Recovery and rest is an essential part of any workout regime as it directly affects your fitness and performance allowing you to train more effectively. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have an after recovery plan after a hard gym session. Here are some tips and tricks to recover fast after an intense workout session.

Why after-workout recovery is essential?

Experts at Yes Wellness explain recovery after a workout is essential to tissue and muscle repair and strength building. It becomes even more crucial if you had a heavyweight training session. Muscles and tissues require anywhere from 2-4 days to repair and rebuild. Working it too soon again leads merely to muscle breakdown instead of building. 

Hence, it is essential to know that never work for the same muscle groups on successive days when it comes to weight training. Recovery should essentially occur before growth can be made and it is crucial for having enduring consistent practice, staying injury-free, and maxing out from time to time.

If you want to get the most out of your workout sessions, you need to prioritize post-workout recovery in the first place. Follow these tips to maximize recovery, ensure maximum gains, and stay on top of your game.

#1 Eat Healthy Recovery Foods

If you want your body to recover after an intense workout, you need to refuel and recover the lost energy. Post-workout meals are crucial mainly if you haven’t eaten anything for hours. Protein shakes are frequent and you should consider having one. Protein is necessary after each workout session (consume accordingly depending on your body weight). 

Ideally, you should try to eat within a one-hour post-workout and make sure you include some complex carbohydrates and potassium as well. Potassium among other nutrients like calcium and sodium are unavoidably sapped from a hard gym session. These nutrients play a crucial role in muscle recovery and building.

#2 Replace Lost Fluid

Excess fluid is lost during exercise, and it is advised to replace it during practice, however, filling up on fluids after a workout is an easy way to boost recovery. Water and liquids-rich in electrolytes support every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body; hence, consuming lots of fluids will improve every bodily function. 

The thumb rule says one liter of water for every 1000 calories burned. Large amounts of fluids are lost during hours of sweating, and this could lead to dehydration. It can ultimately reduce the performance potential.

#3 Get Some Sleep

Lack of adequate sleep increase perception of fatigue, alter mood, decrease the reduce tolerance to training and negatively affect the psychosomatic mechanisms liable for adaptation from the pressures of coaching. When we sleep, our body secretes hormones that play a crucial role in recovery. 

In the end, the purpose of sleep is to encourage a state of improvement in the body. When we sleep, muscle-wasting hormone (catabolic) concentrations and activity decrease while muscle-building hormone (anabolic) concentrations and activity increases. Shortened or disrupted sleep will negatively influence the effects of these muscle-building hormones. Hence, it will ultimately affect your muscle recovery.

#4 Take an Ice Bath

Contrast water therapy (alternating cold and hot showers), ice massage, or ice baths are the most preferred ways to prevent injury, reduce muscle soreness, and recover faster. The concept behind this routine is that dilating and constricting blood vessels over and over again helps flush out waste products in the tissues. 

Fitness experts and some athletes advise while taking the post-workout shower, alternate 30 seconds of cold water with two minutes of hot water. Repeat this 4-5 times with a minute of moderate temperatures between every cold-hot spray.

#5 Don’t Skip Stretching

Stretching and warm-up is something that doesn’t sound necessary, and most of the gym-goers skip this part and directly start with weight training. When you all want is size, stretching plays a crucial role. 

Your muscles need to be flexible enough to grow. Having the necessary muscle pliability and flexibility reduces the stiffness, and you will be able to move more freely. If you are deadlifting and squatting with heavy weights, your knees and lower back are very injury prone. That's why it's important to stretch those body parts as much as you can before the workout. Something like a butterfly stretch is perfect for this, and it can be done very easily as this Protalus article explains.

#6 Reduce your Stress

Stress from sources like inadequate sleep, work deadlines, and other personal stuff significantly influences how quickly recover and how you feel on a daily basis. Weight can drastically extend the recovery time between workouts. 

Hard gym sessions lead to an overworked body and with stress accompanied; you are asking your body to eventually break down. Find ways to reduce your stress, do things you love, and make yourself laugh.

Final words

The most important thing you can do for a quick recovery is to listen to your body. If you notice decreased performance or feel sore or tired, you may need more recovery time. And if you feel stronger than ever the day after an intense workout, you don’t need to go slow. Pay attention to your body, it will let you know what it needs and when it needs.