How to Maximise Recovery After Exercise

What you do post-workout is just as important as pumping iron. Follow these simple principles to maximise recovery, performance, muscle repair and gains.

Why Recovery After Exercise is Important

To maximise the effectiveness of your workouts, giving your body what it needs is essential. Recovering properly has a big impact on gains and performance.

Without a plan in place you’re more likely to suffer from fatique, an injury or muscle tissue breakdown, stalling progress even further.

Post-workout Recovery Principles

Stretching

Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

Often neglected by weight lifters everywhere, stretching helps your muscles become stronger and improves flexibility. Flexibility allows us to maintain a good range of motion in our joints. Without it, muscles will shorten and become tight and can affect your rep contractions in the gym.

Post-workout Protein Shake

Whey Protein
A good quality whey protein is an essential supplement for any gym-goer

If you’re hitting the gym hard then a decent whey protein powder is an essential part of your post-workout recovery routine.

It contains a variety of amino acids which are absorbed quickly, promotes protein synthesis and supports gains in lean muscle tissue and strength.

It can also aid weight loss and help lower cholesterol, just beware of drinking too much of it as your farts will absolutely stink and remember to buy a decent brand as some can upset your stomach.

Hydration

Try and drink three litres of water a day (credit: Flickr)

The body is made up of 70% water, life depends on it and because it makes up such a considerable part of the body staying hydrated is essential.

If you’re not hydrated your body can’t perform at its highest level, it’s as simple as that. Water transports nutrients around your body, keeps you healthy and gives you energy.

It also improves brain function, metabolises fat, regulates body temperature and aids food digestion.

Feeling thirsty, weak, dizzy or have a dry mouth and struggling to sweat? These are all signs that you’re dehydrated.

Carry a one litre bottle with you everywhere you go and try to drink at least three litres a day, problem solved.

Good Nutrition

Planked Alaskan salmon and asparagus
Eating the right food post-workout will supply your body with the nutrients it needs to replenish, repair and grow (credit: Flickr)

Anyone serious about achieving results knows that what you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in the gym.

A balanced diet of proteins, carbs and fats offers numerous benefits that keep you physically and mentally well.

A diet containing plenty of veg, lean meats, fruit and nuts is essential to maximising gains in the gym or weight loss, improving heart health and bone strength.

If you’re unsure about what to eat and when, browse the web, everything you need to know is available at the click of a button.

Ditch the fast food, sweets and sugary snacks and cut down on drinking for improved results.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, as the saying goes!

Sleep

Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

A lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to recover from exercise and getting enough kip is the key to recovery.

Energy consumption is lowered when we’re asleep and growth hormone is released, improving muscular repair, regeneration and recovery.

Most studies show that between 7-9 hours sleep a night would be ideal but obviously for some people it’s just not possible (I can only sleep for six hours max), so try and get as much rest as you can.

Remember

Muscles don’t grow in the gym, they grow after! By following these principles you can begin securing gains and reduce the risk of injury as soon as you stop lifting.

 

 

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