We all know that after an intense workout, you are going to have aching muscles. There is nothing that you can do about it either. However, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that they don’t ache as much. We will give you a step-by-step guide to help you deal with those aching muscles after a workout.
Hydration Is Key
Hydration is key, simply because you probably lost a lot of fluid during your workout. Once you have completed your workout, you need to drink enough water to replenish those fluid levels. The reason for this is that it improves muscle flexibility, builds strength as well as helps prevent muscle soreness. However, stay away from drinks that are high in sugar. Stick to coconut or cucumber water as these will hydrate you more.
Eat Within an Hour After Your Workout
Healthy meals after your workout are essential as your body needs energy. They will restore energy stores and begin the recovery process for your damaged muscle tissue. The macronutrients that you need to eat are both carbohydrates and protein. However, ensure that the carbohydrates you eat are healthy such as sweet potato and brown rice.
Don’t Completely Rest
You must keep up with your diet and eat healthy foods on your rest days. However, you also need to do light exercise to keep those muscles active to a certain level. Swimming, Yoga, a light jog or even a walk is good as it can help with preventing the build-up of lactic acid. It can also boost circulation around your body to carry the macronutrients to those recovering muscles.
A lot of gym-goers will forget one of the most important things for the recovery process. They will assume that a protein shake is enough after a workout when it isn’t. Something that will benefit your recovering muscles is a light stretch once you have finished. Do the same stretches that you did before your workout and you should be ok. There are also other forms of cool-down exercises that you can do. This includes skipping, a light jog or just a lighter weight for your sets.
How To Avoid Sore Muscles
There are a few things that you can do to avoid these. Let’s be honest, there have been many times when you have not attended the gym simply because your muscles are aching. Before your workout, you should do a light stretch to warm up the muscles. Once you have finished the workout, you should do the same or some form of light exercise that we have previously mentioned. It improves flexibility and helps combat muscle soreness. All it needs is an extra 20 minutes of your workout time and you will see the benefits.
As soon as you read cold showers, you probably wanted to skip to the next section. However, they can be highly beneficial for recovery. A cold shower can help with healing, reduce inflammation as well as ease muscular tension.
If you have a bath at home, we suggest you try one of these instead. Fill up your bathtub with cold water and then drop 3-5 bags of ice. Ensure that you dip all of your body in the water, especially the muscles you have been working. Moreover, we suggest you only have an ice bath once a week as bags of ice can be expensive.
Not only does an ice bath or cold shower assist with the recovery process. It can also improve your mental state as well. You don’t need to spend too long in these showers/ baths, just long enough to cool your body down. Furthermore, the more you do these, the stronger your willpower becomes and you will see yourself staying in for much longer.
Other Home Remedies
There are many benefits to cold showers but they might not be for you. There are also other methods that you can do to ensure you are doing the recovery process correctly.
Foam rolling is another way to help reduce muscle soreness. You can also buy massage guns that will also help those muscles recover.
The last, and arguably most important thing that we are going to discuss is your diet. A lot of people do not understand the importance of a healthy diet, especially when they go to the gym regularly. You need to ensure that you are consuming plenty of protein as this is an important nutrient to help repair damaged/ torn muscle tissue. Moreover, foods that are rich in protein are beef, white meat, fish, eggs, lentils and many more.
Carbohydrates are needed as these release energy slower compared to other nutrients. However, there are a lot of unhealthy carbohydrates. Ensure that you are eating healthy carbohydrates such as wholewheat foods, sweet potatoes, brown rice and other foods. Try your best to steer away from those carbohydrates that contain a lot of fat, as they are just empty calories.
Other Things To Avoid
There are many other things that you should do and should not do. One of the most important is not drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates your body the next day so ensure you only treat yourself to a drink every once in a while. Plus, it isn’t good for your liver to drink too much.
Another thing to avoid is pushing yourself too far. You need to ensure you have a couple of rest days each to help with the recovery process. Magnesium supplements are something else that you should consider when working out as they can help improve performance