How to Speed Up Muscle Recovery after Workout
Whatever type of training you do, your recovery from your workout is just as important as your workout. Bodybuilders have known this for years but recently sports science is now able to prove what is needed to enable a fast and speedy recovery so that you can progress.
Without going into the rather complicated rehabilitation process your body goes through when it is recovering from a hard workout, we are just going to list important scientifically proven facts that will speed up recovery.
1. Get 8 Hours of sleep.
If you training on a regular basis never underestimate the importance of getting 8 hours sleep. If you're someone who thinks you "only need 5 hours", then you're not able to provide your body sufficient time to fully recover, making your more prone to getting injured in the future. To ensure full recovery from intense training you should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Sports science shows us that drinking water after an intense workout can help your body get rid of toxins as well as prevent dehydration. Muscle hydration is important because when a muscle is dehydrated it begins to pain and its contractibility starts to suffer. You should drink around two liters of water every day when you exercise.
3. Drink Protein Shakes.
Research now clearly shows when an athlete drinks a protein shake both before and/or after a workout it helps reduce the severity of any post-exercise muscle soreness (DOMS) felt and will help to speed up your muscle recovery. A carb to protein ratio of 2:1 is ideal.
4. Apply Muscle Creams.
If you're really suffering from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after a hectic workout, you should try a topical cream like IcyHot, often very effective at soothing muscle pain after a particularly tough exercise session.
5. Grab Some Aspirin.
It is rather ironic that sports science now tells us that taking anti-inflammatories like naproxen or ibuprofen will not only help relieve that sore muscle discomfort, but it can speed up recovery time. But be warned, to never use NSAIDS regularly, they should only be considered when your muscles are severely sore.
6. Ice, Ice Baby.
If you really want to speed up recovery after a tough workout you could simply apply ice to your sore muscles for 20 minutes to the body-part that feels the most damaged. It will speed up recovery.
7. Stretch Every Day.
Stretching aids muscle recovery and sports science tells us that it can help prevent future injuries. Stretching is good on your rest days and also aids the recovery process.
8. Roll Out Sore Muscles.
Sports science tells us that using a simple cheap roller can often be very effective at breaking up the knots found in the muscle fascia and scar tissue or "sore spots" in muscles, it's often the reason for muscle and joint soreness. If you spend a moment in the evening and the morning rolling out your sore spots you'll speed up recovery.
9. Get a Massage.
The same as using a roller gets rid of the knots in your muscle fascia, a good massage will help to break up any scar tissue and speed up recovery.
10. Eat High-Protein Meals.
Sports nutrition now clearly shows us that eating protein about half hour before bed helps to speed up post-exercise muscle recovery. Protein taken throughout the day on a regular basis has also shown to reduce cravings as well as speed up muscle recovery.
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