What Are The Best Ways To Refresh Oneself During/Post Workout?

What are the best ways to refresh oneself during/post workout? Get the latest ideas and recommendations as our forum members point out the importance of water, rest, supps, music, and mental prep. Learn more right here!


TOPIC: What Are The Best Ways To Refresh Oneself During/Post Workout?

The Question:

We all know how grueling our workouts can be. Exercises like squats and deadlifts can often leave us tired, dizzy, and nauseous. Between sets and exercises we feel the need to be "refreshed" to keep up our performance?

What are the best ways to refresh oneself during/post workout?

Why is water so important in relation to extensive physical exertion?

Do you refresh yourself during workouts? If so, how often, and how? If not, why?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

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1st Place - lionelxxl
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

We all know how grueling our workouts can be. Exercises like squats and deadlifts can often leave us tired, dizzy, and nauseous. Between sets and exercises we feel the need to be "refreshed" to keep up our performance.

Though some of us like this beat-up feeling and how it makes you feel like you've giving your all, balls-to-the-wall, in this workout - this is all just psychological and its 'benefits' are so negligible you're better off not feeling like it's the end of the world.

How nice would it be to run straight to the gents and puke a whole toilet-bowl full of trash? Or feel so giddy after doing squats you can't even stand up after 20mins to take a sip from the water-cooler? Hardcore and intensity doesn't mean all these. The above, for the majority of lifters out there, just means you didn't give your pre/during/post workout nutrition a second thought.


Refreshing
What Are The Best Ways To Refresh Oneself During/Post Workout?

There are several ways to ensure peak-performance during your workout - that you don't feel so run-down after an ultra intense set or be not able to maintain your intensity/strength - throughout the workout. Equally important, post workout nutrition also plays a huge role in how you feel the rest of the day following your workout. I will be listing some ideas below.

Water:

    Consumption, or lack thereof, of the simplest, cheapest, ever available 'supplement' is what a lot of lifters overlook. In a nutshell, approximately 40-60% of our body weight is water, and muscle is composed of around 72% by water weight.

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    This simple fact that so much of our bodily functions involve water in one step or the other cannot fail to emphasize its importance. I will go into detail about why water is so important in the next section.

Rest Periods:

    Finding the optimum rest periods in-between sets is extremely important too. This would prevent your body from being too exhausted and not having sufficient replenishment of energy before starting another set.

    ATP production for example, requires at least a 2-3 min window after an intense set. Though some advanced lifters may be able to do so in a shorter time, most lifters have to realize that the time taken for energy replenishment is highly individual.

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    The amount of time your partner needs to rest before being able to reach the previous sets' rep range and intensity would most likely not be similar to yours. Therefore, one must not ignore the importance of resting between sets so as to avoid being exhausted halfway through the workout.

Cold/Hot Bath:

    These showers are extremely helpful if you need something to perk you up right after a heavy lifting session. A trip to the sauna or the nearby pool/shower area makes for some awesome post-workout activity. These help to prep you for the day ahead (if you workout in the mornings) or provide for some relaxation as the sun sets and its time to hit the sack soon (if you workout in the evenings).

Mental Psyche (Determination/Motivation):

    Some lifters are able to get out and continue grinding out thousands of reps even though fatigued because they want to do so. Though they are tired and beat, they know that they have to carry on to be able to pack on slabs of muscle.

    They are somehow able to dig deep down and find an untapped source of energy for the last few reps. This psychological edge is what separates the elite from the layman lifters. Learning to psych oneself up takes time and effort. But after being able to do so, you will feel extremely refreshed, like a huge tsunami wave just hit you, and feel like you're indestructible.

    Mental Psyche
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Dig Deep Down And Find That Untapped Source Of Energy.

    When fatigued near the end of the workout, think of why you're torturing yourself like this. And whether you want to be a quitter that never wins by saying, "Ok, I'm beat. That's it. Lets pack up and head on home."

    Think of all the effort and pain you've put in the past couple of months/years to get to this stage. NOW, that'll be sufficient to provide enough 'energy' to continue and finish off the weights like a man possessed!

Music/Videos:

Unbelievable?

    Music and videos is another must-have in your 'pick-me-up' arsenal in the combat against the iron. Ever felt hyper, or that extremely psyched up after a song, or 2 from bands like HATEBREED or DISTURBED? Or how about some 'light weight!' that's 'nuthin-but-a-peanut!!' hardcore workouts in Ronnie Coleman's Unbelievable?

    This head bopping/banging tunes together with some inspirational videos of whatever your liking, be it opera or MTV, are excellent on a slow day where you feel energy levels are at its low. When you need something to give you and extra boost, look no further. These inspirational music and videos really influential in helping to re-focus on the weights at hand and an excellent 'refresher' in my opinion.

