The ULTIMATE guide to Post-Exercise Recovery



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Delayed onset of muscle soreness or DOMs is an indication that you have torn muscle fibres and they need to heal. Muscle soreness isn’t the only component of post-workout recovery, your central nervous system has also taken a beating as well as the rest of your body. It is imperative you optimise your recovery efficiently from consuming the correct carbohydrates to getting enough rest to ensure your body builds properly and you and not just exhausting it and wearing it out.


Want to know how?


Read on to take your recovery to the next level...


Supplement with BCAA’s & Creatine


Branch chain amino acids or BCAA’s are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are essential, meaning they can't be produced by your body and must be obtained from food or a supplement powder. BCAA supplements have been shown to build muscle, decrease muscle fatigue and alleviate muscle soreness. You can get them in many different flavours so adding a scoop to your water before, during and after you have trained can help with post-workout recovery. Creatine is thought to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise.


Get those Z’s...


“You only need to sleep 6 hours a day, if you work 8-10 hours, there's still 8 hours left and what you do with those hours is what counts.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger


You should never underestimate the power of sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep and rest, how do you expect your body to function and repair itself properly? Sleep is the time when your body gets to work in repairing all the abuse it has suffered throughout a day.  Studies have demonstrated that sleep allows your body to repair and replete cellular components necessary for biological functions that become depleted throughout an awake day. Findings have shown that many functions in the body such as muscle repair, tissue growth, protein synthesis, and the release of many of the important hormones for growth occur primarily during sleep. So, with sleep so important for muscle growth and repair it’s important to utilize it further and make sure you feed your body with a slow-release protein…


Carbohydrates Help With Recovery


Your body's glycogen stores are used as fuel during exercise, and consuming carbohydrates after your workout helps replenish them. The rate at which your glycogen stores are used depends on the activity. For example, endurance sports cause your body to use more glycogen than resistance training. Studies have also shown that consuming 0.5–0.7 grams of carbohydrates per pound (1.1–1.5 grams/kg) of body weight within 30 minutes after training results in proper glycogen resynthesis.


Protein while you sleep


While your body is hard at work repairing, why not give it a helping hand? Consuming a high protein meal before bed, especially in the form of a slow-digesting protein will help your body to build. Casein protein is a slow-digesting dairy protein that is a particular favourite amongst many athletes.


Recent studies have shown that Protein ingested before sleep is effectively digested and absorbed during sleep, thereby increasing plasma amino acid availability and stimulating muscle protein synthesis. When a pre-sleep protein intake is combined with exercise performed the same evening, overnight muscle protein synthesis rates will be further increased. With these findings it would be crazy not to consume a protein-based meal before bed to enhance your recovery!


 An epsom salt bath - a secret of the athletes!


Adding epsom salts to your hot bath at the end of a long day where you have trained can be super relaxing! Not only will it help to reduce stress, and relax an aching body it will also help with your post-workout recovery.


Epsom salts are said to help improve your body's natural detoxification process and promote healing, it’s an age-old trick.


Epsom salt is rich in magnesium and can help your tired body get rid of toxins responsible for exacerbating inflammation while also reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain, making it perfect for post-workout recovery.


To get the most out of your training or workout, it’s imperative you treat your body to exactly what it needs. It is after your workout that your body repairs and rebuilds itself stronger so optimise this window of time!