Tips to recovery for faster muscle gains

Tips to recovery for faster muscle gains

Tips to recovery for faster muscle gains

The best way to allow the muscles to recover will be to eat a healthy and balanced diet, enough protein, and have a good night’s sleep.

Although many people think that taking dietary supplements improves recovery for faster muscle gains, they are not the priority. In addition, recovery techniques often used can improve recovery but their effects are minimal compared to lifestyle.

recovery for faster muscle gains

The best way to allow the muscles to recover will be to eat a healthy and balanced diet, enough protein, and have a good night’s sleep.

Although many people think that taking dietary supplements improves recovery, they are not the priority. In addition, recovery techniques often used can improve recovery for faster muscle gains but their effects are minimal compared to lifestyle.

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The destruction of degraded muscle cells during exercise causes inflammation, muscle pain, and muscle aches, which decrease performance. For these reasons, muscle recovery is a priority for athletes, regardless of the sport practiced.

For optimal muscle recovery, the diet has a decisive role to play. It must provide the body with adequate energy, nutrients, and fluids.

1- Carbohydrates during and after training

Quickly after endurance training, you need to replenish the glycogen store. Indeed, your muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen to have the necessary energy for your sports training.

During intense or long efforts, the body uses muscle glycogen stores. A diet is rich in foods containing carbohydrates such as whole grains, root vegetables, legumes, and fruits. You should consume between 5 and 10 g of carbohydrates per kg per day, depending on the intensity and volume of training.

Thus, consuming frequent meals throughout the day that contain enough carbohydrates (depending on training intensity) will help restore muscle glycogen completely, over extended recovery for faster muscle gains periods.

2- Protein after training

Proteins are essential for ensuring muscle repair, as well as all the damage caused by sport to the body. It is essential to ensure that you consume enough protein after your workout and throughout the day.

Adequate protein intake per day of 1.2 to 2.0 g/kg, spread over 3 to 4 meals, and protein intake in the hours following training stimulate recovery for faster muscle gains.

For this, it is necessary to favor foods rich in protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and vegetable proteins.

Protein powders can be used occasionally, for their convenience, especially after training. It is necessary for a protein with a complete amino acid profile such as whey.

3- Balanced diet

A well-designed sports diet must meet energy needs and provide all the nutrients to ensure the proper functioning of the body’s recovery for faster muscle gains.

Thus, you must make sure to consume a healthy and balanced diet, by consuming meals composed of the following foods:

  • 1/3 carbohydrate-rich foods (quinoa, rice, oats, buckwheat, sweet potato).
  • 1/3 protein-rich foods (meat, fish, eggs, legumes, tofu).
  • 1/3 cooked or raw vegetables (spinach, broccoli, kale, arugula, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers).
  • Good fats (olive oil, avocado, oilseeds).
  • Intake Fresh fruit and dairy products for dessert. 

4- Hydration and drink

During your day and workouts, you lose water through sweat, urine, and breath. It is required to replenish your water losses by consuming enough water throughout your day. Indeed, dehydration disrupts muscle function and muscle recovery.

Still or mineral water is the most recommended drink. Athlete recovery drinks, which contain a lot of sugar, are not recommended for occasional athletes who do not need this type of drink to improve their recovery.

However, this drink is useful after intense training for professional athletes, or when intense training or competitions are close together.

5- Sleep

Sleep plays an important role in the conservation of energy, the recovery of the nervous system, the immune defense mechanisms, and the restoration of optimal performance, which are essential for the recovery for faster muscle gains of the athlete.

However, the athletes overlook the importance of sleep for recovery and do not get enough sleep. It is one of the essential pillars of good muscle recovery and the most effective element with food.

Here are some tips to improve the quality of your sleep:

  • Adopt a sleep routine with regular bedtimes, and wake-up times on weekdays and weekends.
  • Limit eye exposure to blue or bright light at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping or intimate relationships, not for watching TV, or using a smartphone or computer.
  • Avoid caffeine after lunch.
  • Do not drink alcohol, and do not smoke.
  • Avoid intense workouts just before bedtime.
  • Make sure the room is dark, quiet, and at a cooler temperature.

6- Food supplements

Certain dietary supplements may help improve muscle adaptations to exercise, decrease muscle soreness, reduce injury severity, and improve recovery for faster muscle gains. These supplements include

  • Protein powder and BCAAs
  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin D
  • Turmeric

However, their action remains limited and cannot be compared to that obtained through diet and sleep. They should be seen as a “plus” for regular or professional athletes who already have optimal nutrition and sleep.

Recovery Techniques

1- Cold and hot

Different recovery techniques using cold are practiced, including cold water bath (immersion), cryotherapy, and hot/cold alternation.

A cold water bath immersing the legs for 10 to 15 minutes can help relieve aches and perceived fatigue. The cold seems to affect post-exercise inflammation, as well as the perception of pain.

Whole body cryotherapy, for 3 minutes, at a temperature of -140 to -195°C, just after training, seems to improve muscle recovery, pain, and the athlete’s well-being after the session. But the effect seems temporary, only during the hours following the cryotherapy session.

2- Active recovery

Active recovery is often used to improve muscle recovery in athletes. After an intense endurance effort, such as cycling or running, practicing 15 to 20 minutes of active recovery at the end of your session can facilitate the elimination of muscle waste and the elimination of lactate. It can lead to better recovery with less muscle damage and pain.

During these 15 to 20 minutes of active recovery, you can continue to work the muscles used during training, at a low intensity, on a bike, or while jogging. You are not out of breath, the goal is to activate blood circulation.

Active recovery can therefore be practiced at the end of your training, over 15 to 20 minutes, or on non-training days, over 20 to 30 minutes to facilitate recovery for faster muscle gains.

3- Massage

Massage appears to be the most effective method for reducing aches and perceived fatigue. In addition, massage is effective in decreasing post-exercise inflammation.

Body aches are induced by muscle damage, and massage can increase muscle blood flow and reduce muscle edema.

A 20-30 minute massage is performed up to 2 hours after exercise to reduce soreness for 24 hours after exercise.

4- Compression garments

Wearing compression garments appears to be in relieving body aches and reducing perceived fatigue. The beneficial effect of compression garments on muscle recovery by better venous return after sports training.

The most used garments are compression sets or compression stockings and socks for athletes.

Avoid for better recovery

  • Alcohol interferes with muscle reconstruction and the replacement of energy stores with glycogen.
  • Tobacco is the increased risk of developing injuries, fractures, or tendonitis.
  • Caffeine, if consumed close to bedtime may disrupt the quality of sleep.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs or creams have no effect on recovery and may increase the risk of injury, or interfere with tissue healing.

How does muscle repair itself?

During training, you work your muscles and create muscle tissue damage. Then, during recovery time, a biochemical process of repair and synthesis allows the muscles to rebuild themselves, and become stronger and more efficient.

Plan your training

  • Don’t chain tough workouts or work the same muscles two days in a row.
  • Do not hesitate to schedule total rest days regularly if you feel tired.
  • Every 3 to 4 weeks plan a week of recovery, with short and low-intensity sessions.
  • By following these tips, you can avoid overtraining, the biggest enemy of recovery for faster muscle gains.
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