Have you ever experienced pain all over your body after an intense day of workout or physical training? That’s your muscles talking. They want to tell you that you should take a break for a while or slow it down on your next session until you fully recover. Luckily, there are many ways on how to speed up muscle recovery. These helpful solutions are even more helpful when you have to undergo continuous training for days. Without further ado, here are tips on how to speed up muscle recovery:
Drink tart cherry juice
A lot of athletes drink this type of juice to reduce swelling around their muscles. Cherry juice can also relieve oxidative stress. To be more specific, Montmorency tart cherries have natural compounds that focus on speeding up overall recovery. The same idea goes for foods that are rich in anthocyanin such as black and red raspberries, red radish, black plums, red cabbage, blackberries, blueberries, and black currants.
The recommended amount every day is a total of 16 ounces of cherry juice. You can drink eight ounces in the morning and another eight ounces in the evening.
If you prefer a faster alternative, you may take cherry concentrate instead of juice. You can drink it like cough syrup. Experts recommend two tablespoons twice a day.
Based on research, as long as people follow the required dosage, muscle inflammation would only last for a week with cherry juice or concentrate. Additionally, only consume fresh cherries. Most nutritionists will never eat maraschino ones.
Drink hot chocolate
To survive demanding physical training for several straight days, drink hot chocolate as soon as you arrive home. It speeds up muscle repair. Scientists discovered that drinks containing cocoa have similar effects to popular sports drinks. Both types of drinks can reduce creatine kinase in your body.
What is creatine kinase? It is a blood enzyme that appears when there is muscle damage or inflammation, also known as myositis. That is why we have the so-called CK test to detect muscle-related problems.
Hot chocolate is not the only solution for muscle inflammation. Fat-free chocolate milk, no matter what the temperature is, can relieve muscle damage. It also works like fuel, providing energy to an exhausted system. What makes it so amazing is its ideal combination of protein and carbohydrates for muscular development. Another thing to appreciate about chocolate milk is how cheap it is compared to sports drinks. You do not have to shell out money anymore just to heal your muscles.
Consume more protein
Protein is one of the essential nutrients for our muscles. It is needed to build muscle mass. Legumes, nuts, and animal products are the best sources of protein.
One simple yet mouthwatering creation that is obviously packed with protein is the Beef, Bacon and Egg Burger. It can be a go-to heavy meal day or night.
If you prefer less fat but still scrumptious, you may resort to Chicken Chopped Mediterranean Salad with Feta Vinaigrette. It is a Mediterranean dish that you can cook for yourself without spending a lot of time preparing it.
Not much of meat-lover? You may opt for Pan-Fried Halibut with Savoy Cabbage, Cauliflower, Baby Leeks and Sweet Potato Garnish with your high-protein but low-calorie meal.
Lastly, if you are a vegan, satisfy your protein needs by trying this recipe for Butternut Squash Veggie Pizza. Butternut squash is surprisingly creamy with a savory-sweet taste that you usually get from ordinary pizzas.
As you can see, everybody can get high amounts of protein no matter what their diet plan is.
Learn how to massage yourself
If you frequently do a strenuous workout, it can be too inconvenient for your loved ones if they have to massage you daily. Fortunately, there are several self-massage techniques to speed up muscle recovery. The best part? They are extremely easy to do. In addition, the tools can be found right inside your house.
The first trick for you to learn is massaging yourself with a foam roller or a wide rolling pin. It is ideal for your quads or the front part of your thighs. It is also useful for your hamstrings. Massaging your quads is easier. Just roll the object back and forth above your thighs. Meanwhile, for your hamstrings, sit on a flat surface wherein you can completely elevate your legs. Then, simply roll the item up and down your hamstrings.
To target the soles of your feet or the plantar fascia, you can use a golf ball despite the area’s thick connective tissue. While sitting, put the ball on the floor and roll it by moving your foot to and fro. With this, you can easily focus on the tightest sections of the sole.
Lastly, a dog ball or a tennis ball is effective in massaging the glutes or the gluteus maximus in your bottom. What you need to do first is lie on the floor sideways. Next, put the ball on the left or right buttock, whichever side you are going to massage. Then, move your hips so the ball can massage the sore muscles.
Start your day with stretching exercises
Actually, you can do a set of stretching exercises several times per day. Just make sure to begin your morning by stretching to speed up muscle recovery and energize your body. Stretching also promotes smoother movement throughout the day without disrupting muscle repair.
It is even more effective if you also observe meditation while stretching. You may learn how to achieve meditation by reading books, joining sessions led by a professional, or watching instructional videos. The purpose of meditation when you stretch is to release tension from the muscles. One thing that can also help in relieving tense muscles is deep breathing.
Drink plenty of water every day
It is already basic knowledge that water is the best healer for simple health conditions. Feeling under the weather? Drink water. Inconsistent bowel movement? Drink water. So, it is a no-brainer that drinking lots of water can also speed up muscle recovery. You may forget about sports drinks and chocolate milk but never pure water.
We already mentioned before that protein is crucial for muscle recovery. However, cells can only function at their best for protein synthesis when they contain enough water. On the other hand, dehydration can even make muscle damage worse by deteriorating muscle tissue. So, always have a water bottle nearby.
Sleep, sleep, and more sleep!
Of course, the puzzle for speeding up muscle recovery will never be complete without a good night’s sleep. Many essential processes all over your body work best when you are unconscious.
If you are suffering from muscle damage, you will never recover fast if you only sleep up to four hours every night. The perfect duration is eight hours. If you are busy, seven hours is enough. The maximum duration that is still classified as normal sleep is nine hours. To ensure deep sleep for seven to nine hours, only use the best pillows and bed sheets.
How to Speed Up Muscle Recovery
In summary, some tips are basic while others are refreshing ideas on how to speed up muscle recovery. No one deserves to suffer for a long time just because they want to improve their lifestyle with physical exercise. Good thing that there are a lot of home remedies to boost muscle repair.
For minor wounds, check out our tips on how to make cuts heal faster.