It means nothing that you smashed an amazing workout if you don’t recover properly. If you want to be back lacing up your shoes ready for another workout ASAP, a recovery plan is key.
Before you even begin looking at your diet, you need to get enough sleep. Never underestimate the powers of a full 8 hours (or a bit more if you’re lucky!). Whilst you’re in the various stages of sleep growth hormones are released and your muscles, as well as bones, are given the tools and precious time they need to repair and recover.
Now, onto the food, and a little bit of science. After your workout, aim to refuel with a carbohydrate and protein snack within 45 minutes. This period is known as your glycaemic window, the time when you’re most receptive to taking on nutrients. Carbs replenish your glycogen stores whilst protein supports damaged muscles and promotes their growth.
Whilst the specific grammage is up for debate and depends on various factors such as age, gender, genetics, and exercise intensity, you don’t actually need a massive dose of protein in your post-workout meal. This is because your body can only process so much at once. Generally, anything between 25 and 35 grams of high-quality protein is sufficient to feed those muscles.
A no-nonsense post-workout recovery shake with milk of your choice, a banana, and 40 grams of one of our Protein Blends will do the trick!
Stretch it out
Please don’t skip this! Try to factor 10 minutes into the end of your workout for stretching. Your muscles, and future self with thank you. Stretching and cooling down helps to reduce the chances of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). If you’ve ever taken an extended break from working out and jumped back in with a big session, you’ll be very familiar with this feeling.
As far as your body is concerned, stress is stress. So, when we say take rest days, these rest days should be actual days of rest rather than running around completing stressful errands. Your body is pretty incredible, so give it time and it will take care of itself.
Get on a roll
Delightful but simultaneously excruciating – if you fight through the pain of foam rolling, you know the better it’ll feel afterwards. Foam rolling can help to loosen tight muscle tissues, breakdown built-up lactic acid, and increase your mobility.