When you go to the gym or play sports, you think you are doing a great job. You feel like you pout in the time and it’s going to pay off. Unfortunately, many people squander their time working out by not taking their post workout time seriously. Often, people either fall into bad habits or think that the workout itself was enough and no further effort is needed.
This is the wrong way to think. Too much focus is put into pre-workout routines and what you do at the gym with not enough focus on what happens afterward. In this article, we will go over what you should be doing after the gym to aid your recovery and improve your results.
The moments right after your workout are critical for getting what you need into your body. For water, nutrition and also supplements. Immediately after your workout, your muscles are screaming out for some help to fix the damage done to them.
It’s at this point that they are ready to accept whatever you give them so decide what you are trying to accomplish and then find the supplement that is going to do it. For example, if you haven’t hit your protein and carb intake for the day and are trying to build muscles then a mass gainer shake is going to do the job.
If you are getting your calories right but won’t be eating for a while then something with loads of amino acids is best to prevent too much breakdown of the protein in your muscles. This is ideal when you are not looking to build but just maintain.
Steel Supplements argued in a blog post that planks are one of the best ways to burn calories and also build core strength, so the supplement you take is going to be different for those exercises than some other workout. It is somewhat complex and a whole book could be written about taking supplements so it pays to talk to a trainer to get an idea of what you should be doing as far as supplements.
One thing is for sure, however. That is it’s important to take a supplement as soon as your workout is finished. If you just want something without digging too deep into the details then stick with a whey protein shake that will promote protein synthesis and muscle repair.
Get Your Potassium and Sodium
One of the reasons that you end up sore after a workout is that you aren’t loading up on potassium right away. When your potassium is low, this is what leads to muscle cramps since much of the potassium in our bodies is stored in the cells of our muscles.
Potassium is important for growing muscles and repair after damage is done as well as affecting metabolism. Your kidneys, heart and other organs need a steady supply of potassium to function properly so your post workout should include eating a banana. Your organs need the potassium and you’ll see better muscle gain if you stick to this routine.
Sodium is also important as it is an electrolyte that helps regulate water levels in the cells. When we workout and do strenuous exercise we sweat a lot of this sodium out of our bodies. If you overdo it and end up with not enough electrolytes you could vomit, feel nauseous in general and have a hard time concentrating.
Your best bet is to make sure that you stay hydrated while working out but as important is loading up on electrolytes post workout. You can drink a sports drink but you are adding empty calories by doing so. Believe it or not, eating bacon is highly recommended when you finish working out. It will replenish your electrolytes and feed the muscles needed protein.
Do Some Stretching
To prevent soreness and also grow your muscles more efficiently, a post workout stretch period is highly recommended. Since your muscles are warm and pliable this is the optimum time to stretch out and get more limber.
At the same time you are flushing out the metabolic waste that surrounds your muscle cells. You’ll be less stiff and less sore after this post workout stretching and cooling down period. As a bonus you will also get more flexible as your muscles and joints will be looser.
Blood circulation is also improved for some time post workout so your body will get the nutrients and oxygen it needs for healthy cell repair.