Are you regularly engaging in high-intensity workouts, but not seeing the results you want? Do you find yourself drained of energy after a hard training session? Are you injured from exercise? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may need to up your recovery game.
Recovery is just as important as your workout – it is essential in preventing injury, building muscle, reducing fat, providing energy, and helping you to gain maximum results from an exercise session.
The Biology Behind Recovery
Two of the most important aspects of recovery are nutrition and hydration. If you’ve just completed an intense workout, your body’s fluid levels and muscle energy stores will be lower than normal which may cause you to feel dehydrated, hungry, and fatigued. And when you sweat – it’s not just water that you’re losing. Chloride, potassium, and sodium, which are essential for the normal function of our cells and our organs, are also lost when we sweat. These elements are called electrolytes because they carry an electrical charge and those impulses give our cells the ability to communicate with each other.
A good rule of thumb to offset this is by drinking one water bottle before your workout, one during your workout, and one after your workout. Or you can substitute with a low-sugar, high-electrolyte sports drink. At Bayshore Fit, we offer fluid recovery options including FitAid drinks, FitAid Go packets, and Ascent protein recovery water.
To replenish your muscle energy stores, eat a nutrient-dense snack with carbohydrates and protein, preferably in a ratio of 3 to 1 (carbs to protein), within 1 hour of completing your training session. Some post-workout snack ideas are Greek yogurt with fruit, apples, and peanut butter, cottage cheese with honey, chicken and brown rice, and protein-rich energy bars. If you’re running low on time after your hard workout and need a quick snack option, Bayshore Fit offers Fuel for Fire protein smoothies, Core Power high protein milkshakes, peanut butter, or almond butter protein bites, Broomhead Bars, and 3Bars.
The Understated Importance of Rest
Besides proper nutrition and hydration, a full night of sleep should be a priority for optimal recovery. 7-9 hours of sleep are recommended to improve your overall health and to give your body time to heal. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime for a better night of rest. Incorporate rest days into your workout routine to give your muscles time to heal and to make sure that each workout is performed to the best of your ability. If you want to make the most of your rest days, keep your body moving with light stretching, yoga, walking, jogging, or swimming. This type of “active recovery” along with foam rolling and mobility work is vital in an overall recovery plan.
Other Ways to Recharge Your Recovery
Other options for recovery include cryotherapy (cold therapy), infrared saunas (heat therapy), therapeutic massage guns (our favorites are the Theragun and the Hypervolt), and compression therapy. Normatec recovery pants, a type of compression therapy available for use at Bayshore Fit, uses pulse technology to speed the body’s normal recovery process and reduces inflammation. Consider these options if you want to increase your rate of recovery and optimize your performance.
Recovery should go hand-in-hand with your workout for optimal results. Schedule a session with a Bayshore Fit personal trainer to discuss the recovery options that are best for you!