With training there will be days that you’re so sore the last thing you want to do is move. But, that’s exactly what you want to do to reduce the inflammation and soreness after a grueling workout. Movement will help flush out and circulate the toxins from the workout and you’ll notice less pain when the muscles are warm and loose. There’s also a few other things you can do to help reduce the severity post-workout.
1.) Sip on bcaas (branch chained amino acids) during your workout – these amino acids (or protein) will help shuttle protein directly to your muscles while you train, helping to fuel your workout as well as enhance recovery. And don’t worry about taste, there’s many different flavors of bcaas to try (ie berry, lemon lime, watermelon, etc) so you can actually look forward to it, come training time. You can also add a scoop of glutamine (another amino acid) which also aids in recovery.
2.) Spend 5-10 minutes stretching and/or foam rolling after your workout – If you can spend just a few minutes stretching and rolling out the muscles you just trained, followed by your cardio session, you’ll reduce a good amount of lactic acid from the muscles and hence, cut down the DOMS to come.
3.) Soak in a hot epsom salt bath – this shouldn’t be done immediately after a workout since your muscles will already by inflamed. Its best to do it at least a couple of hours later or just before bed.
4.) If you’re short on time or want a quick ‘fix’ (more or less) – take a contrast shower right after your workout. Basically once you’re done your shower, set the water to the hottest temperature you can handle and let it sit on the tight (or just trained) muscles for a good 10 seconds. Then switch to cold water and do the same. Repeat at least 1-2 times more, and finish with the ice cold (if you can tolerate that cold brrr!). That will help reduce the inflammation and speed up recovery.
5.) Supplement with vitamin C – Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that not only boosts your immune system, but directly aids recovery from the post-oxidative stress your body handles during training and even cardiovascular conditioning (or workouts). 1000-2000 mg after a workout (in a protein shake or by itself alongside your post workout meal) will ensure you’re aiding recovery. It also reduces cortisol (the stress hormone), which becomes very elevated after training and can hinder muscle growth.
6.) Supplement with omega 3 fish oil – Another essential supplement, in my opinion. The essential fatty acid cannot be made by the body and therefore needs to be consumed either through food or supplements. Omega 3s are great for reducing inflammation in the muscles and joints as well as encouraging fat loss. Not only that, but they help boost serotonin release (the ‘happy hormone you normally release when you eat carbohydrates, get sun exposure, have sex) and can lower your blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ cholesterol). This is just a few of the benefits omega 3 oils offers. They’re also known to help reduce the chances of a number of diseases and conditions.
I hope these tips help you enhance your recovery time. Though, you should still feel some soreness after your workouts (not all the time, persay, but you should more often than not), the degree should be much less if you follow these tips.
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