Let’s be honest; some of us don’t know the best workout, let alone the best post-workout. What is a post-workout anyway? Post-workout routines aid in muscle recovery and muscle building. You know how after a rigorous workout routine, you are often left drained? Instead of needing to lay down, your body is asking you to replenish all the calories, nutrients, and water you used to carry you through your workout.
This is why it is important to replenish and recover your muscles after every workout if you want results from exercising. A post-workout can include various things, from stretching to eating foods high in nutrients to aid in muscle recovery. Before you hit the gym to flex those muscles, let’s flex our strongest muscle which is our brain, to learn a bit more about post-workout recovery!
Is It Important to Have a Post Workout Routine?
It’s crucial to have a post-workout routine. Post-workout routines help with muscle recovery, nutrient replenishment, and injury prevention.
Do you know how your heart feels like it’s going to burst out of your chest? Well, cooling down has got to be one of the most important parts of your post-workout routine. Cooling down helps your body bring your heart rate back to normal. As you cool down, activities such as stretching will help with soreness and cramping.
You know all that sweat coming down your face? There’s a lot of nutrients and water in that sweat, believe it or not! It’s important to replenish these as soon as possible to help your muscles recover quickly. You can keep your energy levels up to avoid feeling exhausted when the adrenaline dies by hydrating and eating.
If you’re just starting to work out or are someone who already works out regularly, post-workout routines are almost as important as the actual workout! This is your body’s chance to recuperate. It usually takes 24 to 48 hours for the body to repair muscle tissue and promote muscle growth.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Post Workout Routine?
We’ve all been there. No motivation to go to the gym after work. We’re tired and would rather grab some dinner, a blanket and lay on our couch on Netflix. While watching “The Office” reruns may sound like a plan, having a successful workout feels even better.
Having a good post-workout routine helps keep you on track and is great for your health. This routine isn’t just limited to the few hours after your gym session. It can run throughout your day until you sleep! This may help you make better choices for your diet and also inadvertently set a sleep schedule.
By learning how to replenish with valuable nutrients, we limit the wear and tear of our bodies and help prevent injuries. One would say that post-workout routines are just as important as the actual workout!
What Are the Best Post Workout Routines?
The best post-workout routine is the one that works for you! Everyone is different and works out at different intensities. This affects how you cool down and rest and the number of nutrients needed to replenish your body. However, there are a few things that are pretty common in most people’s post-workout. This includes stretching, eating foods high in nutrients, or various cool-down methods. Keep reading to learn more!
What’s the one sign we all look for that proves we had a good workout? It’s sweat! Nothing’s better than feeling those endorphins kick in after an intense gym session. But staying hydrated before, during, and after your workout is extremely important. Hydration helps maintain flexibility, body temperature, and energy. It also helps reduce sore muscles!
Improper hydration may lead to:
- Muscle cramps
- Elevated heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Heat exhaustion
In severe cases, dehydration can cause lead to fainting or heat stroke. You can drink water to hydrate after a workout or have an energy drink containing electrolytes, potassium, and sodium. These three ingredients are excellent for overall body recovery and lowering your body temperature. Just make sure to avoid drinks high in sugar or caffeine, which can dehydrate you!
When working out, it is best to avoid overexerting yourself. This can lead to lactic acid buildup or injury. Lactic acid is produced in your muscles and builds up depending on the intensity of your exercise. It may lead to painful and sore muscles. The lactic acid buildup is normal and does not cause concern, though it can make your workouts painful and uncomfortable.
Stretching may help combat lactic acid buildup and promote muscle restoration and flexibility. When your body is unable to burn off the lactic acid after a workout, it can lead to:
- Aches or soreness
- Burning sensations
- Stomach pains
Stretching is also a great way to increase circulation throughout your body. Tons of great things happen to your body when you exercise! When you exercise, your blood vessels constrict (vasoconstriction) and expand (vasodilation) to send blood to your muscles. By stretching after a strenuous exercise, you can redirect blood back to your organs to bring your blood pressure and heart rate back to normal.
