Post-workout, experiencing muscle soreness and soreness is quite common. An intense workout can trigger such problems, and that’s when you need to rest. However, rest and recovery are not the same thing. Rest is a period of time when you are not exercising, giving your body a break to prepare your muscle for the next day. But your muscle recovery after training is essential. Recovery is defined as actions and methods used to help your body fuel the healing and repair process after a workout.
So instead of dealing with fatigue and pain, trust us to guide you through your muscle recovery journey.
To help you, Health Shots spoke to Dr. Girish L. Bhalerao, Super Specialty Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, who listed the right ways to boost muscle recovery.
7 ways to boost muscle recovery after training
1. Get a good night’s sleep
Due to the intense training, the muscles become inflamed and sore, which can be treated with a little rest. Dr. Bhalerao says, “Getting enough sleep can aid in rapid muscle recovery after intense workouts.” In fact, it can also improve your performance the next day. While not getting enough rest can increase stress hormone cortisol, fatigue, and poor daily performance. Therefore, try to get at least a minimum of 8 hours of sleep.
2. Eat protein after training
Workout recovery doesn’t just mean lying in bed, it also involves watching your diet. “Having high-protein foods like nuts, eggs, or paneer can help you repair muscle damage and help sore muscles recover faster,” says Dr. Bhalerao. You should consume protein both before and after training to help increase muscle strength and prevent muscle damage. But he remembers not to overdo the protein. Take it in the amount recommended by an expert.
3. Drink enough water
You can become dehydrated if you tend to exercise in hot or humid weather, and it can make it harder for your muscles to recover. For best recovery, stay hydrated before your workout, during your workout, after your workout, and throughout the day. And if you’re dehydrated, it can interfere with your muscles’ ability to repair themselves. According to the American Council on Exercise, you should drink 250 ml of fluid 30 minutes after a workout and 450 ml to 700 ml of fluid for every pound (1 pound is 0.45 kg) you lose while exercising.
Incorporating massage into your workout routine after daily exercise can reduce muscle soreness because it helps improve blood circulation throughout your body, allowing you to fully relax. To get rid of muscle pain, you can use a massage gun. Massage guns can help increase blood circulation, can boost the healing process, improve flexibility and relieve stress.
5. Hot and cold therapy
Hot and cold therapy is helpful for proper muscle recovery. “A cold pack can help reduce swelling, pain, and muscle spasms, while a hot pack can warm and help fatigued muscles recover,” says Dr. Bhalerao.
6. Give up alcohol
If you consume alcohol in moderation, it will not affect your muscle recovery process. But excessive alcohol consumption after training impairs the body’s ability to help with proper muscle recovery. So say NO to alcoholic beverages.
7. Don’t forget to stretch enough
Muscles get stiff due to intense training. Therefore, your training session should always be followed by stretching exercises because it improves flexibility and reduces muscle tension. So, stretch and relax the muscle you used the most during the workout.
Aside from these tips, eating certain foods after a workout can help your muscle recovery process and preserve your muscle mass.
These are the foods for muscle recovery:
Eggs: The most beneficial food for post-workout muscle recovery is the egg. Eggs contain protein including leucine, which can help promote muscle repair after exercise.
Curd: Paneer is packed with muscle-building nutrients. Being a rich source of whey protein, in addition to fueling muscle growth, it can also help prevent muscle breakdown.
Spinach: It is rich in potassium and magnesium, the two main electrolytes that the body needs to recover. Spinach can help reduce inflammation and promote muscle mass, which ultimately promotes faster recovery.
Banana: Banana is one of the foods that are already part of the diet of fitness fanatics. Consume post-workout to boost your muscle recovery.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and antioxidants. These nutrients help reduce the risk of many serious health conditions and may even improve muscle recovery.
Sweet potatoes: In addition to the main nutrient, vitamin C, sweet potatoes are rich in iron, calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium, which can help maintain healthy muscle tissue.
Salmon and tuna: Both salmon and tuna are high in essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins, potassium, selenium, and iron. These nutrients can relieve muscle inflammation caused by intense training.