Simple Guidelines for Post-Workout Recovery and Burn
Quite simply, Recovery is one of the most important components to achieving your fitness, performance and general wellness goals. Research suggests that some of the most important actions that should be taken to optimize the recovery of muscle and tissue include cooling down slowly, drink plenty of water, refuel your body with proper nutrition, stretch and get adequate sleep. Getting these key components right can help you to recover better and maximize your burn. Let’s take a closer look at each:
Cool down slowly: Once you complete your workout routine, it’s a good idea to continue on with some movement for about 5 minutes to help your muscles repair by dispersing lactic acid and helping your blood to carry oxygen throughout your body.
Drink plenty of water: I know, you’ve heard this one a million times. Well, it’s true. When you workout, it’s important to replace the fluids and electrolytes that your body loses during exercise. Water is key for all of the metabolic and digestive functions that your body will perform to recover. Drink water before, during and after your workout.
Refuel your body with proper nutrition: At Route 250, we like to say Refuel and Recover. This is because nutrition is the best way to make sure that your body repairs itself after exercise. Whether you are eating or drinking your calories, putting fuel in your tank helps your body to make the most of what it just did. More importantly, you should refuel yourself with natural, whole foods to maximize the results of your workout within the 30-minute window following your routine (more on the “why” of this later).
Stretch: Another well-known, but easy one. Stretching simply helps you to keep from getting stiff and can help with circulation.
Sleep: Last but not least, do your body a favor and try to get an adequate amount of sleep. I know, crazy work schedules, busy family lives and so many other things can sometimes prevent us from doing so, but it’s important for your wellness. More and more studies are showing the link between sleep and wellness. Allowing your body the time to rest, naturally recover and to produce growth hormone (which your body does while you sleep) is one of the best (and easiest) things that you can do for yourself.
Ok, back to the 30-minute post-workout recovery window. This is an important one that is often times overlooked. To maximize any workout, it is best to follow up by consuming the same number of calories that you just burned – within 30 minutes of completion. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but here’s why. In that 30-minute window, your muscles will readily accept the carbohydrates and protein that you consume and store them away as precious energy and building blocks for your recovery! As such, the ideal post-workout meal should always be a liquid comprised of a blend of carbohydrates and protein. I mean, you are trying to build some level of muscle tone regardless of your specific fitness goals. However, taking that into consideration, there are different ratios of carbohydrates and protein for different levels of performance. A good median to aim for is to take 3 parts carbs to 1 part protein. With this in mind, Route 250 Refuel and Recover shakes are all in that range and provide the proper blend of fast-absorbing, nutrient-dense carbs, easily digestible protein and are great-tasting too. If you burn 400 calories during your workout and follow-up with a 400 calorie Recovery Shake, your metabolism will remain high, your muscles will have the protein that they need to rebuild and your whole body will recover faster and better. If you are aiming to cut calories…post-workout is not the recommended time to do so. Post-workout calories are the most important calories of the day.
To wrap-up this edition, what should you do post-workout to recover better and maximize your burn?
Cool down slowly
Drink plenty of water
Refuel your body with proper nutrition
Get an adequate amount of sleep
And simply take advantage of the 30-minute post-workout window by refueling your body with proper nutrition through whole foods!
We’ll see you in the gym!
Do More. Be More.