11 Proven Tips To Maximize Muscle Recovery | Healthy Mind - Think Big

Hey Guys, Have you heard of a "Fitness Hangover"? it has nothing to do with partying in booze. This is a term that most gym rats use. When you are all pumped up to push harder in the gym, your muscles might have an altogether different plan. Sore, aching muscles due to a killer workout the previous day don't allow you to train effectively.  

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

In today's post let's discuss the 11 best things for quick muscle recovery. Should you drink tart cherry juice? What about cryotherapy? Wait a minute can wearing tights reduce muscle fatigue? we're discussing all that and more... 

#1 Use of Foam Roller: Delayed onset of muscle soreness or "doms" occurs due to microscopic tears of your muscle filaments. Intense resistance training or even a simple workout if you have been inactive for a while, can give you painful muscles. When the pain strikes, you might even have to go for days without working out. At times you won't be able to target a particular muscle group, which can put you behind in your fitness plan. But all this can be avoided by using a foam roller. The knots formed in your muscles are the real reason for pain. The scientific term for muscle knots is Myofascial adhesions. Use a semi-rigid or a rigid roller post-workout or before you begin training. It can be part of your warm-up, improve your flexibility, and speed up your muscle recovery. If you have had a strenuous leg day, then concentrate on the muscles of your thighs and calves. Don't be in a rush and exert enough pressure so you feel released from pain. Studies have shown that this kind of massage helps to decrease doms after exercising. That is why athletes make it a point to keep a roller handy. 

#2 Drink Chocolate Milk: Having a post-workout snack is just as important as any other meal of your day. It can instantly revitalize your body without experiencing an energy crash. 

When you are in a time crunch preparing nutritious snacks can be difficult. Store-bought snacks can often have lots of fat and sugar. How about a delicious glass of chocolate milk? Cocoa powder has proteins that provide nutrients for muscle tissues to begin the repair. This drink has a balance of chocolaty carbs and proteins. Studies have also shown these carbs to be beneficial and prepare your body for the next workout. 

#3 Have a Refreshing Siesta: We often complain of sleepless nights after an afternoon snooze. This usually happens when you have an inactive lifestyle. Since you have worked your body more than an average person, you will require more rest than others for the night. Having a short nap in the daytime can enhance your performance at the gym. Sleep is a natural detox for your body. A night of good sleep can get rid of the toxins accumulated during the workout. Studies have shown that men who clocked more than 7 hours of sleep had better handgrip strength than those who slept less than 6 hours some athletes even sleep for more than 10 hours a night. This is the time when your body generates hormones that help you bulk up by growing muscles. Getting an early night's sleep can leave you super refreshed. 

#4 Cryotherapy: It might be a scary thing to take a cold bath immediately after a strenuous day at the gym. After a rigorous training session, your muscles undergo a normal process of inflammation and swelling. It's just a sign that they are adapting to the workout and becoming stronger. The aching muscles should subside within a day or two. If it lasts more than that you must take a cold bath to accelerate recovery. Cryotherapy's foundation is built on a similar concept. Cryotherapy is exposing your body to near-freezing temperatures like an ice bath. Studies have shown that whole-body cryotherapy reduces the inflammatory markers from the muscles. 

#5 Drink Tart Cherry Juice: Pain relief is not in your medicine cabinet but in your refrigerator. If you feel stiff as a log after that spinning class or after a long run you need a powerful pain reliever. Have some tart cherry juice asap. You will recover much faster. Also, it is quicker than most painkillers, without a heap of side effects. Studies have shown athletes who drank tart cherry juice had a considerably lower rate of pain in the muscles and faster recovery than those who did not have this juice. The peel of cherries has the same enzyme that most popular painkillers have. Always choose brands that have organic cherry juice you will get maximum benefits with minimum amounts of preservatives and chemicals. Tart Cherry Juice is also known to keep bone disorders like osteoporosis away. 

#6 Keep Yourself Hydrated: Water is a highly underrated beverage. It's a way to recharge your body. All the sweating makes you lose electrolytes and fluid. Generally, the gym environment is hot and humid even if the air conditioner is on full blast. You are bound to lose more fluids in this environment. Water is the single best drink that has stores of minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium. Energy drinks should be strictly avoided. Despite these strengths claiming to energize you instantly, they are not the best natural replenishers. Not to mention the crazy amount of sugar they have. Other natural alternatives can be coconut water, a fruit smoothie, or a glass of milk. Having lemon water in the morning is also a top favorite of many athletes. 

#7 Distress: People who are constantly stressed out have a tough time with muscle recovery. It has a negative effect on your overall performance, also. It targets your entire system including your mood, immune function, heart, brain, and lungs. So letting go of that extra baggage you've been carrying around will be in the best interest of your muscles. When you are stressed, your body concentrates on your mental well-being rather than muscle recovery. All that stress is going to give you a sluggish recovery. Try meditation and breathing techniques to make you feel as light as a feather. 

#8 Wear Compression Tights: Have you noticed all the cliche workout clothing is literally body-hugging? It's not just to make a fashion statement but with scientific backing. Compression garments aid in the recovery of exercise-induced muscle damage, quickly. Tight clothing can promote efficient blood circulation not just to the superficial muscle fibers but also to the deeper ones, also. More blood moving in your system will wash out the toxins accumulated after heavy exercising.

#9 Prioritize Proteins: Proteins are the building blocks of muscles. Those tiny tears after your workout mean your muscles need to repair. The repair process is generally fueled by proteins. Elite protein snacks like almonds, tofu, peanut butter, and chickpeas can help your body repair faster. You can also add a protein pre-workout coffee smoothie or yogurt with fruit to go all-natural. Protein powders are also preferred by many powerlifters due to the wide spectrum of amino acids and collagen they provide. You will need at least 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day.

#10 Never Miss a Warm-Up or Cooldown: Include dynamic stretching before you begin your workout to activate the muscles you are about to target that day. Remember to do movements like deadlifts, and single-arm rowing push-ups before aerobic exercises. This will help to expand and contract the muscles simultaneously. Also, don't slack on the cooldown routine. It just takes 5-10 minutes but is very important. If you skip that part there's a good chance you may have severe muscle cramps. A proper cooldown slows down your heart rate gradually. Doing static stretches where you have to hold a position can improve your range of motion in the future. 

#11 Listen to Music: Most of us need a high-tempo playlist to push harder in the gym. But we are not talking about rock songs that might make you go all crazy. Rather you must focus on listening to relaxing tunes. These methods work more like a distraction technique when your legs feel like they are on fire or you run out of breath after an intense HIIT session. Studies have shown that instrumental and soft songs can reduce your heart rate and help to get rid of toxins that create pain more quickly. Heavy workouts are not always the best. Simple exercises, if done correctly, can work like a charm in transforming your body. 

What do you do to reduce muscle soreness? Let us know in the comments below!

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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