You know the feeling, that sore sluggish feeling post workout. We have all been there. There is something you can do right away that when performed right after your workout will speed up recovery and motivate you to move forward.
All five of these not only speed recovery, they also increase your muscle growth and strength. Its time to get excited about pill popping, sleeping late, and cold showers!
Trick #1: The Right Supplements
Cayenne: This magic little pill will speed up healing and reduces inflammation by up to 50%. You can take it continually or only post workout. It doesn't need to be cycled off to improve its efficacy. Other pluses include increased blood flow, decrease susceptibility to colds and viruses, and warmer muscle pre-workout.
Fish oil & Flax Oil: These both speed up muscle healing, give muscles the good kind of fat to fuel the workout and reduce inflammation. This means that you can fight soreness both during your work out and after your workout. You could eat the real thing, but you would have to eat a lot of it to get the same benefits as popping a few pills every day.
Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium & Zinc: These all reduce soreness and muscle fatigue both during and after your workout. You can take them in pill form or in a drink form. Or you could eat a lot of potatoes and bananas and a few lozenges. Taken regularly they help keep the muscles, heart, and blood vessels in good condition.
Vitamin C, B, & a Multi: These all increase your energy levels, help fight fatigue, help build stronger muscles, and strengthen your immune system and cardio vascular system. Taken daily they will reduce recovery time and increase your energy and healing.
Trick #2: Don't Work Out to Failure
While it might be a good idea to do this once in a while, say once or twice per month, routinely hitting your wall will slow down your efforts. When done regularly, this will deplete your protein and carbohydrate reserves. You will also damage your body's ability to use your strongest muscle fibers. Cut your work out reps just one set short of hitting your wall and sometimes don't even go that far. Give your muscles a break and they will reward you!
Trick #3: The Post Workout Shake
Every workout you should drink up a mix of nutritionally dense, high glycemic carbs and protein. Doing so immediate post workout will stop the damage from the work out and induce your muscles to instantly begin repairing themselves. You will induce bigger gains and higher energy levels with less fatigue. Look for something fruit based with a one protein to two-carb ratio. Aim for something whey based and add fruits such as berries or high antioxidant berry powder. Always add Bananas and a little ground flax seed couldn't hurt either.
Trick #4: Your Post Workout Shower
Shower immediately after you chug that shake down. Start out with icy cold water to reduce the post work out inflammation. Then immediately turn the water as hot as you can go for a few minutes to increase circulation. Alternate this a few times. The contrasting temperatures will induce blood flow and increase recovery time.
Trick #5: Sleep!
During sleep, your body performs a complete overhaul of all its systems. It checks for injuries it goes to work healing itself and it does something called muscle memory. This is where it inputs into your brain what you did during the day and if you used more muscles in a particular area your brain sends out a signal to increase muscle and nerve building and recovery in that area.
Your body also releases growth hormone during this time. This coupled with the muscle memory will induce bigger muscle growth and repair. Make sure you go to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep at least eight to ten hours. Also, take in a nap or two whenever possible during the day.
By all means, don't limit yourself to just these five tricks to increase healing, there are more out there. These are some of the best. Tried and true tested.
Don't forget to drink at least two liters of water on your work out days and at least one liter on your off days. This will flush your muscles and keep your body well hydrated and clean. And that is good for keeping you form fatiguing quickly and for helping speed recovery time. So when it comes to purified water, drink up and follow a sensible eating plan to keep your body well nourished and hydrated!