After a tough workout, you need to be able to provide your body with the right nutrients and tools to repair itself. Here are some of those tools below.
1) Nutrients and Food
- Water: Rehydrating yourself after exercise is necessary for two reasons. First, if you are too dehydrated, this can decrease your performance. Secondly, water helps balance your electrolytes so that you can perform sustained exercise. If you don’t hydrate yourself after the workout, the next workout can suffer in performance.
- Protein & Carbohydrate: After exercising, two things happen. First, your muscles need to repair. This is where protein is beneficial. Protein contains amino acids which is used by the muscle to repair itself. Secondly, the muscle glycogen level are low. These levels give you energy to perform exercise. Some form of carbohydrate can also help restore this and help you recover faster as you replinish the energy your body needs.
2) Stretching & Massage
- Soft tissue massage such as foam rolling, trigger pointing, using a lacrosse ball or manual massage are all effective ways to reduce the soreness in muscles.
- Depp stretches held for 1-2 minutes also reduce the soreness feeling called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
- If the muscle soreness is significant, athletes may need to rest 48 to 36 hours for a full recovery of the muscles. For athletes who have a higher tolerance, rest can be between 24-48 hours. Timing depends on level and tolerance. More advanced athletes can have shorter rest times between workouts. Greater rest periods may be necessary if there has been significant time off from weight training.
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