A good fitness routine doesn’t simply consist of a few hours at a gym three times a week. If you want to maximize your effectiveness, expedite fat loss, and increase muscle gain, it’s not just what you do during your training that matters — but what you do after it, as well.
Your post-workout routine has an immense impact on how quickly you recover and how fast you progress. So, take a look at a few things you’ll need to do after a workout to take your training to the next level.
Hydration is vital for your post-workout routine, especially if you’ve broken a sweat. During an intense exercise, your body loses water, making it that much more difficult for you to recover and continue your fitness journey. If you’re dehydrated, you’re at a higher risk of developing delayed onset muscle soreness(DOMS).
So, make sure that you drink up! Stay away from sugary and caffeinated drinks since they can dehydrate you, and go for plain water or low-sugar sports drinks.
Take a moment to cool yourself down!
If you’ve been doing a lot of cardio, make sure that you take a moment to cool down slowly. You’ll want to gently reduce your heart rate to normal without feeling like you’re about to pass out.
In most cases, the blood starts pooling in your legs during a more strenuous workout, making you feel lightheaded. A few minutes of stretching can help solve this problem.
Additionally, since your muscles will still be warm, they’ll be more flexible, making post-workout the best time to do some light stretches.
Stretching can improve your range of motion, enhance your performance, and decrease your chance of injury, so don’t neglect it.
Help your muscles repair themselves!
While stretching and drinking plenty of water can help prevent DOMS, the most effective way to ensure quick muscle recovery is by taking the right nutrients. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done right after your workout — who has the energy and patience to cook a healthy meal after being on the treadmill for an hour?
So, it’s in your best interest to take post-workout supplements rich in branched-chain amino acids(BCAA), creatine, and beta-alanine. These supplements can promote muscle growth, improve recovery, and even improve your body’s absorption of nutrients.
Pump up your protein intake!
High-quality proteins are critical for muscle recovery as they repair and maintain muscle tissue. A protein-rich diet will ensure that your muscles are well-nourished without requiring you to increase your calorie intake.
You’ll find high-quality protein in:
- Lean meats
- Nuts and seeds
Although protein bars can undoubtedly increase your protein intake, keep in mind that they’re often high in sugar, making them less than ideal for your overall well-being.
A well-thought-out post-workout routine will help you prevent muscle soreness and injury and allow you to improve performance faster. So, hydrate, stretch, get the right supplements, and boost your protein intake — it will work wonders for your fitness levels.