HOW TO PERFECT YOUR RECOVERY ROUTINE
Your go-to guide to understanding the importance of proper post-exercise recovery and how to do it right
Why is recovery important after exercise?
During exercise, your muscles have to work overtime. The strain this places on them creates microscopic tears in your muscle tissue. Recovery - by which we mean rest and refuelling - enables cells called fibroblasts to repair these tears and strengthen your muscles over time (source).
So, whether you're training for an ultra-marathon or taking part in a casual after-work 5-a-side game, having a productive post-exercise recovery routine is key to preventing muscle damage and helping you build up your fitness in a healthy and constructive way.
What helps muscles recover faster?
Speeding up recovery and ensuring you're building up muscle strength and fitness in a sustainable, healthy and safe way all comes down to routine. You know your body better than anyone, so a consistent routine will help you to understand your limits and know when to push and when to rest. But where to start? Follow the 6 simple steps below to kick-off a recovery routine that incorporates all the required healthy habits from the get-go...
1. PLAN YOUR EXERCISE
When planning out your exercise schedule, the biggest mistake you can make is not accounting for rest days. Your recovery routine hinges on you incorporating rest time into your plan. Ideally a rest day every 3-5 days prevents your body from going into deficit, when more damage is being done to your muscles than your body has time to repair and strengthen.
2. FUEL & REFUEL
We all know that exercise and a balanced diet go hand-in-hand for a healthy lifestyle. But it's not just before your workout that you need to think carefully about nutrition to fuel success. The key post-exercise combo is CARB + PROTEIN, ideally in the ratio of 3:1. Your muscles rapidly use carbohydrates in the form of glycogen to fuel your exercise, meaning you need to replenish your stocks afterwards. Protein then provides the raw materials your body needs to repair muscle damage.
Even novice exercisers know that you should stay hydrated before and after exercise, both to regulate your body temperature and to restore water/minerals lost during exertion. But did you know that milk is actually better than water for post-workout hydration? Unlike water, milk contains electrolytes, which help restore your fluid balance and fast-track recovery (source).
4. COOL DOWN PROPERLY
Cooling down after a work out or sport session gives your body the chance to return your heart rate, temperature and blood pressure to their normal levels. Also, while you exercise, your body builds up lactic acid - which is what causes muscle cramps and stiffness - so stretching out your muscles at the end of the session helps you feel more gains, less pains the next day (source).
5. GET MORE SLEEP
Did you know that people who exercise more need more sleep than those that don't? Well, the reason for that is rooted in recovery. It is during sleep that those handy fibroblasts get to work repairing any tiny muscular tears your workout may have caused.
The shake designed for recovery:
We appreciate that it is often difficult to maintain the right diet to support your exercise routine. Sometimes all you want after a workout or busy day is something quick, convenient and - let's face it - something that offers a well-earned tasty treat. That's where For Goodness Shakes comes in! In order to help with that crucial fuel and refuel step, we have created a delicious shake that is specially formulated to offer that all-important 3:1 carb to protein ratio.
Meet the For Goodness Shakes Recovery Shake...
The perfect on-the-go recovery drink, to add balance and a boost to your day. With a 3:1 carb to protein ratio, it's the optimal blend for your body to ingest to aid recovery (source).
Our Recovery Shake is designed to build you back up after a big day, whether that's an intense workout or a long day's grind.
Fat-free and packed with 17g of protein, as well as Vitamins B12 and D. With a super smooth taste (chose from delicious chocolate or vanilla fudge), our Recovery Shake guarantees refreshment whenever and wherever you need it most.
Bring on tomorrow with our Recovery Powder...
Level up your training and post-activity muscle recovery with our shake-your-own Recovery Powder Tubs. Packed with all the carby, proteiny, vitaminy goodness of our bottled shakes, but in powder form.
Easy to use:
1. Pour 400ml-500ml of water into your shaker, depending on your preferred consistency.
2. Add three level scoopfuls of powder.
3. Close bottle lid and shake.
4. Drink within 30 minutes post-activity.
Does protein help your muscles recover?
A protein-fuelled diet is not just crucial for providing you with the energy BEFORE you train, exercise or exert yourself, but for helping your body and muscles recover AFTERWARDS. Protein and recovery are intrinsically linked.
Protein provides your muscles with the amino acids necessary to repair any post-exercise muscular damage or strain. This will particularly help minimise soreness and get you ready to go again sooner (source).
Replenish energy stores
Protein also gives your body what it needs to build tissue, improve your exercise capacity and ward off fatigue, meaning that a protein shake approx. 30 minutes after your training will stop you feeling tired for as long (source).
Prepare for next time
Not only does protein help repair muscles, but it helps strengthen and build them ahead of your next training session. This is part of why your stamina and strength grow over time as you keep exercising regularly (source).
Find out more about how to level up your recovery...
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WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH DOMS?
Do you suffer from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness? Aka when your muscles feel exceptionally sore for multiple days after a big workout? Learn more here.READ ARTICLE
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