Supplements:

    Some during workout supplements I'd recommend are:

      1. Essential Amino Acids (EAA's)/Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's):

        Branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) and Essential amino acids (alanine, aspartate, glutamine, isoleucine, leucine, and valine) play important roles in protein synthesis and energy production.

        Wraath

        Consumption of EAA's/BCAA's during the workout has shown to be able to help spare and preserve muscle and glycogen stores.

        Another wonderful benefit of EAA's/BCAA's is the inhibition of CNS fatigue by reducing serotonin, which is claimed to be involved with causing CNS fatigue, production.

        Recommended Products:

      2. Citrulline Malate:

      Driven

        Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that plays a vital role in metabolic processes, specifically the krebs cycle which produces energy. The malic acid from the malate in citrulline malate takes part in the aerobic cellular respiration, aiding in the recycling of lactate and pyruvate to promote efficient energy production and helps protect muscles from fatigue.

        Recommended Products:

      3. Taurine:

      Taurine

        A conditionally essential amino acid, taurine is the second most abundant amino acid in muscle is the most voluminous amino acid represented in type 2 muscle fibers. Taurine can also act like creatine with its cell volumizing and hydration properties. This increase in water in muscle cells leads to expanded muscle cells that results in a higher rate of protein synthesis.

        Recommended Products:

      4. Caffeine:

      Caffeine

        Caffeine and its benefits in exercise performance has been well documented.

        Besides delaying fatigue and improving endurance, it also helps in refreshing the user and 'drain' him of fatigue.

        Recommended Products:

      5. Water:

    Some I'd recommend post workout include:

      1. Essential Amino Acids (EAA's)/Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's):

      2. Whey Protein:

        Whey protein, with a biological value (BV) of >100, exerts a response when taken before and after workouts by changing the initially catabolic response from exercise into an anabolic one. This stimulates protein synthesis and inhibits muscle breakdown at such crucial times to help in the growth of lean muscle mass.

        Substance WPI

        Whey also contains numerous beneficial compounds that include growth factors and probiotics. These compounds enhance the beneficial qualities of whey they encompasses more that muscle building to general health. Whey protein also contains a fair amount of BCAA's.

        Recommended Products:

          PrimaForce Presents: Substance WPI
          Syntrax Presents: Nectar

      3. Vitargo:

        Vitargo is a new sugar free, high molecular weight carbohydrate supplement that is extremely effective in aiding glycogen restoration and cell hydration.

        Vitargo

        Its extremely high molecular weight is 3000 times greater than that of dextrose and upon consumption, it passes through the stomach so quickly that it acts like a pump, pulling water and nutrients along with it into the cells.

        This complex carbohydrate is far superior in restoring energy levels as compared to the simple carb combo of dextrose and maltodextrin.

        Recommended Products:

      4. Creatine:

      Creatine

        This proven compound is one of the best and safest ergogenic aids in the market. In a nutshell, creatine's benefits include a faster, more efficient re-generation of ATP post workout or in between sets, aid in cellular hydration by drawing water into cells and protection of tissue against damage from free radicals.

        Recommended Products:

      5. Water:


Water
Why Is Water So Important In Relation To Extensive Physical Exertion?

As I've mentioned earlier, water is the single most important nutrient in our body. The human brain is composed of 95% water; blood is 82% water; the lungs are nearly 90% water. It is thus essential in several metabolic processes and aids in the maintenance of our bodily systems. Now, lets us look at waters' relation to extensive physical exertion.

  • Nutrient Absorption: Water is the key 'carrier' of nutrients into cells. Without this transport matrix, none of those vitamins/minerals/supplements we ingest would bear a high chance of getting well absorbed.

  • Regulates Body Temperatures: During workouts, when we exert and train at high intensities, our body temperatures naturally increase. Failure to keep this in check would cause severe heat related injuries. Water acts in this case, as a 'coolant' to regulate, or keep the body's temperature as close to normal as possible.

    Heat Exhaustion:
    Heat exhaustion, condition caused by overexposure to sunlight or another heat source and resulting in dehydration and salt depletion, also known as heat prostration. The symptoms are severe headaches, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, and sometimes unconsciousness. However, the body temperature is not elevated as in heatstroke. The condition is usually temporary and rarely fatal. Water, mineral, and ion depletion may be so severe that painful spasms of the muscles, commonly called heat cramps, occur. Treatment includes administering a supplemental solution to replace the water, minerals, and ions that have been depleted from the body.

