Whether you just ran a marathon or did a mild Body Pump class, a good recovery for the body post a workout is vital. The muscles need rest and fuel so they are able to bounce back when you go back for the next session.
Here are some scientifically-proven and backed-up-by-study ways to speed up the R&R.
- Consume protein before bed: Studies have shown that if you consume a small amount of protein right before bedtime, it helps the muscles repair overnight. This is also why sometimes you feel muscle soreness the next day, as the magic has happened overnight and the body is now sculpting.
- Eat protein in the morning: After a hard night of sleeping, the body could use some nutrients to recharge in the A.M. Breakfasts that are high in protein can give our muscles the necessary ingredients to start rebuilding and may reduce food cravings later on in the day, a Swedish studies have shown.
- Drink chocolate milk: Believe it or not, chocolate milk has proven to heal the body in more than one study. If you’re after a post-workout on-the-go snack, grab some chocolate milk (make sure the sugar level is the lowest). The protein it contains will kickstart muscle recovery immediately, and those carbs from the chocolate have been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes for the body to get ready for its next challenge.
- Drink cherry juice: If you’re really feeling it after last night’s spin session, take a supplement with tart cherry or drink pure cherry juice. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory element in tart cherry is known to help reduce the swelling that occurs when muscles are damaged, allowing our bodies to recover faster and with less pain.
- Don’t drink alcohol after exercise: Bad news for those who workout on a Friday night and then have a big night out – research suggests that more than one or two drinks after a sweat sesh could reduce the body’s ability to recover. It’s mainly the skeletal muscle performance that’s affected, and you might not notice it until your next workout.
What’s your best tip to recover after a tough workout? Share below.