As many people have realized over this last year of quarantine, physical health is important. In fact, over 40 percent of Americans had a New Year’s resolution pertaining to overall health.
Unfortunately, most people adjust their workout routine without making any adjustments elsewhere. Exercise is strenuous. Hard training often leads to extremely sore muscles, making it harder to maintain a habit of exercising regularly.
Why to Worry About Muscle Recovery
As many exercise enthusiasts have discovered, hard training = sore muscles.
Sometimes referred to as a fitness hangover, the muscle aches are a result of pushing the body too hard during a workout. It can impair the ability to exercise in the following days.
For those focused on improving their health, recovering muscle quickly and properly is a must. Not only does focusing on fast muscle recovery reduce muscle soreness; it also enhances muscle tissue growth. Muscle recovery is an essential aspect of overall health.
How to Speed Up Muscle Recovery
Muscles will generally always recover on their own, but it takes time.
Speeding up the process is important to thousands of gym devotees. A multitude of studies have been conducted in order to perfect this process.
Stick to these rules to get the most out of your workouts.
Get Better Sleep
A study published by the Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions found that poor sleep correlated with poorer overall strength. Inversely, those who got better and longer sleep at night were found to have greater overall strength and recovery. The researchers concluded that better sleep = greater muscle strength.
A separate study found in the National Library of Medicine concluded that sleep deprivation can lead to a higher risk of injury. A lack of sleep slows down protein synthesis, the bodily action responsible for building back muscle tissue after exercise.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is key in fast muscle recovery. Muscles won’t grow as well if the body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to recover properly.
During high intensity training, the body needs an extra oomph to maintain its integrity while also building muscle mass. A healthy diet during a workout should consist of foods that are high in protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrates. Some healthy, recovery-inducing foods to consider shopping for include:
- Salmon: Full of healthy fats, proteins, and antioxidants
- Cottage Cheese: Packed with both whey and casein protein
- Watermelon: Mostly made up of water, fantastic for rehydration
- Spinach: Loaded with essential vitamins and low in fats
- Eggs: Brimming with protein and extremely versatile
Foods with a high added sugar content should be avoided, as researchers have found that added sugar may increase the risk of muscle inflammation. Natural sugars, like the ones found in fruits, fortunately don’t have the same effect.
Drink More Water
High-intensity exercise drains fluids from the body, most notably from sweat. Without the proper rehydration, the body is unable to perform the muscle recovery process.
Dehydration, even without exercise, leads to muscle pain. The negative effects of dehydration when combined with regular exercise are enhanced. Researchers have concluded that dehydration even prolongs muscle recovery.
Regular hydration improves nearly every function the body goes through, muscle recovery included.
Alcohol is considered by some to be a workout killer.
Though no concrete evidence has been found to link alcohol and low athletic performance, there is a large collection of studies that show how alcohol after a workout can slow recovery.
Ingestion of alcohol post-workout has been shown to hinder protein synthesis and lower testosterone.
Alcohol, though ingested in liquid form, can also cause dehydration, which is linked with slower muscle recovery.
Massage the Muscles
Many exercise enthusiasts are familiar with foam rollers, used to massage muscles after a workout.
Massaging the muscles after a workout promotes faster muscle recovery, while also reducing inflammation and soreness. This study in the Journal of Athletic Training found that massage led to a 30 percent reduction in delay-onset muscle soreness.
Natural actions help the recovery process, but now some companies have set their sights on providing supplements that recover muscles faster.
Products like Nurish, a supplement full of Deep Ocean Minerals™, focus on expediting the muscle recovery process to help avid exercisers maintain a schedule. Nurish is a completely natural supplement that has been proven to accelerate muscle recovery.
When shopping for recovery supplements, natural products should be considered above artificial ones.
Take Rest Days
Though it seems counterintuitive, muscle growth and recovery will not happen without giving the body some time to rest.
Research into the subject has discovered that resting the muscles allows them to build back up and achieve optimal exercise performance. Always factor in rest days to a workout routine.
A lack of rest days can also affect mood, injury likelihood, and even the immune system.
Also called cold water immersion, ice baths are known by many athletes to increase muscle recovery and decrease muscle inflammation.
There have been several studies on the efficacy of ice baths after a workout, but most professional athletes continue to take them regularly.
Active recovery is essentially the act of engaging in low-intensity exercise after a hard workout or activity.
A low-intensity workout like light cardio after a heavy lifting session promotes faster muscle recovery in a variety of ways:
- Reduces lactic acid build-up.
- Enhances blood flow to muscle and joints.
- Allows the heart rate to slow consistently.
Eating a high-protein, high-carbohydrate snack after a workout accelerates the muscle recovery process by giving the body the nutrients it needs to repair itself.
Research has found that ingestion of whole foods after a workout improve muscle protein synthesis. The researchers concluded that foods with a rich dietary matrix enhanced and hastened muscle recovery.
Taking all the steps listed above should ensure faster muscle recovery and muscle growth. If in the market for recovery supplements check out our website to learn more about the product.