Muscle Growth 101: 5 tips to Maximize Your Athletic Recovery
Most of us spend a lot of time planning and executing our workout that by the time it’s over, we are happy to hit the shower and head home. This is a problem of mindset. We consider our workout to be the time we spend on the gym floor. But your workout is the whole experience starting from how your fuel yourself, what exercises you do and what you do to recover. If you are looking for faster recovery times and better muscle growth and definition, then be sure you follow these proven athlete recovery tips!
Refueling doesn’t have to be complicated. It is easy to get bogged down on workout blogs and forums about the exact proper combination of supplements and foods to get the “perfect growth.” Don’t waste your time with this. Keep it simple. Go for superfoods like avocados, kale, and bananas along with lean proteins and good carbs. A meal made of these things will give you the nutrients you need to recover well.
We all know the gym rat who carries around the big plastic jug of water. Even though we might roll our eyes, they are the ones who are getting the most out of their workout. So many people do not stay properly hydrated before, during, and especially after a workout. You can’t chug water while running sprints, but you need to be sure to drinks about 80-110 ounces of water per days, and usually, one 16 ounce sports drink to get back the electrolytes for solid athlete recovery.
3. Cool Down
After working out hard, we all have the desire to grab a chair and stay still for twenty or thirty minutes. You have to fight it! For proper athlete recovery, you need to keep moving. Don’t worry; you don’t have to run another lap, do some light, dynamic, and passive style stretching as your heart rate goes down. After about ten to fifteen minutes the lactic acid in your muscles will dissipate, and then you can safely grab that chair!
4. Ice Bath
We have all seen it on TV or movies where the athletes sit in tubs of ice. An ice bath cools you down and reduces swelling which means less pain and quicker recovery. Buckets of ice are hard to find, but if you have a gym with a nice, cold pool, then you are good to go.
Best of all, it’s like a free shot of espresso you’ll be wide awake afterward. Another benefit of this is that ice baths have also been linked to better quality sleep. Talk about a double reward!
5. Quality Sleep
You need rest and particularly a solid 7-9 hours per night. Everybody is different, but you need to sleep well, so your muscles have time to rebuild themselves. For this reason, it is essential that you set a sleep schedule. Avoid the temptation of sleeping in on the weekends. Keep things regular, and you will have more energy and better quality sleep.
Also, stay away from your phone 30 minutes before you go to bed. The blue light from it messes with our sleep patterns, and you get deficient sleep quality. Don’t check it in the middle of the night. For the vast majority of things, whatever it is, it can wait until morning.
Keep Your Stress Down
Overall, the best way to achieve a high-quality style of athlete recovery is keeping stress the only place you want it— on your muscles during a workout. Besides that, minimize stress and follow tips and you’ll start seeing the muscle growth that you have been working so hard to achieve.