Some great stretches you can try to improve your flexibility and range of motion are:
- Static stretching: Hold a stretching position for a short period, up to 45 seconds. This is great for keeping your hamstring, quadriceps, or lower back loose. You can also static stretch using your upper body like your arms, shoulders, and core muscles.
- Foam roller: Using a foam roller to massage sore areas can help stimulate blood flow and boost oxygen levels in the muscles. Oxygen can help convert sugar into energy, which can help you recover faster.
- Jogging or walking: Keeping your heart rate steady and allowing it to gradually come down will help keep your energy up. Stopping suddenly after a workout may lead to dizziness or fatigue. Allow yourself to cool down by engaging in about 10 minutes of light cardio.
CBD for Your Post Workout
CBD products are a great way to recover from your workout because it promotes relaxation and may help with tenderness caused by over-exertion or even just normal wear and tear of your body. Here are some CBD products you can try!
- CBD salves: CBD salves penetrate skin and muscle tissues for instant relief. This fantastic product can directly target affected areas for soreness and discomfort. Hollyweed’s full spectrum salve offers the perfect recovery for athletes and even for those just starting. You know what they say, you’re always the sorest two days after your workout!
- CBD lotion: Though CBD lotion is not as strong as CBD salve, it can still provide great all-around relief. You can use CBD lotion before bed and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. Our CBD lotion is jam-packed with soothing relief and delicious fragrance all in one bottle. With nourishing ingredients like Shea butter, aloe vera, and coconut oil, this lotion provides you with the blissful experience CBD has to offer.
Lower Your Body Temperature
Lowering your body temperature is just a more complicating way of saying, “cool down.” Remember, this is all about science. After stretching and hydrating, your heart rate and temperature might still be elevated. Now is a good time to practice some breathing exercises or maybe even get into some simple yoga stretches to bring your levels back to normal. This all helps your heart return to baseline.
Consume Proteins & Post Workout Supplements
Once your blood flow starts returning to your stomach, you might notice that it’s growling. After an intense workout burning that many calories, it’s time to refuel! Post-workout nutrition is extremely important! The best options after a workout are healthy foods high in carbohydrates and protein. Healthy carbs help restore muscle glycogen, while protein helps with muscle recovery and repair.
It is best to avoid foods high in fat and sugar content! These will reverse all your hard work. Remember how long it took for you to master that 1-minute plank! Put the cookie down; easy there. Foods high in sugar and fats can slow down your metabolism and may even impair you from losing weight! If you are not in a weight loss program, eating foods high in sugar and fats may decrease muscle mass.
Here are a few post-workout supplements that can support muscle growth and complement your recovery process!
- Branched-chain amino acids powder or capsules
- Whey protein
- Electrolyte powder
- Creatine supplement
- Protein supplements (shakes, powders, granola bars)
Be mindful that the best post-workout supplement is what works best for you. There is no magic formula that works for everyone. Everyone’s body is different and has different needs. Listen to your body and supplement it accordingly!
Showering & Changing Your Clothes
You might want to change out of those sweaty clothes… and here, have some deodorant. At the end of your workout, it is beneficial to shower as soon as possible. Taking a hot shower after your workout may help boost muscle recovery and will relax you.
Aside from taking a hot shower, you can opt for an ice bath. You may have heard of athletes taking ice baths after practice or a game. “Cold-water immersion,” or the less scientific term, ice baths, have been shown to boost muscle recovery faster than hot showers.
Now that you’re clean change into some comfortable clothes so you can relax! We know you’ve been eyeing that pair of sweats. It’s okay.
Rest Your Body & Take Time for Yourself
Always listen to your body; it will always tell you what it needs! Sometimes, it needs rest. Allowing time for your body to recover by having rest days in between workouts is very important. This includes getting a good night’s rest. If you are not sleeping well, your body isn’t making a full recovery to reap the benefits of your workout.
Final Thoughts – Best Post Workout
The best post-workout is the workout that works best for you! There is tons of information out there about what you “should” be doing to maximize the effects of your workout. These should always be taken as suggestions.
While there are a few core items to any post-workout routine (nutrition, hydration, stretching), the combination of any added things is up to you! What makes you feel good? Think about it!