    Heat Stroke:
    Debility caused by exposure to heat and humidity, usually for many hours, called sunstroke when caused by direct sunlight. Body temperature is 106…amp;quot;110ºF (41…amp;quot;43ºC) or higher. Perspiration almost stops, leading to the rapid temperature rise, collapse, and coma. Cooling with ice-water baths or packs, with massage to promote circulation, is urgent to save the victim's life. Even after body temperature drops, circulatory disorder and brain damage may cause death.

  • Prevents Dehydration: As we perspire and lose water under extensive physical exertion and fail to replenish it, dehydration may occur. Water is so important that a 2% drop in body water may lead to a critical shrinkage of the brain, though small, but may adversely affect neuromuscular co-ordination. Dehydration also affects endurance and causes cramping among many other side effects.

  • Joint Health: Heavy lifting places a huge amount of stress on the joints, especially the elbow and knee joint. Because of water forming the majority of joint fluid that keeps joints lubricated and healthy, a decrease in consumption of water would lead to ailments like joint pains/aches and even injury while lifting.

  • Metabolization Of Nutrients: Water is integral in the energy cycles that breakdown protein and carbohydrates to form energy. A lack of it would severely decrease energy levels and would hamper workouts.

  • Improved Respiratory Health: An increase in water would lead to improved levels of oxygen in the body. Oxygen is a crucial substrate in the energy producing krebs cycle and also helps the body utilize stored fat for energy more efficiently.

  • Increases Muscular Volumization: Since water makes up most of the volume of muscle, it is needed in the uptake of essential nutrients like creatine and amino acids that help build new muscle fibers and generate more energy.

Water

Just to sum it up, water has an enormous role in maintaining peak performance, especially during periods extensive physical exertion in this case. It simply is a must-have in any athlete, h*ll, everybody's, arsenal of nutrients.

How much is the recommended daily intake of water? This depends from person to person. Somebody living near the equator would definitely lose more water daily as compared to somebody with similar activity levels staying in the rocky mountains of Canada.

For starters, drink at least 1.5-2.5 gallons a day. As a rule of thumb, you can judge whether you're getting enough water from the color of your urine. If its dark yellow, please get some water pronto! If it's something light, say lemonade colored, you're fine. Also, don't drink up only when you're feeling thirsty. By then, you'd most probably be dehydrated already. During exercise, it's recommended to drink at least 5 oz every 20-30mins and more pre and post workout, up to 20oz.

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Just Soda, I Am A Water Hater.
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One Gallon.
Two Gallons.
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Personal Experience
Do You Refresh Yourself During Workouts? If So, How Often, And How? If Not, Why?

Yes! I have to do what I preach in order to educate people and convince them to use utilize my tips right? Anyway, I use some of the tips above like showers post workout, lengthening rest periods when I feel I have to and taking the recommended supplements during/post workout.

I use these methods to refresh myself every workout! There's simply no reason for me to stop doing them as they have been excellent in picking me up from a rut and kicking ass in the gym.

However, the one that I really love a lot is the music/inspirational videos suggestion. A little DMX and 2Pac never fails to get me in the zone. After a heavy 10 X 10 set of squats, I just need 1 song, 1 head bopping, low ridin' song to give me sufficient 'gas' to refresh myself and chase the fatigue away.

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Although this doesn't work every single time, the fact that the majority of my weightlifting sessions are so hardcore can be attributed to all the suggestions above and hardcore hip hop!


Conclusion

Maintaining peak energy levels and concentration in the gym in very important. Giving up halfway because of fatigue or lack of concentration is a sure-fire way to failure. One must know how to utilize methods to keep performance levels up even in times of exhaustion. I hope I have provided some insight to this topic and let me know how it worked for you!

Sources:

  1. www.bodybuilding.com
  2. www.bulknutrition.com
  3. www.t-nation.com


2nd Place - mivi320
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

During a taxing workout, one often feels the need to be "refreshed" to maximize performance. We've all been there before - whether it's getting up that last rep on the bench press or nailing out one more rep on squats. Proper hydration and refreshment will either make you or break you in situations like these.


Refreshing
What Are The Best Ways To Refresh Oneself During/Post Workout?

The Importance Of H20:

    Proper hydration during exercise is essential to unlocking one's performance. The slightest bit of dehydration can hinder your performance tremendously. Water helps the muscles absorb nutrients and wash out wastes. Water is also the most abundant nutrient found in the body, so it makes sense to keep hydrated!

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    The importance of H20 during a workout is significant, as staying hydrated at this time will conclusively help one's supplements work more efficiently. Creatine products function by pulling water into the cell. For creatine and other supplements to function properly, plenty of water must be taken during the workout.

