If you want to start working, if you have just started working out, or if you have been working out, then I bet that there are a lot of questions you (and the rest of us) having been asking about not just working out, but also recovery. Throughout the fitness community from beginners to experts, there are always questions about the best methods for workout recovery.
Well here in this article we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 questions people ask about muscle recovery, and we give you the answers. So without further a due here are the top 6 questions about muscle recovery and their answers.
1. How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need?
Research has shown that getting enough sleep is important for many reasons. Sleep is important for muscle recovery because when we sleep our bodies produce growth hormone and protein synthesis occurs. Good sleep also restores brain function and alertness, which is needed for intense training sessions. Getting 8 – 10 hours of quality sleep a night, best promotes these factors.
2. What Foods Should I Eat?
A balanced diet is always important, and getting enough macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, etc.) is important for fueling your body and giving your muscles the building blocks they need to grow. A great tip for muscle recovery nutrition is to eat potassium-rich foods. Working out saps your potassium reserves and potassium is a key mineral in muscle energy. Bananas and potatoes are great potassium rich-foods.
3. Should I Really Drink Protein Shakes?
Ask your average Joe about protein shakes and each person will give you a different answer, usually with some very wrong info or urban legends. Ask serious gym goers, however, and they will tell you the importance of the protein shake, and for good reason. Protein is one of the most important building blocks that muscles need in repair and recovery. The protein shake is very popular for post workout recovery because it’s convenient, easy to mix, and offers rapid protein absorption rate. If you want a really effective tip for muscle growth and recovery, then the post-workout protein shake is the way to go.
4. How Long Should I Rest Between Workouts?
The answer to this question differs depending on what workout you are doing. For cardio (like running) a study in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine” suggests a recovery period of 24 – 48 hours. This depends on the topography of the terrain your running on. Flatter terrain means less recovery time, whereas hilly terrain means your muscles will need more recovery time.
Lifting weights can put much more stress on the muscles than running does, even though it involves the same basic contraction and lengthening of the muscles. Doctors say that a given muscle take 7 – 14 days to fully recover. However, you can workout again after 48 hours.
5. How Active Should I Be During Recovery?
What should I be doing during recovery? Should I be sitting on the sofa not moving a muscle? Or should I be running marathons between each workout? So just how active should you be between workouts? Well, experts suggest that the best rest you should be getting between workouts is doing some light activity. Light movements such as walking to the store, an easy cycle around the neighborhood, an easy game of catch, are great activities to do. These light activities between workouts are known as “active” recovery.
6. How Do I Help Muscle Soreness?
If you have a good, hard workout you are going to feel it. In rest periods it is not unusual to have some muscle soreness, but how do we help relieve that soreness? There are a few things you can do for muscle soreness such as stretching, keeping hydrated, active recovery, and massage. A favorite of everyone is definitely getting a massage to relieve muscle soreness, but that can get really expensive. Luckily self-massage can be just as effective, and massagers like the Naipo cordless handheld massager are not just affordable but effective as well.
So there you have it. The answers to your top 6 questions about muscle recovery. Now you’re ready to get the best results out of not just your workout, but also your rest. But, if you feel you need more information on how best to recover after a workout, feel free to check out our article on the best post workout methods.