How to Recover Faster from Workouts: 7 Tips from the Pros

Muscles don’t grow in the gym. They grow in recovery. 

When you work out your muscles get broken down. This breakdown means your muscles need time to recover. During the recovery process is when your muscles grow back to become their strongest. 

So, if you’re wondering how to recover faster from workouts then taking into account your post-workout routines is key. 

For people serious about working out and reaching a fitness goal, recovery can be difficult. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working out seven days a week, but you may be doing yourself and your body a disservice. 

To properly grow your body and strengthen your muscles, you’ll need to allow yourself time away from the gym. At the very least, you’ll need to adjust your post-workout routines. 

Read on to discover how to recover faster from workouts so you can get back in the gym feeling like a stronger version of you. 

How to Recover Faster from Workouts

For some people, working out is a great release, routine, and hobby. For people who hit the gym hard, proper recovery is much needed. Explore the following recovery routines you’ll need to add in post-workout to ensure your muscles are the strongest they can be. 

1. Sleep

We live in a world that values busy people. But, busy people need to sleep too. 

Sleeping helps the muscles to heal and repair themselves. It also helps your brain to process information more effectively. 

When you get a good night’s sleep you also set yourself up for success the next day. Lack of sleep can dampen your mood and affect your concentration, so a good night’s sleep is especially important for gym-goers who need to focus on the task at hand. 

Lucky for you, workouts help people to get higher quality sleep. Every night, aim to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep

Create a bedtime routine for yourself and take it as seriously as your workout routine. Avoid looking at your phone at least 30 minutes before bed and turn off the TV while you sleep. This will help you to get the best quality of sleep and fall asleep faster. 

2. Nutrition

For your muscles to recover, they’ll need good sources of energy. Eating whole foods rich in fats, carbs, and proteins are great for the recovery process.

Aim to eat 15 minutes to 45 minutes after your workout to give your muscles the most benefit. Eat 20 to 40 grams of protein depending on your body weight and workout intensity. 

You should also aim to replenish your potassium, sodium, and calcium post-workout. You can do this by eating a banana, having a potato, or by making a banana smoothie. 

These post-workout nutrition suggestions, however, don’t apply to light workouts such as going on a thirty-minute walk. It does apply to high-intensity workouts such as running on the treadmill for 20 minutes straight. 

Eating a healthy diet rich in whole foods is also beneficial for your workout recovery.  You should also eat no less than two hours before your workout to avoid digestion issues. 

3. Stretching

Stretching helps your workout and recovery to be more successful. Stretching after a workout can help your muscles to feel less tense later on. When your muscles are less tense, then you may experience less muscle soreness as a result. 

Plan on stretching before and after your workout for the best results. Stretching before your workout can help you to use your muscles more efficiently during your workout. While stretching after your workout helps you to recover faster. 

4. Gear Up

Wearing the proper fitness gear can also reduce your muscle soreness later on. Wear shoes that properly support your ankles, feet, and body weight. 

It’s also a great idea to invest in compression socks. What do compression socks do, you might ask? Compression socks help reduce swelling and poor circulation post-workout.

When you reduce the swelling in your legs using compression socks, you reduce the pain you feel post-workout.

Compression socks also help to heal small injuries like sprains and strains faster. While your injuries are healing make sure to follow a specific injury treatment program in addition to wearing compression socks. 

5. Drink Water

Drinking water prevents dehydration. Dehydration can cause muscle soreness along with a host of other complications. 

To avoid dehydration and additional muscle soreness, make sure to drink plenty of water post-workout and throughout the day. Aim to drink anywhere from 64 ounces to half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. You can tell when you’re properly hydrated when your urine is mostly clear. 

6. Plan a Light Workout

Light workouts like walking, a light jog, or going for a swim can help your muscles to recover faster after an intense workout. Light workouts help to improve circulation and blood flow to your muscles which reduces muscle soreness. 

Make sure to truly take it easy though! If you don’t want to complete a light workout, then make sure to at least rest, stretch, and drink enough water.

7. Reduce Stress

Stress can cause a whole host of problems in your body, but it also slows down your recovery process. 

Stress can also make you feel more fatigued and weak during your workout. 

The reason why reducing stress is so vital to recovery is because of your hormones. When your body is recovering from a workout, recovery hormones focus their efforts on healing the body. To the body, stress is stress and a workout puts stress on the body.

So, when you have additional stress outside of the gym, whether positive or negative, your hormones are less effective at muscle recovery. This is because your body has more stress to manage and recover from mentally and physically. 

How to Recover Faster from Workouts? Listen to Your Body

Knowing how to recover faster from workouts is all about listening to your body and responding appropriately. Don’t push yourself too hard, instead listen to what your body needs and rest, replenish, and take it easy. 

Want to relieve muscle pain post workout? Check out our blog post to learn more.