5 Tried-and-Tested Tips for Faster Muscle Recovery Post-Workout
If you recently ran a longer distance than expected or hiked a mountain up to the top, odds you’re experiencing muscle soreness. This is one of the common consequences of overworking your own body.
Muscles become and grow stronger when subjected to forces, causing microscopic tears in muscle fibers. Then, fluid rushes to that area to flush out any damaged cells and subsequently build stronger and new ones. This process often feels uncomfortable.
Actually, this discomfort has a name – DOM or delayed onset muscle soreness. But the good news is you have nothing to worry about.
As a matter of fact, muscle soreness anywhere between 12 and 36 hours post-workout is often a sign your muscles have started to get used to your workout routine. The downside, however, is that too much muscle soreness may impact your motion. With the help of the following strategies, you can recover faster from the muscle soreness:
1. Use Beta-Alanine Supplements
Although experts will always recommend you meet your nutritional needs by eating whole foods, some athletes and trainers supplement with beta-alanine.
A study shows that athletes who take the supplement before and after a workout enjoy beta-alanine benefits, like less muscle soreness and shorter recovery time.
2. Hydrate Properly
Rehydration is important, more so if you break a sweat or exercise intensely. Replenishing the fluid levels helps to prevent muscle soreness, build strength, and improve the flexibility of muscles.
Drink around 15 ounces of water and healthy drinks, like chocolate milk, black/green tea, or coconut water. You may also drink low-sugar sports beverages. These beverages have electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, which relieve and prevent muscle cramping.
3. Get a Body Massage
A body massage can help to increase the flow of blood, speeding up the process of muscle recovery. This, in turn, reduces fatigue, which follows tough workouts.
Very intense muscle cramping or soreness can be minimized through massage. This is especially true for various physical activities, from bodybuilding to running.
4. Stretch Out
After a strenuous workout, opt for gentle stretching. This is the best, fastest, and simplest way for your muscles to recover. While some studies show that stretching out doesn’t help in preventing muscle soreness, it may help prevent injuries and minimize stiffness.
For good results, do dynamic or active stretches before and after exercise. Before exercise, opt for arm circles, high knees, and walking lunges, and after exercise, consider static stretches for 20-30 seconds.
5. Sleep Early
A good night’s sleep is important to help keep your body functioning as it should. However, it can be more crucial to get quality sleep after working out intensely so you can let your body recover fully.
Sleep is often where most part of the recovery process happens. This is when your body is in a parasympathetic state and may recover from this point. During this time, your body also repairs itself and rest so it can continue working the following day.
Not letting your muscles recover completely post-workout puts you at a great risk of getting serious injuries. If you no longer see improvements during your workout routines, then it is high time you give your body more time to recover from the exercise.