How To Maximise Muscle Recovery
Most athletes and gym-goers know that getting enough rest after exercising is essential to good performance, but many still feel guilty when they take a day off.
Muscle recovery is one of the most important processes after working out. Active recovery improves blood circulation which helps with the removal of waste products from muscle breakdown that build up as a result of exercise. By doing that, fresh blood can then come into the muscle to bring nutrients that help repair and rebuild them.
In the blog below we are going to cover the main ways to help maximise your muscle recovery and help you create a more consistent fitness plan - so let's get into it!
What To Do Maximise Muscle Recovery
Increase Protein Intake
When working out, the proteins that make up our muscle fibres become damaged, and by consuming protein after your workout you can help give your body the raw material it needs to help repair this muscle damage.
Research has found that 20-40 grams of protein (approx 0.4 to 0.5g of body weight) is enough to maximise muscle growth.
By the same token, consuming protein before working out can help increase your muscle protein synthesis. One study suggests that 0.4 to 0.6 g of body weight is the best possible amount.
Protein powders are a great and easy way to add more protein to your diet. Most types of protein powders will contain a complete spectrum of essential amino acids, whey and collagen powders tend to be the two most popular choices.
Think Post Workout Carbs
Our muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for energy, and during short-duration and intense workouts, our muscles can use this glycogen as their primary source of energy.
If you need to quickly restore glycogen levels in less than 4 hours (i.e. when performing back-to-back workouts) it is recommended that you consume 1.2g of body weight per hour, focusing on carbs with a glycemic index (GI) over 70. Some examples of carbohydrates in this range are rice, potatoes, and sugar.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Being dehydrated can impair your muscles' ability to repair themselves - and it is also important to note that now we are coming into summer, you are more prone to becoming dehydrated if you are working out in hot weather.
It is recommended you drink 500 - 700 ml of fluid for every 0.5 kg you lose while exercising.
Get More Sleep
Sleeping can give your muscles the time to recover from working out, and people who prefer a more intense workout need even more sleep than the average person - some professional athletes sleep for approx 10 or more hours per night!
There has also been research that suggests sleep deprivation can affect muscle recovery by impairing the body's inflammation reaction and the production of hormones that help muscle growth.
Take Creatine Supplement
Creatine is a widely used supplement, as research has consistently shown that creatine can help improve muscular strength when combined with resistance training. It also helps athletes recover from intense training by reducing muscle damage and inflammation, on top of aiding and replenishing your muscles' glycogen stores.
To Sum It Up
If you do not allow your muscles adequate time to recover after exercise, you are putting yourself at risk of injury. Muscle injuries can range from mild to complete tears.
If you don't give your muscles adequate time to heal, then the tears grow and your muscles feel inflamed, swollen, and exhausted. Not allowing yourself adequate recovery time can lead to decreased performance in the short and long term.
If you have stopped seeing improvements in the gym or in your fitness level, or if your muscles always feel inflamed and sore, you might need to spend a little more time recovering from your workouts.
Whether you are a newbie to workouts or a hardcore lifter - the best way to maximise your muscle recovery is with a healthy protein-rich diet and a good night's sleep! Enjoy your rest!