In this blog we will focus on the questions of how to promote muscle recovery and why the recovery of your muscles is so important.
Why do muscles need to recover after exercise?
During intensive training, small tears occur in the muscle fibers. With sufficient recovery time and the right nutrition, these tears can heal and the muscles can become stronger and bigger. Insufficient recovery can lead to muscle strain, which increases the risk of injuries. By giving the muscles the opportunity to recover, these injuries can be prevented. Good recovery also improves overall sports performance. Fresh muscles can generate more power and work more efficiently, resulting in better performance during your next workout.
How do you accelerate muscle recovery?
Muscle recovery after exercise is very important and these are a number of tips to help your muscles recover faster:
- End your training with a good cool down, during which you perform many stretching exercises.
- Make sure you stay hydrated.
- Have a post-workout meal.
- If necessary, visit a sauna or a masseur. Read more about what a sports massage entails here.
- Take a cold shower.
- Use products that promote muscle recovery. View our extensive webshop with muscle care products here.
Muscles recover by resting
Muscles mainly recover by resting. When you have exercised intensively, your muscles undergo microscopic damage. These damages are a natural consequence of exercise and are a sign that your muscles are adapting and becoming stronger. Rest is vital to the recovery process. During the rest period, your muscles have the opportunity to repair themselves. The body repairs the micro-tears in the muscle fibers and builds them stronger than before. Rest promotes protein synthesis, which is the process by which the body produces proteins to repair and grow damaged muscle fibers. Read more about the importance of rest for muscle building here.
Promote muscle recovery through better blood circulation
Promoting muscle recovery through better blood circulation is an important aspect of the recovery process after exercise. By improving blood flow, the body can transport more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, which helps repair damaged tissue and reduce muscle soreness. A deep muscle massage can improve blood flow by widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow. This helps remove waste products and supply nutrients to the muscles. A warm bath or a visit to the sauna has the same effect. A good cooling down with lots of stretching exercises also ensures better blood circulation.
Achieve muscle recovery with a healthy diet
Nutrition plays a crucial role in providing the necessary building blocks and energy for muscle recovery. The macronutrients you consume before and after training are particularly important. Think about:
- Protein: these are essential for the recovery of your muscles, because they are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Protein-rich foods include: lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and plant-based protein sources such as beans and tofu.
- Carbohydrates: these are the source of energy for your body, especially during physical activity. They help fuel your muscles and promote the recovery of glycogen stores after training. Choose complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, quinoa and vegetables.
- Healthy fats: you can find these in avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds, for example. Healthy fats are important for cell repair and inflammation control.
- Foods rich in antioxidants: Think of things like berries, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and protect muscles from free radical damage.