Making sure that your muscles recovery properly after a workout should be your first priority. Muscles need tender love and care, too-especially after all of the hard work you put into them. Here are 5 ways to recover faster post-workout:
- Consume protein before bedtime. As we sleep, our bodies are hard at work. No, really! Your muscles are not just resting-they are recovering in the process. Eating a light protein snack will aid your muscles in recovery. Ever look at a bodybuilder's or fitness model's diet plan and notice their last "snack" of the day is around 8pm or 9pm and its... you guessed it-a protein shake!
- With that being said, sleep! Multiple studies suggest sleep deprivation and disorders can have a significant negative effect on performance and recovery. Sleep is also prime time for the body to undergo protein synthesis, so make sure to get in those Zzz’s for stronger muscles and better endurance.
- Drink low-fat chocolate milk after a workout. The best post-workout recovery drink is said to be low-fat chocolate milk. You might be laughing at this, but hear us out! It is a natural source of high-quality protein to build lean muscle and contains the right mix of protein and carbs scientifically shown to refuel exhausted muscles and help return to peak potential. Chocolate milk also provides fluids and electrolytes – like calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium – to rehydrate and help replenish critical nutrients lost in sweat.
- Use a foam roller. I love, love, love my foam roller! It was a cheap, but wonderful investment and not only does it help with my muscle recovery, it helps to stretch my back as well. Don't get me wrong-it can hurt. Think of it as a self deep tissue massage to release tight muscles. Foam rollers can also help with trigger points. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function.
- Take a cold bath. This one is for the folks who can stand cold baths. I, for one, am not a fan, but cold baths are said to work wonders by slowing down the cell processes and using water to apply light compression. By doing so, cold baths help to circulate blood throughout the body and move waste products, like lactic acid, outside of the muscle.