Recover Faster and Stronger With These Muscle Recovery Tips
Sleep cures all they say, and as far as speeding up muscle recovery goes, sleep is a very nice solution to your sore muscles. Your muscles repair (and grow) during rest, so get your 8+ hours of sleep per night. Believe me, this is great advice. This was always one of the parts of my workout plan where I always failed, but I have since taken control of it and feel much better for it. Not only does sleep refresh you, it helps with stress and is crucial to your survival. Never skimp on sleep.
Pre & Post-Workout Nutrition
Consuming a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein before and after a workout goes a long way in helping to reduce the severity of muscle soreness. Your body if looking for nutrients to use as energy to repair the muscles, so give it what it is asking for. Many people avoid the carbs during these times, which is just a bad idea. You need carbs to give you energy to get you through your workouts and to replenish that energy after workouts, so make use of those complex carbs. A few simple carbs are nice post-workout.
The Right Supplements
I love my supplements and attribute my quick muscle recovery to my rest time and the use of the right supplements. In addition to whey protein post-workout because of its faster absorption rate, I like to use creatine, BCAAs, glutamine and beta-alanine. I also test other products out, as well as testing various brands and dosages of the aforementioned supplements. These four are my regular staples though as well as a daily multi-vitamin and fish oil capsules. While I do still get sore, as I would expect with how hard I workout, the level of DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness) is not very high at all. The soreness is more just to remind me that I worked out hard, but I am rarely ever to the point where I just cannot work out from the soreness.
Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out toxins from your body and prevents dehydration, which makes muscle soreness painful. Somewhere around 1/2 of yours body weight in ounces of water per day is a decent point to start at, but the optimal amount of water per day is something debated by everyone. My body feels better when I drink 2 gallons per day. Yes, that is a lot, but I have a better overall feeling when I consume that much water.
I am not a fan of stretching cold muscles as I have been injured in the past doing just that. Cold muscles need to be warmed up before being stretched. While I may do 10 minutes of mild cardio before lifting (okay, I do not do it as part of every workout), I will stretch in between sets and post-workout. Stretching post-workout will elongate those worked muscles and can help with muscle recovery.
A nice massage is good anytime, but getting that extra muscle massage in post-workout can go a long way. I will admit that I am not a fan of a post-workout massage, but I know people that it does work for.
These five tips to speeding up muscle recovery work very well for me and they should work for you just as well. These are tried and true example of muscle recovery methods that have been used by many before me, so give them a try. Of course, consult your physician before making any dietary changes to ensure that your body can handle them.