Be a friend to your body during post-workout
The post-workout phase is just as important and as crucial as the pre-workout phase and almost as the actual workout. For instance, the muscle tissue that is gained is not gained during the actual workout. It is gained after the workout, as new muscle tissue is grown in the catabolic process that fills out the microtears in the muscle tissue that are achieved through working out. This is just one of the reasons why post-workout phase is so important and why you should be a friend to your body during this phase.
1. Get some fluids in you
You will have lost gallons of fluids during your workout, no matter what type of workout you have just had and it is absolutely crucial that you do everything to replenish the levels of fluids in your body. Water is essential for pretty much every process in your body, including the building of muscles, and without enough water, your workout will be dramatically less effective.
2. Do not forget to stretch
Stretching is not the coolest thing in the world and you may see yourself as an old man or woman who is getting ready for their power walk, but it is absolutely necessary that you do stretch after your workout. Of course, it goes without saying that you will want to stretch before the workout, but doing this afterwards is also important. This will help reduce soreness and it will also relieve much of the muscular tension that will occur.
3. Eat right
During your workout, you will spend a lot of fuel and you need to make sure that you replenish the fuel by eating all the right foods. In general, it is recommended that you eat within an hour of your workout and the most important nutrients to replenish are complex carbohydrates ad high quality protein. Greek yogurt, for instance, is a great source of protein and of carbohydrates as well. Fruit salads and fruit in general will provide you with needed carbs and also help with absorption of nutrients that you get from other foods. Wholegrain cereal and sandwich wraps with whole grain will also be a great choice.
4. Do not discard supplements
If you are truly serious about your muscle gain and if you want to achieve the most with your workouts, you should seriously consider post-workout supplements that will provide you with all the right nutrients. For instance, protein supplements can do wonders for your muscle building, as can creatine. Branched-chain amino acids are also involved in muscle protein synthesis and they are also recommended as post-workout supplements. All of these post-workout supplements will work best if they are taken within 45 minutes of the workout, in the post-workout window of opportunity.
5. Do some DIY contrast water therapy
Contrast water therapy is a procedure where you apply hot and cold water alternately to the muscles that have been exercised. Usually, it is recommended doing 2 minutes of hot water and then 30 seconds of cold water. This should be repeated at least four times during one go. This has been shown to reduce occurrence and symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness greatly.
6. Get some sleep
When we sleep, our body excretes the growth hormone which, as it name would suggest, is directly connected to the creation of new muscle tissue. This means that you should try and get some high quality sleep as soon as you can manage. If not, set aside some time for rest and relaxation that will both help you enhance your results and also allow your body to recover.