    A good rule of thumb on how much water to drink is to drink water throughout the course of the day, but don't overdo it. As the training session nears, drink more water to begin hydrating. While training, be sure to drink more often - especially if sweating profusely is an issue.

    After completion of training, be sure to remain hydrated. Most bodybuilders and athletes take in anywhere from 1-2 gallons of water daily to assist with the metabolism of additional food and supplements that are consumed.

Branch Chain Amino Acids:

    Branch Chain Amino Acids during a workout will also help maximize performance and fight off fatigue. BCAA is immediately absorbed by the body; therefore, when supplemented with during a training session, recovery in between sets is phenomenal!

    Xtend

    I recommend SciVation Xtend, as it also contains Citrulline Malate - which has been proven to enhance recovery and improve endurance during training.

    Begin by sipping on Xtend pre-workout, continue sipping on it throughout the workout, and finish it up post-workout. This is the same strategy Derek Charlebois uses, and just look at him!


Click To Enlarge.
Derek Charlebois.

Carbohydrate Solution:

    For bodybuilding purposes, a carbohydrate solution during the workout is not necessary, as we bodybuilders don't deplete our glycogen stores as severely as a long distance runner.

    However, if training intensely for over 90 minutes, a carbohydrate solution is recommended to keep performance levels high. This applies to trainees that train in endurance events and long duration exercise.

    I recommend sipping on a cocktail of dextrose (or your favorite sports drink) and BCAA to prevent muscle being used for energy, improve performance, and keep glycogen stores full.

Creatine:

    There are several types of creatine out on the market right now. The "tried and true" creatine is creatine monohydrate. This should be taken post workout, as ATP stores are in need of replenishment after training.

    PrimaForce

    Creatine will refresh oneself, as it works to increase energy and works immediately to repair the damaged cells from training.

    I recommend Higher Power Micronized Creatine, PrimaForce Creaform, and Ultimate Nutrition's Creapure - as these types of creatine are all top quality and will guarantee results!

Whey Protein:

Dymatize


Water
Why Is Water So Important In Relation To Extensive Physical Exertion?

The human body is generally between 60% and 75% water. Water's responsibilities include excreting wastes from the body and transporting nutrients throughout the body.

As mentioned previously, a well hydrated muscle is a strong muscle, as a lack of water in the body (particularly the muscle cells) can severely impair one's strength and endurance during a training session.

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Water helps metabolize the nutrients in the body, and is the mean used in transporting nutrients to the muscle cells during physical exertion.

When there is a lack of water, performance suffers.


Personal Experience
Do You Refresh Yourself During Workouts? If So, How Often, And How? If Not, Why?

Yes, I make it imperative to stay hydrated and refreshed during workouts.

I drink at least 1 gallon of water during my workout, along with SciVation Xtend. As a result, my endurance and recovery between sets has been amazing!

After completion of training, I have a shake consisting of whey protein, creatine monohydrate, and a fast acting carbohydrate source such as dextrose. I also finish sipping on any Xtend I may have left at this time.

Following these "refreshment" methods has improved my recovery tremendously, and increased my performance in the gym as well!

Live life to the fullest,

Mike


3rd Place - justinc911
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Introduction

Recovery is a big part of any effective fitness regiment, especially water. Not only is water essential for refreshing and hydrating yourself after and during a workout, but it also can help to cleanse out fat and flushes out your kidneys.

Glycergrow

Another substance that could be used is glycerol monostearate, although it is classified as a diuretic; it really hydrates the cells and can also lead to mass increases.

Most times marathon runners will use this before a race, but with the inclusion of GlycerGrow from Controlled Labs it is becoming more noticed by the bodybuilding world. As for other things I would do during a workout to promote a positive recovery, there are multiple methods.


During Workout

One method that has been around for a while is the good old whey protein shake during the workout, the idea being that your muscle are being repaired quicker after and during the workout to prevent muscle breakdown and nutritional breakdown. Keep in mind most protein also contains a good amount of BCAA's per scoop, which will aid in absorption and synthesis of protein, to create a more anabolic environment.

Another method is to go with creatine during your workout to flood the cells quickly so the effects can be felt and prolonged during the anabolic phase shortly after working out.

A simple method is to just throw some BCAA's into water, that way you can keep your energy and pump during the workout.

Keep in mind glycine is also a good choice with any mixture, because of the ability to aid in creatine production and GH increase.

