When the workout is over is when the real work starts. What many people fail to realize is the real magic doesn’t happen when you’re in the gym, it happens when you’re out of it. Training breaks down muscle tissues. It’s when you rest and recover that your body repairs all those damaged muscle tissues and ensures you come back stronger than ever before.
Adopt some of these habits to benefit more from the workouts you already do and kick your fitness up a notch.
1. Grab The Foam Roller
Chances are you’re already doing a few stretches to finish up your workout. While you’re on the mat, add foam rolling into your routine.
Foam rolling is an excellent technique to break up scar tissue from exercise, stimulate blood flow, and loosen the muscle tissues to lessen post-workout pain.
What’s more, if you do it routinely, foam rolling can keep you supple and help you side-step injury in the long run. If you are an OEV member you can find bonus mobility videos daily in SugarWOD, a lot of them will include foam rolling techniques.
2. Take A Probiotic
Probiotics improve recovery? Weird, but true. The healthy bacteria in your gut play a key role in keeping not only your digestive system but your immune system healthy as well.
A healthy immune system doesn’t just guard against illness, it enables your body to tolerate the stressors of day-to-day life—exercise included. Hard workouts take more of a toll and are harder to recover from when your immune system isn’t up to snuff.
And since up to 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, this all begins with proper probiotic levels.
Not into eating yogurt or kimchi every day? Pick up a quality probiotic supplement and you’ll be all set.
3. Consume Enough Protein
Think protein shakes are just for people trying to get big? Think again. A post-workout protein shake gives your muscles a quick shot of amino acids to jump-start recovery, while also helping you meet your total protein requirements. Read our post all about the importance of protein HERE!
Driven Whey Protein is a great choice. It has added digestive enzymes for optimal digestion and absorption, as well as fiber to keep you full.
4. Eat Real Food
While the post-workout shake tells your muscles it’s time to rebuild and repair, it’s not enough to fuel recovery by itself. About an hour after your workout, eat a balanced post-workout meal of fresh foods.
For this meal, you want a solid source of protein along with some complex carbohydrates. Now is not the time to skimp on those carbs! Your body will use them to replenish muscle glycogen levels.
Even if you follow a low-carb diet, consume most of the carbs you do allow shortly after your workout. This is when your body can optimize its use of them.
Also be sure to include fresh veggies or fruits, which provide antioxidants and other important micronutrients that help your body recover. Plus, they taste good!