Recovery and rest are essential to any workout regime as they directly affect 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.

Why is after-workout recovery 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 have a heavyweight training session. Muscles and tissues require 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 occur before growth can be made, and it is crucial for 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

Recovery Foods
Refuel and recover the lost energy if you want your body to recover after an intense workout. 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 eat within one one-hour post-workout and ensure you include some complex carbohydrates and potassium. Potassium, like calcium and sodium, is 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 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 sweating hours, which could lead to dehydration. It can ultimately reduce the performance potential.

#3 Get Some Sleep

Lack of adequate sleep increases the perception of fatigue, alters mood, reduces tolerance to training, and negatively affects the psychosomatic mechanisms liable for adaptation from the pressures of coaching. When we sleep, our body secretes hormones that are crucial to 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 increase. 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 repeatedly 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

Skip Stretching
Stretching and warm-up are unnecessary, and most gym-goers skip this part and directly start with weight training. When you all want size, extension plays a crucial role. 

Your muscles need to be flexible enough to grow. The necessary muscle pliability and flexibility reduce the stiffness, and you can move more freely. If you are deadlifting and squatting with heavy weights, your knees and lower back are very injury-prone. That's why stretching those body parts as much as possible before the workout is essential. Something like a butterfly stretch is perfect for this, and it can be done very quickly, 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 you recover and how you feel daily. 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. You may need more recovery time if you notice decreased performance or feel sore or tired. And if you feel more vital than ever the day after an intense workout, you don't need to go slow. Pay attention to your body; it will tell you what and when.