Most experienced athletes and bodybuilders will agree that working out is only half the battle to building muscle. The other half is allowing your body to rest and recover while the torn muscle fibers repair themselves. This is essentially the process that leads to bigger, stronger muscles. While the human body has the natural ability to repair itself without any additional help, there are certain things you can do to speed up this process. Here we’ll take a look at some essential post-workout tips and tricks for better muscle recovery.
Some people are in the mindset of working out and/or lifting weights on a daily basis. There’s no denying the fact that bodybuilding is a downright addictive hobby that can easily draw you in. Those natural endorphins alone are reason enough why some individuals choose to workout on a daily basis. Unfortunately, though, straining your muscles every day doesn’t give them the downtime they need to recover. Instead of your body repairing the torn muscle fibers, you are continuously breaking them back down; therefore, you aren’t reaping the full benefit of your workout sessions.
If you are doing high-intensity strength training exercises, try to get into the habit of working out every other day. Start the week with a hard muscle-grinding workout on Sunday and then give your body time to recover on Monday. Once Tuesday comes around, you can perform your strength training exercises once again. Not only will this give your body time to repair your muscles, but it’s also helpful for clearing your mind and getting you in the right mentality to workout.
Studies have shown that when used correctly, protein shakes can help speed up muscle recovery by as much as 40%. The science behind their use is that you are supplying your body with the essential amino acids and proteins it uses to build muscle. While these compounds can be found in food, most people don’t consume enough protein.
Health experts and scientists continue to debate how much protein the average adult should consume. Some say 1 gram per pound of body weight, while others say as much as 2 grams per body weight. Even if you only weigh 150 pounds, that’s still more protein that you are likely getting in your diet.
The secret to using protein shakes as a muscle recovery aid is to drink one before and after a workout. I recommend an all-natural whey protein with no added ingredients, as it’s the fastest digesting protein on the market. You can choose to either mix it into a glass of water, or you can turn it into a smoothie by blending it together with milk, ice cream, and some fruit.
On your “off” days when you aren’t working out, try drinking a glass or two of casein protein. Unlike whey, it digests more slowly, allowing your body to reap the benefits of additional protein throughout the day.