WHY YOUR RECOVERY IS AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR WORKOUT
Leading an active lifestyle demands a whole lot from your body. Taking on a heavy workload during your training should, therefore, be compensated with active care and time for recovery to perform better again during your next training.
Let us explain the basics.
During an intense workout, you create many small tears in your muscles. This is not as bad as you may think. Your body lets your muscle adapt to the load of your workout by growing or condensing. This is called supercompensation. And it’s what happens after your workout when your body starts to work on strengthening your muscles. This will make you stronger and ready to handle your next round of workouts.
The following tips will let you get most out of post-workout time.
Cool down & Stretch
Don’t immediately come to rest after your workout, but take time for cooling down. A good cooling down is necessary for your body’s recovery and to avoid injury. During your cooling down your heart rate will be brought down to your normal heart rate. This lowers the chance of arrhythmias. While you’re working out, a relatively large amount of blood is pumped to your muscles, while in a resting situation other body parts contain more blood. During the cooling down your blood circulation can return to normal.
Another important aspect of your cooling down is that metabolic waste is carried away from the muscles. This waste can aggregate in your muscles during your workout and can give them a heavy feeling. With a cooling down this disappears faster than without. Contrary to popular belief, lactic acid is not the source of muscle soreness. These are the small tears in your muscles, which can inflame lightly.
So how do you cool down? Start with a light run in which you slowly decrease your pace. Subsequently, you can interchange your running with static stretching exercises. But don’t stretch too intensively or for too long! Then you risk enlarging those tears in your muscles when what we want is to improve recovery!
Refuel your body with the right nutrients
The feeling of hunger after your workouts often arises because your body needs nutrients to start your recovery. After your training, you need to replenish three essential elements of your body. Your muscles, your energy, and your water levels. To recover your muscles, it is essential to eat around 15-20 grams of protein, preferably within 30 minutes after your training. Protein breaks down into amino acids, which are the buildings blocks of muscle fibres. So without protein, you cannot repair those tears we talked about in your muscles. Eating high-quality protein, either by itself or together with carbohydrate, enhances muscle protein synthesis. The body adapts and builds the molecules, cells, and tissues it needs for the next period of activity.
Besides protein to recover your muscles, it is also recommended to eat some carbohydrates after training in order to fill your glycogen reserves. Without glycogen from food, the body will break down its own lean (protein-containing) tissue to get necessary the amino acids. It is also from glycogen that the muscle fiber gains most of its energy to get ready for your next training.
FITSHE After Workout Shakes contain the right amounts of 100% natural protein and carbohydrates to optimally recover your muscles, and even magnesium, which supports the recovery process. But you can also try eating a bowl of quark with fresh fruits, or two slices of bread with hard boiled eggs.
Adequate hydration is crucial for recovery, as all chemical processes in the body require water. When dehydrated, the processes of digestion, restructuring, and transportation of nutrients suffer. Only when supplied with enough liquid, can the body generate the hormones and enzymes required for its recovery. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, concentration problems, and drops in strength and endurance. A good guideline is to drink about 50ml per kilogram of bodyweight throughout the day.
The effect of sleep on your workouts is often underrated. During sleep, the body releases growth hormones which aid muscle growth and fat burning. Because your other bodily functions are shut down at night, your body has time to repair damage to the body. So a high quality of sleep also means high quality in muscle generation. Try to keep a consistent sleeping pattern that your body can adjust to, so it knows when to start the processes needed for regeneration.
Take good care of your active body! Check our FITSHE After Workout Shakes to let your body recover optimally after your training.