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Fitness

5 Ways to Improve Your Body's Recovery Time

Updated: Oct 24, 2023


a man working out

There are a lot of resources online which will tell you different things about how to help post-workout recovery. However, most of them are effective, with one caveat: some methods only work for certain people. And while it's true that some crazier ways could work for you as well, there are methods for everyone. For example, there is nothing you can do to compensate for poor nutrition or a lack of sleep. If you're sleep deprived or your nutrition is inadequate, your body will take more time to recover. So, in order to help you make your post-workout recovery as quick as possible, we have put together a list of 5 ways to improve your body's recovery time guaranteed.


1. Get enough sleep


An average person must sleep at least 8 hours daily to stay healthy. However, people who exercise regularly need even more sleep than the average person. This is because your body does most of its healing and recovery during sleep. When you put your body under intense physical stress, it needs more time to sleep in order to recover. The statement also applies if you're trying to stay in shape and lose weight by accident. For anyone who regularly exercises, it's recommended to sleep at least 10 hours every day. Doing this will ensure that your body has plenty of time to properly recover from the stress of exercising. Likewise, you will recover much more quickly. Of course, the quantity of sleep isn't the only thing that matters. The quality is also of great importance, so make sure you sleep comfortably, too; otherwise, results will vary wildly.

close-up of a bed

2. Stay hydrated, during and after a workout


One of the simplest ways to improve your body's recovery time is to simply stay hydrated. Being dehydrated has been proven to slow down your body's ability to recover. More specifically, dehydration impairs your muscles' ability to repair themselves. Therefore, ensuring you drink plenty of water before, during, and after a workout will help keep your muscles in good condition. How much water you need precisely depends on person to person. However, the general agreement is that you should drink 16 to 24 ounces of water per pound of weight lost while working out.

Additionally, you should drink 10 to 15 ounces of water between an hour to two hours before working out. Staying hydrated will also help you keep your head clear so you can have a quality workout. Dehydration can make focusing much harder, which is not a good thing when working out.


3. Eat an overall balanced diet


A balanced diet will ensure you don't develop any nutrient deficiencies that could cause all sorts of issues. Following some food rules to stay fit is quite important for anyone who works out. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to various kinds of problems, and yes, your body recovering much slower than it should is one of them. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to avoid ultra-processed foods and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, try to include 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.6 to 0.8 g/lb). A healthy diet with these pieces of advice in mind will help keep your nutrition in check. Also, remember to keep your diet varied. It would help if you tried to eat different meals that include fruit, vegetables, or both. Keeping your meals varied will ensure you don't get bored with your diet.

a close-up of vegetables on a table
4. Protein and carbohydrates pre and post-workout

Incorporating protein and carbohydrates in your diet is essential, but timing is also crucial for these specific things. When exercising, the proteins in your muscles get damaged. Therefore, having protein after the workout will give your body the raw materials it needs to recover properly. On the other hand, taking protein before a workout will increase muscle protein synthesis. You should aim for 20 to 40 grams of protein in both cases. Finally, carbohydrates are stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen for energy. During workouts, your muscles use this glycogen as the primary energy source, so having 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight after a workout is highly recommended. These tips are essential for people who plan to workout at home. Many people love exercising at home and if you plan on doing this too, think about converting your garage into a gym and make use of this space well. You will see how a home workout could be just as effective as working out at the gym.


5. Avoid alcohol and tobacco

Needless to say, alcohol and tobacco are damaging to your health in a lot of ways. When it comes to your body recovering after a workout, this also applies. Alcohol has proven to impair your muscles' ability to create glycogen after a workout. Additionally, alcohol slows down the process of protein synthesis in your body. On the other hand, smoking tobacco has adverse effects on your musculoskeletal system. More specifically, there is a direct correlation between smoking and an increased risk of muscular injury.


Additionally, smoking is also associated with an increased risk of joint diseases and higher risks of fracturing bones. All in all, worrying about ways to relieve sore muscles after exercising is essential, and consumption of alcohol and tobacco both have negative effects. Also, alcohol and tobacco can lead to much more severe issues in the long run and should be avoided entirely.

varied beers on a table

5 ways to improve your body’s recovery time – wrap up


While particular methods can work for specific people, there are a few things anyone can do to recover from a workout faster. Generally speaking, all the advice in this article accentuates living a healthier lifestyle and paying attention to things such as nutrition and sleep. And remember, nothing can compensate for certain bad habits or carelessness in the long run. So, if you're having issues recovering between workouts, or you've stopped seeing improvements in your fitness level, consider paying more attention to these things. We hope this list of 5 ways to improve your body's recovery time helps you work out more effectively, and we wish you a great rest of your day.

 
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