Recovery Mistakes You Should Avoid After a Hard Workout

A lot of individuals put a lot of emphasis on working hard. But what if you can get the same, if not better, results if you are working smart? The modern fitness world is now obsessed with different strategies on how you can maximize your recovery. From ice baths to saunas, people try different things that can get them to train more efficiently and maximize the results of their hard work. 

But what are the most common recovery mistakes that people make? We decided to make a list of things that you want to avoid if you want the best results after a hard workout. 

Not having a post-workout meal plan 

A lot of people are guilty of eating as if they didn’t just work out. Post-workout nutrition is an important part of recovery that some people would even use post-workout supplements just to meet their body’s protein requirements. 

A post-workout meal is supposed to be a good combination of carbohydrates and protein. Also, experts believe that there is an anabolic window period where you can optimize training-related gains. 

Though it’s a highly debatable topic since there is the presumption where the training is done under a fasted state, you can’t deny the importance of replenishing nutrients used during a hard workout. 

The idea is to have a high-protein meal ready right after your workout. Also, you want some carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen that will be used by your muscles during workouts.

Not taking the time to stretch after a workout

After a hard workout, it’s common for people to just shower right away and leave the gym. The following day, they feel extra sore and even taking a day off because they need more time to recover. 

Stretching after a hard session is a must. This can help maintain healthy muscles and joints. Plus, you get to reduce the soreness that comes after a workout. Dedicate 10-15 minutes to stretching. Make it part of your routine and you’ll be surprised how you can improve your range of motion and even sleep better after a workout. 

Not foam rolling enough

It’s common for your muscles to feel tight after a workout. At times, stretching isn’t enough to make you feel relaxed. Foam rolling can be a good way to release tight knots and feel immediate relief after a hard workout. You want to dedicate 30 to 90 seconds to foam roll an area before transferring to another one. 

Taking coffee after a workout

It’s common for a lot of people to feel tired after a hard workout. And if you did your workout in the morning, there is a chance that you might feel like taking more coffee than you should. Physical exercise is already a stressor. When combined with coffee, it can elevate the body’s cortisol level which can affect how the body stores fats. 

There are several things that you can do to avoid this. In case you need your coffee, you’d want to take it a few minutes before your workout. It can keep you alert and even potentially reduce soreness after a workout. 

Forgetting to hydrate

Water is a must for all our bodily processes. The body needs approximately 30-35 ml per kilogram of body weight. But once you are active, you will need to drink an extra 500-1000 ml for every hour of exercise. 

Dehydration can lead to feeling fatigued and even cramps. Also, there is a chance that you will feel hungrier when you don’t drink enough water. This isn’t surprising since lean muscles are composed of 75% water. In case you are going to have a workout, always stay hydrated, before, during, and even after your workout. 

Not doing anything active after a workout

A lot of people often feel like they can already just relax and lay down for the entire day after they completed their workout. Why not make it a habit to incorporate small and easy activities that require the body to move? Non-exercise activity thermogenesis can help burn more calories and even build a habit of moving around even when you are not having a workout for the day. 

Not sleeping enough

How many hours do you sleep once you had an intense workout? One of the biggest mistakes that you can do is to deprive the body of at least 8 hours of sleep every night especially after a workout. In case you had no choice but to sleep less than 8 hours after a workout, you might want to take naps in the middle of the day. A 20-30 minute nap in the middle of the day can help you feel re-energized. 

Some would even make use of a fitness tracker that will allow them to easily track their sleep. These devices have apps that can monitor the user’s REM or deep sleep which can play a major role in overall recovery. 

Final Thoughts

Recovery is just as important as your workout. Athletes and trainers nowadays pay close attention to recovery as much as they do on the actual workout. Unfortunately, a lot of people still make mistakes when it comes to their recovery. Without proper recovery, it’s possible to feel like you are already overtraining.  

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