You get in that hardcore workout you've been striving for and feel amazing only to wake up sore and sluggish post-workout. What happened to that exercise high?
We spend so much time figuring out how to get fit, which exercises to choose, and how to maximize our health that we often forget about the post-workout. What you do after your workout is just as essential as what you do before you hit the gym, and here's what to focus on and why it matters to optimal health.
That post-workout sheen may feel amazing but also indicates you may need to restore your electrolyte balance. Sweat loss is a natural part of intense workouts and competition. However, even without working up a sweat, you still need to hydrate to practice good health and keep your joints lubricated, prevent infections, and deliver nutrients to your cells.
STIMULATE MUSCLE REPAIR
Working out helps create a more substantial, healthier body and contributes to muscles breaking down and going through a restorative process. You can help along the process with a few easy tips. Hydrating is essential, as well as eating more protein to stimulate muscle repair. Like our Whey Protein, protein powders also pack in nutrients and add more critical amino acids to your diet.
Many people focus on stretching before exercise but neglect it afterward. In reality, stretching post-workout is essential to soothing sore, achy muscles. When you stretch your muscles, it helps reduce lactic acid built-up during exercise and helps prevent injury.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
If you love listening to music during a workout, consider adding in the tunes post-workout, too. Studies show that both men and women recover faster to music after exercise than those who don't. The idea is music helps you relax, returns your blood pressure and heart rate back to normal, and increases both serotonin and dopamine.
Just like music, meditating can also help you relax and get your body back to normal post-workout. It's also helpful to reduce pain and get a handle on inflammation. Meditating also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which is also linked to stubborn belly fat.
Who doesn't love a hot shower after an intense workout? Getting cleaned up in the shower helps your muscles recover and help reduce lactic acid that creates soreness in your muscles. Beyond what's happening inside your body, showering also helps remove bacteria and toxins that could get trapped on your skin and negatively impact your health or make you feel sluggish.
ADD MORE COLLAGEN TO YOUR DIET
Much like protein, collagen supplements can also help repair muscles and restore your body post-workout. Collagen is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies that serves as a building block for healthy connective tissues, ligaments, skin, and muscles while providing more essential amino acids. As we age, our collagen production decreases, which can lead to achy joints.
Food like fish, egg whites, citrus foods, and red and yellow veggies are all good sources of collagen. Of course, it can be challenging to get enough collagen in your diet with food alone, especially if you have a busy schedule. Another option is adding collagen supplements to your diet to help keep your body healthy and strong.
GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP
Rest isn't just good for your energy levels; it's also essential for muscle growth. Your body experiences microscopic tears in muscle tissue and a release of glycogen to fuel your workout. Rest is necessary to restore your energy levels and repair your body post-workout. So if you need a nap, go for it; you finally have a good excuse.