It’s pretty much a given that a really good workout leaves you with a lot of good feelings. You feel accomplished and totally pumped, especially if you hit a new personal best in any way. You’re flying high off of the feel-good endorphins your body just got done releasing.
Even so, a particularly intense workout can also leave you with a lot of aches and pains. Muscles become sore or start cramping up. You can find yourself at a loss for energy once your workout high wears off.
If you’re serious about working out, you probably don’t have a lot of time to take it easy before it’s time to get back to business. You need to recover quickly so that you’ll have no problem hitting the gym again sooner rather than later. That means eating the right foods at the right times. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery after every workout.
8 Tips To Remember
1. Stay Hydrated During Your Workout
Water keeps us hydrated and going strong during our workouts, as well as replenishes our bodies afterward.1 The more strenuous the workout, the more important water becomes. Failure to drink enough of it can easily lead to dizziness, cramping, and fatigue. These symptoms can hit you hard, too, ultimately making recovery harder and lengthier.
To avoid this, make sure you’re drinking at least 7-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes during your workouts. If you’re going at it extra hard, and/or sweating profusely, you should be drinking more.
2. Consume Foods Rich In Potassium
Micronutrients are essential when it comes to keeping your body functioning like a well-oiled machine. Let yourself become deficient in any one of them, and you’ll most certainly feel the effects. Potassium is particularly important if you’re active or work out regularly.
Without enough potassium in your system, you’re much more likely to experience cramps. What’s more, potassium is easily lost through dehydration and excessive sweating.
Make sure you’re getting enough to support yourself during and after your workouts by eating foods rich in potassium. Examples include options high in protein, like fish or lean meats, as well as leafy greens like spinach, kale, or Swiss chard. Aim for a daily intake of about 4.7 grams per day.
3. Power Up With Protein
When it comes to absolute essentials for a speedy workout recovery, it quite simply doesn’t get more important than protein. It’s essential when it comes to repairing the damage done to muscles during a routine workout. It’s also responsible for helping you replenish depleted energy stores quickly and effectively.
If you haven’t already, make a habit of consuming good quality protein after every workout. Many fitness enthusiasts swear by protein shakes for this purpose, but a light meal that includes fish, lean meat, eggs, beans, or tofu is also fine. For best results, make sure you’re consuming between 1.25-1.5 grams of quality protein per pound of targeted body weight.
4. Consume Fast-Digesting Carbohydrates
When you’ve just finished working out, your body’s glycogen stores are pretty much kaput. This is part of the reason you feel so exhausted and sapped of energy after a particularly grueling session. To feel like yourself again, your cells need nourishment – and fast.
Consume fast-digesting carbs like white bread or fruit around 10-15 minutes after you finish working out. This is the best way to quickly trigger an insulin spike and get those glycogen levels back up there where they should be.
5. Up Your Salmon Intake
Keeping inflammation at bay is key when it comes to recovering from your workouts in a timely manner. Seafood, especially salmon, is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both EPA and DHA are used by the body in a variety of anti-inflammatory processes.
That said, if you’re not already consuming your share of salmon, it’s time to start. Add it to wraps or salads for a light, nourishing pick-me-up after your workouts. It’s not only great for helping your body recover but delicious to boot!
6. Add Cherries To Your Diet
Salmon isn’t the only food that’s fantastic for keeping inflammation under control. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, tart cherries are also excellent choices.2 This is especially the case if you’re a weightlifter.
The next time you’re planning to put in some serious time in the weight room, try downing a refreshing glass of tart cherry juice before your workout. Then drink another immediately after you’re done. You should notice a significant decrease in muscle soreness.
7. Detoxify With Delicious Blueberries
Of course, protein after a workout is an absolute must. However, it’s not usually enough all by itself to really soothe sore, aching muscles after a vigorous workout. That’s where blueberries come in.
Blueberries are positively packed with antioxidants, which are essential when it comes to dealing with workout-related damage. This makes them the perfect addition to your pre and post-workout protein shakes. You’ll not only recover better but a lot more quickly. Plus, blueberries are delicious!
8. Add Good Quality Recovery Formulas
You can also make recovery a lot easier to tackle by adding the right supplements and post-workout nutritional formulas to your after-workout routine. Energy chews can help keep you going during your workout, as well as help give you a boost immediately after. There are also special gums and rejuvenating teas that help your body come back with flying colors after a gym session or a particularly active afternoon.
Try a couple of options on for size until you settle on one that’s right for you and your needs. Also, remember that not all recovery formulas are created equally. Always buy from a trusted vendor with a good reputation for carrying quality products and delivering world-class customer service. Explore the possibilities today!
|↑1||Zelman, Kathleen M., and Louise Chang. “6 Reasons to Drink Water.” WebMD. http://www. webmd. com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water (2008).|
|↑2||Kuehl, Kerry S., Erica T. Perrier, Diane L. Elliot, and James C. Chesnutt. “Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 7, no. 1 (2010): 1.|