Exercise and training in your favorite sport are one of the pillars of good health. Regular exercise helps keep you fit, improves your mood, helps maintain a sharp mind, and reduces heart disease risk. However, the fatigue that usually comes after exercise can take its toll on you.
Instead of sucking it up or relying on painkillers, there are other safe and effective sports recovery routines that you can try. This article explores the top 5 ways to recover faster to make sure you maximize your performance during workouts.
Why is Recovery in Sports Important?
Recovery techniques allow your body to rest and are a critical component of injury prevention. Professional athletes take the necessary steps for proper recovery, but even nonprofessional athletes can reap the same benefits to improve their game.
How to Improve Recovery After the Gym?
There are a few simple yet incredibly effective ways you can promote sports recovery after intense exercise.
Active recovery is a low-intensity workout that is easier than your usual routine. Examples include a slow jog, yoga, and stretching and are considered more beneficial than inactivity, total resting, or sitting.
Active recovery keeps your blood flowing, helps sore muscles recover, and rebuild after sports performance.
Passive rest is also vital, and it is recommended that athletes get 7 to 10 hours of sleep per night. This time allows your muscles to replenish nutrients and repair damaged tissues. Sleep also allows you to recover mentally and make sure you regain your energy and focus.
Proper hydration is not just essential before exercise but also for sports recovery. Hydration after exercise regulates your body temperature so that you can effectively transport nutrients to different parts of your body.
Post Workout Recovery Smoothies
Your body needs proteins, carbohydrates, and fats after a training session as your muscles repair themselves. Although the average American diet already delivers enough nutrients for your athletic performance, you may add to it using recovery smoothies and supplements.
Smoothies are endlessly customizable and provide a convenient way to replenish lost electrolytes and deliver essential vitamins and minerals to your body during post-workout recovery.
These ingredients are popularly added to sports recovery smoothies:
- Orange juice – OJ contains potassium, an electrolyte, and vitamin C
- Bananas – Similarly, bananas also contain potassium but also provide you with fast-acting carbs to restore your glycogen levels
- Ginger – An important anti-inflammatory food, ginger reduces the swelling of joints and provide soothing effects to both the mind and body
- Blueberries – These fruits have high levels of antioxidants
- Greek yogurt – This creamy addition contains protein and can satisfy your indulgent cravings without the guilt
- CBD – The vegan CBD tincture oil can also be added to your post-workout smoothie. CBD is a powerful pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, which may provide you muscle relief.
Muscle Recovery Supplements
Supplements are another popular choice for recovery and injury prevention. These products replenish glycogen and protein levels with carbohydrates and proteins. Some sports medicine studies support the use of state of the art creatine and branched-chain amino acids for sports recovery.
Some popular choices for sports recovery supplements include the following:
- Protein supplements
- Weight gainers
- Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- Beta-hydroxy beta-methyl butyrate (HMB)
As mentioned, protein is a vital nutrient for sports recovery. This nutrient replenishes your glycogen stores and repairs and regrows your muscle proteins. Protein can come in the form of food, workout smoothies, and even supplements.
It is advised to consume between 0.14 to 0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.3 to 0.5 grams/kg) soon after a workout. Studies suggest that ingesting 20 to 40 grams of protein appears to maximize your ability to recover after working out.
Another popular sports recovery drink is chocolate milk. This may be advantageous because of the protein content it naturally has. A cup of chocolate milk contains an average of 8 to 11 grams of protein.
Chocolate milk also contains double the carbohydrate content of plain milk, water, and most other sports drinks. It has a high water content, which effectively replaces lost fluids due to sweating and prevents dehydration.
It also delivers calcium, vitamin D, sodium, and sugar, contributing to your retaining water and regaining energy. If you want to include the potential health benefits of cannabidiol, you can also add a regular CBD dose for sports recovery to your chocolate milk.
Cold showers have intrinsic health benefits for your sports recovery. Cold water has regenerative properties that help relax your muscles and promote their repair, especially with massage therapy. In addition, cold showers may also boost weight loss.
Fat cells known as brown fat can generate heat by burning fat. This type of fat does this when your body is exposed to cooler conditions, like a cold shower.
Ice baths may also reduce inflammation and improve sports recovery. Sitting in cold water lets your blood vessels constrict, and when you get out, they dilate. This process may help flush away metabolic waste like lactic acid after a workout.
Sports recovery can be promoted in several ways, including active recovery, lots of rest, and taking adequate nutrients to replenish what you lose during sports activity. Make sure you eat a balanced diet that includes proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
To boost sports recovery, you can also take post-workout smoothies and supplements that contain essential vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients like the best CBD products. By engaging in post-exercise recovery activities like cold showers, you provide your body with the right conditions to heal for even better performance in the future.