Intense workouts can leave you feeling drained and tired. Before you succumb to fatigue and a cranky attitude, take a look at these tips on how to "bounce back" with a fast and effective recovery.
The techniques we've outlined here are proven methods and best-practices to get you back on track and feeling ready for your next training. And as everyone in training knows, consistency in your workout schedule will deliver the results you're looking for. So after your next intense workout, follow this list for success.
Cool Down and Chill Out
Before the end of your workout, spend about 10 minutes taking your intensity levels down. In a cardio session, this is referred to as the “cool down” phase. In weight training, you rarely see it. People lift heavy and hard and then head out. This will help to remove lactic acid build up before you are finished with your session. A cool down is important.
Stretch like you mean it
Stretch after exercise to maintain flexibility. A full body stretching session is recommended. 5-7 minutes is all it takes. Again, lactic acid is flushed during this session. Since your muscles are already warm, this makes it easier.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Start drinking fluids (especially ones with carbohydrates) during your cool down and stretching sessions. Doing so will start immediately replacing your short term glycogen stores and help with overall body hydration.
Power the Protein
Consuming as little as six grams of protein after exercise has shown to increase protein synthesis. Get this, expensive protein powders and amino-acid supplements are no more effective than normal foods (e.g., meat, fish, eggs) at providing the necessary amino acids.
Go for the Sodium
To avoid muscle cramps, dehydration and to stabilize blood volume, you should replace fluids and electrolytes after exercise. This includes sodium. If you are eating real protein sources after exercise, this might be an opportunity to lightly salt your foods to replace sodium. If it’s a protein shake with carbs, it will probably have some sodium in it by default.
Start counting sheep
Sleep is necessary for full recovery. How much sleep can depend on the individual and the circumstances but generally a 6-8 hour range will cover most people. Some need more and some need less. Don’t be caught up in some number but just the overall idea that you grow and recovery quickly when you get adequate rest.
Bottom line: tomorrow’s training session is only as good as today’s recovery. So do you have a recovery tips that works especially wellfor you? Share your thoughts and let us know if we can include them in an updated list.