Skeletal muscle contains numerous ‘satellite cells’ underneath the basal lamina. When the muscle is damaged, these cells are stimulated to divide. After dividing, the cells fuse with existing muscle fibres, to regenerate and repair the damaged fibres. Massage, swimming, sleeping well and eating right can all speed up recovery and prime you for your next workout.
Ample recovery from exercise is important. Check out these top 10 ways to aid muscle recovery
Drink more Water: Proper hydration makes every function of the human body work more efficiently. Your muscle is about 75% composed of water. You should be getting in at least a gallon of water a day. Increased water intake also has the benefit of keeping extracellular water retention to a minimum.
Optimize your Post-workout Meal: Include carbohydrates in your post-workout meal to decreases muscle protein breakdown. Carbohydrates are protein-sparing, which means they enable a higher amount of protein to do its job of repairing muscle tissue. Note, that a meal containing both carbohydrates and protein is significantly more effective at replenishing muscle glycogen stores. Having a meal within 2 hours after resistance training increases hypertrophy and protein synthesis (muscle building).
Get a massage: Studies have shown that using sports massage to improve recovery can be an effective way to aid recovery and performance after exercise. You can also try self-massage and Foam Roller Exercises for Easing Tight Muscles and avoid the heavy sports massage price tag.
Take some Time Off: Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from any workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace.
Perform Active Recovery: Using light resistance exercise to increase blood flow and nutrients to muscles after exercise, is called active recovery. It also helps by removing waste products that can hinder muscle recovery. Active recovery exercises are activities like walking, light biking, yoga, swimming, or an other low-intensity exercise.
Get plenty of Sleep: Adequate sleep will help your muscles recover more quickly and put you in better shape next time you hit the gym. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep. Consistent sleep is made more possible when you go to bed around the same time each night and rise around the same time in the morning.
Eat Plenty of Protein: Eggs, lean meat, fish, legumes, leafy greens are all good sources of protein. You need to be getting 70 – 100 grams per day. Soybeans, kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans are all great choices of lean proteins. Make protein the center of every meal you eat. Consuming a light, protein-rich snack before bed allows our bodies to keep repairing muscles overnight.
Take Supplements: Magnesium helps muscles repair themselves and grow larger. It helps ease muscle cramps and speeds up the recovery process.The recommended dosage is 300 mg per day.
Take a cold bath: Take a cold, full-body plunge after working out to reduce soreness and inflammation for up to 24 hours after exercise.
Cut back on booze and smoke: Research suggests more than one or two drinks after working could reduce the body’s ability to recovery. Smoking impairs muscle recovery. This is likely due to a reduction in glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis. Glucose improves protein synthesis, so any reduction in your cell’s ability to absorb glucose will inhibit muscle recovery.
Listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a hard workout, you don’t have to force yourself to go slow.