You have an amazing workout and then muscle soreness (also known as DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness) sets in the following days enticing you to stop your routine. We’ve all been there, but how do we minimize muscle soreness to keep getting through those tough workouts? The answer is simple. You need to take your post-workout recovery as seriously as you take your training or you won’t see the progress you want. What you do in the gym is only part of the equation. If you aren’t giving your body the rest and support it needs to rebuild after training sessions, then you simply aren’t going to get the results you want as fast or easily.
Don’t underestimate rest days or what I like to call recovery days. While you may think your progress will suffer if you take days off from working out, the opposite is true. Rest days or recovery days allows your body to replenish glycogen levels (your body’s main energy source), helps repair the damaged muscle tissue, and prevents you from overtraining.
Now there are two types of recovery when it comes to rest days: Passive and Active Recovery. Passive recovery involves you taking the day off entirely from any form of exercise. Active recovery is when you engage in low-intensity exercise. This can include low-intensity cardio such as walking or yoga. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but make sure you are taking those rest days.
Drink Up: Hydration is Key
Your body is made up of primarily water and uses it for a variety of processes including muscle recovery. Water helps flush toxins like lactic acid (One of the reasons you experience muscle soreness) out of the body, transports the needed nutrients into the muscle cells to help with recovery, and helps rehydrate the whole body. Next time you are feeling sore, make sure you’re staying hydrated. Not sure how much water you should be consuming a day, make sure to check out our calculator here.
While your nutrition such as the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is very important in seeing results and aiding your recovery, adding these supplements on top of your diet can help you recover more effectively:
An amino acid supplement may help you recover. More specifically, branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are three of the main amino acids that your body uses to repair muscle. They could also help increase protein synthesis which can help you build muscle, so definitely add this to your recovery routine.
Let’s be honest. You most likely are not eating enough vegetables a day to get the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. That is why a greens product is recommended. It helps make sure you are getting the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) needed in order for your body to recover effectively.
When it comes to recovery, fish oils are a supplement you want to have. They have been shown to help reduce muscle damage, reduce inflammation after workouts which helps minimize muscle soreness, and support joint health.
One of the best things you can do to help improve your recovery is massage. While it might not always feel the best depending on how sore you are, it will be a game changer. Massaging helps increase blood flow, increase oxygen, soothes inflammation, and reduces muscle tightness. One of the easiest ways to massage sore muscles is to use a foam roller or massage gun, so make sure to grab one of those.
The next time you go through an intense exercise and feel sore, try these tips and let me know what you think! Also, feel free to leave your favorite recovery tips in the comments!