After workout recovery: 5 tips on how to minimize the pain and maximize the gain

5 Tips for making after-workout recovery more effective:

A human being is a complex organism and our physical performance relies on many different factors. Why are we in pain after a particularly heavy workout? The answer is that when you push yourself to the limit you do some "damage" to your muscles called micro-fractures which are necessary for a muscle to grow.

The same happens when you perform some form of exercise that you usually don't do and engage groups or muscles that are usually not very active. Contrary to popular belief this has nothing to do with lactic acid being stored in your muscle tissue.

While DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness - is not a pleasant feeling it is a process in which your body regenerates the muscles and adapts them to a new training regime by making them stronger and more durable.

Post-workout recovery tips

Best solutions for after-workout recovery and dealing with muscle soreness:

Tip #1: supplements

  • Fast-absorbing protein shake. This one is a no-brainer if you want to quickly rebuild your damaged muscles and keep the benefits of your training and increase your muscle volume.

  • Vitamins and minerals. Your body loses vitamins and minerals when it sweats so it is important to replace lost microelements

  • Creatine? While creatine certainly increases your performance during a workout and helps to build your muscle volume it doesn't help much with muscle soreness.

    Of course, once you start taking it you should continue to do so on your day off from workouts - I just wanted to point out that it will not speed up the muscle recovery process.

Read about supplements for fighters to get more info about this subject.

Tip #2: stretching and a light workout:

It may sound counter-intuitive but stretching and some light workouts may bring relief to your muscle pain and it also speeds up the healing of sore muscle tissue.

But don't try to do a regular heavy workout when you still feel the pain cause this may cause even more damage and you can even tear one of your muscles and this will guarantee that you will be out of the gym for weeks.

Tip # 3 A proper diet will speed up a recovery process and will help to rebuild damaged muscles faster:

Read more about it in a diet for fighters post where I have explained it there in more detail.

Tip #4: coffee as a pre-workout booster to reduce muscle soreness:

Most of you know that coffee may reduce the absorption of some vitamins and minerals and that may have a negative effect on your performance. Not many are aware of the benefits of drinking coffee before training though.

I tested it on myself and the results are pretty good. I have to mention that I don't usually drink coffee so the results of this experiment are even more visible to me.

I simply added some more weight to my dumbells and put some pressure on my body and did a few exercises that I usually don't do just to engage the muscles that I usually don't engage this much.

After a workout, I could still feel some muscle pain but it was milder than usual after this kind of treatment. And since caffeine is a natural booster it also helped me to keep going for longer.

This looks like a great formula to me. It was tested on humans - if you need more proof than that then do it yourself but you have no reason to question my commitment or testing methods.

Seriously though there are some sources available online claiming the benefits of caffeine intake for performance and physical recovery.

Tip #5: other important things that may have an impact on your after-workout recovery process:

  • how much time you need to recover also depends on the intensity of a workout and your current fitness level. How long it takes your body to rebuild damaged muscle tissue depends on many individual factors.

    Just because some of your friends train 5 days a week doesn't mean that this schedule will work for you. Find your own pace.

  • injuries like bruises, cuts, swellings, etc. that you suffer during sparring may also slow down your recovery

  • metabolism: when you have a fast metabolism your body heals faster and you lose weight much easier but it is also harder for your body to build a muscle mass

  • mood and a general mental state: mind and body is one. Your mental state affects your performance and the time your body needs to regenerate

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