Our top 5 post-exercise recovery tips

Our top 5 post-exercise recovery tips

13 Mar 2022

While a stringent pre workout routine is essential for physical health, it is also super important to form healthy post exercise recovery habits, in order to maximise the benefits of exercise.

So what are the few cardinal rules of post exercise recovery and how do they help the body?

Eat your way to recovery

Nutrition is essential for exercise as it provides the energy that the body needs to get through a workout. But it’s also good to have a meal after a good workout. This helps recover the lost glycogen and aids in muscle recovery (1). A meal or a snack should be taken within 2 hours of your exercise session (1).

Foods containing carbohydrates and proteins such as peanut butter wholegrain sandwiches, greek yoghurt, protein smoothies, or lean meats are some examples of post-workout snacks you can try. If your next meal is more than 2 hours after your exercise, consider this as a treat to help your muscles recover.

Keep hydrated

Physical activities will make you sweat. Drinking water is the best way to recover lost fluids. Even before and during exercise, it’s good to drink water to prevent dehydration. Drinking 2 to 3 cups of water is advised for every pound lost during workout (1). For workouts that extend for more than 60 minutes, it’s recommended to include hydrating drinks like coconut water to give you that additional boost, as it contains carbohydrates (1). This also keeps the electrolytes in your body balanced so that you can do more.

Post exercise recovery

Post exercise recovery stretch

With all the pulling and pushing that the muscles experience during exercise, stretching may help relax them afterwards. It might sound like it’s still part of the exercise routine, but the difference is that it helps transition your body from the stress of exercise, to a relaxed state with a slower heart rate, while lowering your blood pressure (2). Doing stretches also improves flexibility, decreases the risk of injury, and improves the range of motion for joints (3).

Cool down your body

After an intense workout, it’s important to cool down to bring your body down to its normal temperature and heart rate. Stopping abruptly after a workout can make you feel sick or possibly pass out (4). A cooldown routine may also include stretching which reduces muscle cramps after exercise (4).

Some examples of cooldown activities are 5 minutes of Shavasana or corpse pose, or a quick walk to lower your heart rate.

Try supplementation

Nutrients are needed for the body to function optimally, especially when exercising. Some specific nutrients also contribute to muscle growth and repair (5, 6). One of these is acetyl L-carnitine which supports post exercise recovery. It helps alleviate muscle injury, increases blood flow and supply of oxygen to the muscle hence reducing fatigue (8). Taking these types of nutrients before exercise boosts the body’s response to exercise by enhancing blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscles (7).

It is also important to note that while supplements can assist the body’s recovery post-exercise, food sources still provide the optimum amount of nutrients your body needs.

The easiest way to get your own post exercise recovery vitamins
A solid post exercise workout routine is sure to make exercise be more effective along with proper diet and pre workout preparations. Vitable vitamins offer quality supplements for your health needs through vitamin subscription. Create your own custom vitamins which are bundled and curated as daily vitamin packs for easier use. Purchase your own packs and get one of the best vitamin delivery services in Australia with Vitable.

*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.

References:

  1. “Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts”. Mayo Clinic. Published Dec. 18, 2021 on https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045506. Accessed on Feb. 2, 2022
  2. “How to stretch after exercising”. National Health Service. Published Sep. 18, 2018 on https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-stretch-after-exercising/. Accessed on Feb. 2, 2022
  3. “Stretching: Focus on flexibility”. Mayo Clinic. Published Jan. 31, 2020 on https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931. Accessed on Feb. 2, 2022
  4. “Warm up, Cold Down”. American Heart Foundation. Published Sep. 1, 2014 on https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/warm-up-cool-down. Accessed on Feb. 2, 2022
  5. Riazi, R., Wykes, L. Ball, R., and Pencharz, P. "The total branched-chain amino acid requirement in young healthy adult men determined by indicator amino acid oxidation by use of L-[1-13C]phenylalanine". The Journal of nutrition. Published May. 2003 on https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/133.5.1383. Accessed on Feb. 2, 2022
  6. Brault, J., Towse, T., Slade, J., and Meyer, R. "Parallel increases in phosphocreatine and total creatine in human vastus lateralis muscle during creatine supplementation". International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism. Published Dec. 2007 on https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.17.6.624. Accessed on Feb. 2, 2022
  7. Fielding, R., Riede, L., Lugo, J., and Bellamine, A. "l-Carnitine Supplementation in Recovery after Exercise. Nutrients". Published Mar. 13, 2018 on https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10030349. Accessed on Feb. 2, 2022
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872767/#:~:text=Later%20studies%20point%20to%20the,by%20attenuation%20of%20muscle%20soreness. Mar 2018