Getting to the gym or heading outside for a great workout was the first step; the next step is managing the fatigue that sets in after pushing your body to the limit. A tough workout warrants an effective workout recovery, but did you know that some methods for recovery are more effective than others? From start to finish, make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to make your workout work for you.
Your Guide to Workout Recovery
Reducing Muscle Discomfort
Oftentimes, the mark of a hard workout is the muscle tightness and soreness post-workout. Commonly referred to as DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, it’s a rite of passage for anyone new to exercise, or those of us who come off of a longer-than-one-week break. To prevent muscle soreness, fitness and nutrition coach, Lauren Palm, says, “Drink a lot of water. Water plays a necessary role in ensuring that all of our body’s functions are completed properly and efficiently, especially muscle repair and remodeling.”
Palm also recommends getting the body moving again in the wake of a tough workout. “If your legs are really sore from a high-intensity lifting workout, try hopping on a bike or elliptical for 10 minutes 24 hours after your high-intensity workout,” Palm said. “Getting the blood flowing in your sore areas can actually make them feel better!”
How you approach your workout prior to setting foot in the gym affects how you recover post-workout. “Warm up. Studies have shown that doing light weight or body weight exercises at a low intensity level prior to your high-intensity workout get your muscle fibers most properly prepped for working most efficiently during your workout and recovering most efficiently after your workout,” said Palm.
Ensuring you have proper nutrition pre-workout is essential in giving your body the right amount of fuel to power you through a hard workout. Palm said, “Eat some complex carbs and protein between 30 minutes to 2 hours prior to your workout for maximum metabolic efficiency during your workout.”
Replenish with Amino Acids
Amino acids are found in high-protein foods, so eating protein after a tough workout is essential to repair muscles, rebuild lost proteins, and build new muscle tissue. Think of protein as fuel that you might put into a car; as a car runs low on fuel, it needs to be replenished. Your muscles are the same way — when you use the fuel that is stored up in muscles, it needs to be replenished as well.
Research has shown that those who consume between 20 and 40 grams of protein could greatly increase the body’s ability for workout recovery. The amino acid carnitine is found in the muscles and has been shown to supply oxygen which can support exercise recovery. Beef is an excellent source of carnitine, with between 56-162mg per serving, and ground beef coming in at 87-99mg per serving.
Vital Proteins Banana Cinnamon Collagen Whey is full of amino acids and 25g of protein, making it a great post-workout recovery option to replenish muscles, and achieve a lean body. In addition to important amino acids, Banana Cinnamon Collagen Whey contains probiotics, which are good, beneficial bacteria that can be consumed through food or supplements and help to balance the ecosystem of the gut. When the gut is healthy, so is our ability to maintain a more optimal weight, and improve digestion. Try mixing up a delicious Strawberry Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie post-workout!