Pre/During Workout Science:

    Water:

    • Hydrates
    • Flushes out kidneys
    • Flushes out fat

    Glycerol Monostearate:

    • Hydrates
    • PUMP
    • Nutrient absorption increase
    • Diuretic effects

    Glycine:

    • Growth hormone increase
    • Nerve firing
    • Creatine production

    BCAA's: - Top Sellers

    Whey Protein: - Top Sellers

    • Antioxidant
    • Amino acids
    • Protein for muscle repair and growth

    Creatine (CEE): - Top Sellers

    • Lean mass, strength and performance increases
    • Better absorption than monohydrate
    • Safe and effective


Post Workout Recovery

Just a little information before I go into post recovery methods. Keep in mind that the anabolic state is most prominent up to 30 min after a workout. Anything you want to feed your muscles should be done immediately after your workout to promote the highest anabolic and metabolic state possible to assimilate and absorption the most nutrients.

This is where I would also recommend some vanadyl sulfate, which will help to maintain the body's blood sugar levels, similar to insulin. Mainly it will help the muscle cells with the uptake of glucose instead of fat cells. Basically, vanadyl sulfate forces more proteins, amino acids, and carbohydrates directly into the muscles, helping with post workout nutrient absorption. Other good news is that it is cheap. I believe the best post recovery method is listed below:

Post Recovery Method:

    After working out you will - because of the anabolic state I mentioned above - want a fast digesting protein such as whey, for the muscle repair. It is also a good idea to have a balance of BCAA's like leucine, and glutamine to start the synthesis process.

    Not to mention glutamine is also said to have a slight effect on raising levels of released GH (growth hormone). Like glutamine Vitargo can also be used to help replenish glycogen stores, while alpha-lipoic acid combined with all of these supplements can promote insulin's effects much like that of vanadyl sulfate, in that it aids in uptake of glucose, creatine and amino acids.

Post Workout Stack:

  • Whey protein powder
  • BCAA's including leucine and glutamine
  • Creatine (CEE is most recommended)
  • Your choice of vanadyl sulfate, Vitargo, or alpha-lipoic acid
  • Also remember a 2:1:1 ratio of l-leucine, l-isoleucine, l-valine for optimal protein synthesis for an anabolic state after your workout.

Post Workout Science:

    In this part I will breakdown all the ingredients individually.

    BCAA's:

      Leucine: - Top Sellers

      • Primary anabolic trigger
      • Enhance recovery
      • Optimize hormone levels

      Valine:

      • Energy
      • Recovery
      • Glucose production
      • Nitrogen balance

      Isoleucine:

      • Energy
      • Recovery
      • Glucose production
      • Hormones

      Lysine: - Top Sellers

      • Beta-oxidation
      • Nitrogen balance
      • Calcium absorption
      • Energy

      Arginine: - Top Sellers

      • Vasodilator
      • Nutrient delivery
      • Anti-Catabolic

      Histidine:

      • Vasodilator

      Threonine:

      • Nutrient uptake

      Methionine: - Top Sellers

      • Enhance metabolism
      • Energy
      • Antioxidant

      Phenylalanine:

      • Energy
      • Hormones

      Glutamine: - Top Sellers

      • Prevent muscle breakdown
      • Hormones

    Other Ingredients:

      Vanadyl Sulfate: - Top Sellers

      • Healthy blood sugar levels
      • Helps the muscle cells uptake glucose
      • Forces more proteins, amino acids, and carbohydrates directly into muscles

      Vitargo:

      • Accelerates creatine transport
      • Increases glucose uptake
      • Less discomfort in stomach than dextrose

      ALA: - Top Sellers

      • Antioxidant and energizer
      • Increases nutrient uptake

      Creatine (CEE): - Top Sellers

      • Lean mass, strength and performance increases
      • Better absorption than monohydrate
      • Safe and effective

      Whey Protein: - Top Sellers

      • Antioxidant
      • Amino acids
      • Protein for muscle repair and growth
      • Note: goat protein is now available and is said to have a 300% better absorption rate than milk protein

All of the methods mentioned above I use everyday, I usually mix all together except protein and I really water it down to make sure I stay hydrated. I actually drink half of my workout drink before working out and then that is when I water it down and drink the rest during my workout. I carry my post workout mix with me, and drink it immediately after finishing my workout.


Closing Comments

Whatever your choices always research the ingredients before using any product, not only for safety, but to make sure your getting what they market. Good luck with your training and I hope this write up will help some people in there journey in fitness.

Oh, and make sure you always drink plenty of water, because when you get dehydrated you are not only risking your health, but also decreasing your performance. Drink at least a gallon a day if possible. Being dizzy, tired and nauseous is not acceptable when water is free, so be safe and stay fit.

[ *Note for above responses: These are opinions from our forum members and are not necessarily the opinion of Bodybuilding.com. ]