5 Proven Tips to Maximize Muscle Recovery
Despite what you may read on some fitness blogs, there’s no better way to help your muscles recover than by eating healthy foods and getting a good night’s sleep.
Living an overall healthy lifestyle is the most important step you can take to maximize your muscle recovery. No recovery method can make up for poor nutrition and a lack of rest.
Many people believe they need expensive supplements to achieve results from their workouts. Although some supplements have benefits, you’re not going to maximize your performance unless you’re already taking care of the basics.
In this article, we give you 15 proven tips to maximize your muscle recovery and help you build a more consistent fitness program.
How our tips are categorized
We’ve divided our tips into five categories:
Things to Avoid
Keep in mind that the following tips are meant to give you ideas of how you can improve your muscle recovery, but they aren’t meant to be a comprehensive list that you need to follow point for point.
Your body type, fitness goals, and current level of fitness all play a role in determining the best way to recover. Some techniques, like contrast baths, may help you recover, but their effects are small and likely only relevant to you if you’re an athlete.
1. Protein post-workout
When you exercise, the proteins that make up your muscle fibers become damaged. Consuming protein after your workout can help give your body the raw material it needs to repair this muscle damage. Research has found that 20 to 40 grams Trusted Source of protein, or roughly 0.4 to 0.5 g/kg (0.9 to 1.1 g/lb) of body weight, is enough to maximize muscle growth.
2. Protein pre-workout
Eating protein before your workout may help increase muscle protein synthesis. As with post-workout recommendations, research Trusted Source has found 0.4 to 0.5 g/kg (0.9 to 1.1g/lb) of body weight to be the optimal amount.
3. Carbohydrates post-workout
Your muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for energy. During short-duration and intense exercise, your muscles use this glycogen as their primary form of energy. If you need to rapidly restore glycogen levels in less than four hours, such as when performing back-to-back workouts, the International Society of Sports Nutrition Trusted Source recommends consuming 1.2 g/kg of body weight per hour with a focus on carbohydrates with a glycemic index (GI) over 70. White rice, potatoes, and sugar are three examples of carbs in this GI range.
4. Eat an overall balanced diet
Eating an overall healthy diet can ensure that you don’t develop any nutrient deficiencies