure on your muscles until you feel a dissipating feeling. Repeat this process for a few minutes but avoid overdoing it or you’ll overkill the muscles. You can also roll your back on the floor using a bigger roller. It can be done as a pre-workout routine as well.
Although it looks weird for some, using foam rollers has been a widespread practice and very effective in soothing muscle pain. If you want, you can have regular massage sessions with a therapist to ensure that your muscles are pampered after a rigorous workout. Although massage isn’t exactly a staple, you’ll feel better than not trying it at all.
4. Don’t forget about the protein
As the building block of your muscles, it’s important that you take protein within the first 30 minutes of your post-workout phase. Combining it with complex carbs is an excellent recovery meal. You should do the same two hours prior to the start of your workout session. Make sure that you don’t overdo the serving. The recommended allowance is 1.6 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. For a post-workout meal, a lavish serving of 30 grams of protein would be excellent. This can be taken through protein powders or prepared meals as the fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout.
If you want to skip the hassle of preparing meals, I suggest that you get a tub of protein powder. The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein is one of the best options these days. Each serving comes with 24 grams of proteins and other nutrients like BCAAs and glutamine for muscle recovery. It can be blended as shakes or desserts since it comes in 20 different flavors. Watch out for the Double Rich Chocolate though, it’s not as sweetened as the others.
5. Don’t annihilate
Some muscle gainers tend to have the “go big or go home” mentality. This isn’t healthy if you want to gain mass and dodge the usual soreness and muscle overkill. You should prioritize full recovery before your next gym session. Starving your muscles too much won’t do any good for your goal. The possible result would be short muscles and injury.
As much as you want to speed up your mass gain, annihilating your body during a workout isn’t the best move. Like what fitness experts say, push yourself, but not too hard. Feed your muscles first with the right nutrition and rest before subjecting it to another stressing routine. It’s the only and fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout. You might not feel it right away, but muscle damage can accumulate over time and surprise you with very excruciating pain.
If you want to be productive, have a proper schedule for your workout routines. Don’t pile it up within a single day. Like any other system, your body needs recovery to be on top performance.
6. Carbs, carbs, carbs
When you’re trying to gain some mass, you don’t have to be afraid of carbs, but you don’t overdo it either. The same with protein, your body needs carbs after a workout session to restore the depleted energy level. Complex carbs like oats, wheat, corn, potatoes, and beans are the best choices since it’s also filling and delicious. It can also taste well with a flavored protein shake as a post-workout diet.
Carbs are the number one source of energy. It converts to glucose once digested into the body, and unlike simple sugars, complex carbs bring in more nutrition. These food items can bring fiber and other vitamins and minerals necessary for overall nourishment.
As much as you can devour lots of carbs, especially if you’re skinny, you should keep an eye on your calories. It should be proportionate to your workout intensity. This is so you’ll avoid building more fats than actual muscle mass.
Make sure that you take your carbs from clean sources for the fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout. Ditch your guilty pleasures like fast food and very salty food items.
7. Take a break
Workout routines aren’t supposed to be performed every single day. Your body needs recovery, but a few hours won’t suffice. Experts recommend that you do strenuous routines in a maximum of 4 days a week. For the remaining three days, you can perform active breaks. This includes playing Frisbee, relaxed biking, walking, and easy mobility drills. Such routine will keep the muscle-building system running without taxing your brawns too much.
Light cardio will also do in the “active recovery” phase. As much as you want to, avoid overdoing these things for the sake of speeding things up. There are reasons why professional bodybuilders also take days off from the gym.
Muscles grow when you are at rest. This is a very good excuse to skip some days from your exercise drills. Like what I said earlier, your body needs some time to fix the tears and tiny injuries incurred after a workout. The repair time should be longer if you keep on performing advanced drills like powerlifting.
8. Achieve restful sleep
I have stressed this enough many times, your muscles are made at rest. This means that even while you sleep, your body is processing protein and other substances in order to create new tissues. Nights of restful sleep will also give you enough energy to accomplish daily routines including your workout. It’s also the fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout. However, you shouldn’t oversleep either since this will disrupt your circadian system which isn’t favorable for your overall wellness.
Another reason why you should value enough sleep is its direct impact on metabolism. The more tired the body is, the slower it will be for your muscles to build. Try to hit eight hours of sleep a day or at least seven if you’re a busy person. Avoid any activities that will disrupt your sleep cycle like watching too much TV or using your smartphone an hour before you hit the bed.
Sleep and exercise are surprisingly affecting each other. Too much exercise can disrupt your ability to sleep while the quality of your sleep will also impact your exercise.
9. Say no to sports drinks
Sports drinks advertisement have probably brainwashed you to the idea that electrolytes are king when working out. Although it’s an important part of your fitness, you should stay away from sports drinks as much as possible. This isn’t a recommended post-workout drink since you no longer be performing physical activities, not to mention its effect on your kidney. It’s not the fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout, anyway.
If you’re worried about electrolytes, artificially sweetened, colored, and flavored drinks aren’t the sole answer. You can take it from your next meal and protein shakes without the added junk. Sports drinks also give you liquid calories you probably don’t need.
All of us have an insatiable craving for flavored drinks. But as much as possible, hydrate yourself with water. It’s safe and 100% needed by your body regardless if it’s for pre or post-workout. Never doubt the ability of water to replenish your lost fluids. Besides, you’re going to save more money since you no longer need to buy sports drinks.
In case you find water too bland, you can make your own organic iced tea.
10. Progress tracking
After a tiring day of session at the gym, your next thought would be to grab some snacks and rest. But before you forget the reps, routines, and plateau breakthroughs, make sure to record it on your progress tracking app. It’s part of the fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout. There are many free mobile applications that you can download to monitor your fitness and mass gain. You can also use gadgets like Apple Watch, Fitbit, and more. But if you’re the traditional type, a pen and journal never grow old for your recordkeeping. You can also utilize word processors if you want a no-fuss, but still digital, reference.
All these are necessary so you’ll know what to change and where to start over when the routine isn’t working for your brawns.
Do this while you’re at the gym so you won’t forget any of the details. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to jot down all the needed information.
The fastest way to recover from sore muscles after a workout is following a simple but effective routine. It’s important to give emphasis on the post-workout phase if you want to sustain the benefits you reap from hitting the gym regularly.