The Optimal Recovery Routine
Stress and strenuous exercise break your body down; nutrition, sleep, and active recovery techniques build it back up. If you have moderate to high daily stress and perform two hard workouts each week, we suggest you include at least 2 days of low- to medium-intensity movement on your rest-days — preferably something that involves movement and acquiring a new skill while obtaining some amount of joy and happiness. Here’s a list of our favorite ways to find optimal recovery.
5 Steps for Optimal Recovery
Eat and Sleep
The two keystones of optimal recovery are proper nutrition — nutrient-dense foods that replenish your fuel and nutrient stores — and sufficient, uninterrupted sleep patterns. If either of these is lacking from your training plan, your performance (and goals) will suffer.
The food we eat is very important for both muscle building and faster recovery. If you eat the right food your muscles will be able to recover much faster and better at the same time. The best choice to go for after workouts are foods that are easy to digest. Some of the best carbohydrates you can eat after working out are crackers, fruit, oatmeal, quinoa, rice cakes, sweet potatoes, and whole-grain bread. The best after workout proteins are cottage cheese, eggs, Greek yogurt, turkey meat, chicken meat, tuna, salmon, peanut butter, and protein shakes. Healthy fats for faster recovery can be found in avocados, flax seeds, nut butter, nuts, and coconut oil.
Having a proper sleep pattern is paramount for recovering from the workout. A study that was conducted in 2011 on the correlation of sleep and muscle recovery, showed that people who are deprived of sleep have significantly impaired muscle recovery after a workout.
Drink Plenty of Water
This one seems obvious but studies suggest an average of 75% of Americans are dehydrated. Water is essential to cellular function, helping to transport oxygen, break down nutrients and waste, and determine cell shape and size. How hydrated you are directly affecting your athletic performance and recovery. Your goal should be a steady intake of water during the day regardless if you’re working out or not.
Drinking enough water should be your priority for faster recovery after a workout. Staying hydrated will prevent your muscles from cramping as well as improve your overall body functions. Water is essential because it helps out with everything in the body. It improves circulation which helps our muscles recover faster because the nutrients will get to them faster. Research shows that water also helps digestion which in turn helps with your optimal recovery process because the food will be broken down much faster into the healthy nutrients our body needs to recover.
Another study shows that staying properly hydrated will increase your physical performance during your workout because you are perspiring about 10% more which means you are losing more water when you train.
Movement and mobility exercises done at a lower intensity will help your body rejuvenate and keep your joints and muscles feeling great. Low-intensity cardio (walking, hiking, biking), and other low-intensity activities are beneficial recovery options for all fitness levels.
These low-intensity activities will help you reduce lactic acid buildup in muscles, eliminate toxins, keep muscles flexible, reduce soreness, increase blood flow and help you maintain your exercise routine.
Some studies indicate that active recovery with low-intensity exercises may help clear the blood lactate in our bodies which forms when we do intense exercises which eventually leads to our muscles being fatigued. Practicing active recovery after workouts will help your muscles feel less tight, sore and will increase your energy so you can give in your best on your intense workout.
CBD + Magnesium
CBD is not just a very valuable product for pain relief, but it can also reduce the amount of time it takes your body to recover by decreasing inflammation and helping in muscle recovery. Faster recovery means better performance in our daily lives. CBD has a few potential benefits when it comes to the recovery process and some of them were confirmed in a study done in 2018. The study showed that it can relieve joint pain which is caused by inflammation. It also helps with other types of pain and inflammation on other parts like your muscles. Another study from 2018 done on mice proves this hypothesis.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in the human body. It is involved in the means of energy metabolism and supports the maintenance of optimal muscle capacity. Several studies indicate that the need for magnesium increased as individuals’ stress and physical activity level went up. Magnesium helps with muscle contractions and reduces the chance of your muscles cramping and spasming after an intense workout. A study shows that many recommend magnesium to treat muscle cramps.
Optimal Recovery Massage
There is no doubt that a massage after an entire week of high-stress or strenuous exercise surely feels good. Massage not only helps you feel better post-workout but also can help speed up muscle recovery. We consider massage therapy to be a serious form of medicine. Studies have shown how human muscle cells react to massage thus demonstrating its gains go far past relaxation.
A study conducted in 2015 discovered that massage therapy can increase the regenerating muscle fibers when it’s done properly and after the workout. This means that your recovery process will go much faster because you are increasing the muscle fibers in charge of regenerating your body. Massage is also great for dealing with stress, injuries, and injury prevention which are all related to the recovery process.
Our team of professionals is the perfect choice for you if you are looking for safe and effective massages that will help you feel more recovered even after one session. If that is something you are looking for, contact us right away and book a session now.