Often, the trend, among people practicing a sport, is to train as much and as intensively as possible, without taking into account the measures to be followed in order to mitigate the effects of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD).
Over time, the effects of EIMD can decrease performance instead of keeping it constant or increasing it. Therefore, the efficiency of a physical exercise is based on the balance between working out and correct recovery. In fact, the principle of recovery is one of the seven principles of fitness.
When the level of physical stress is kept constant at high intensity, phenomena like overload or burnout (exhaustion) occur, usually, accompanied by muscle pain.
Physical recovery after tough exercising is necessary to prevent such extremes and to increase the effectiveness of training. Here are some tips to help you get the best out of intense training sessions.
5 Proven Methods to Speed Up Muscle Recovery
Physical recovery after tough exercise is reached through a combination of discipline and characteristic nutrition, keeping in mind the following proven techniques.
- Cooling down is a rule of thumb.
Warming up and cooling down are both crucial for workouts. The warm-up helps the body prepare for the effort as it dilates the blood vessels and increases the blood flow so that muscles receive the necessary oxygen.
The cool down phase accelerates recovery after the stress your body endured during training. High cardiac rhythm is an indicator of stress. The post-workout cool down gradually reduces the heart rate and blood pumping. A sudden drop in the blood flow can cause light-headedness and even induce fainting, therefore cooling down exercises shall not be overlooked.
During intense workouts, your body decomposes glucose for energy with the help of oxygen. If the amount of oxygen is insufficient, lactic acid is created. The sensation of burning muscles or cramps appears when this substance builds up in your bloodstream as a result of your body’s inability to burn it off.
Since lactic acid disperses 30 minutes to an hour once the intense training finishes, stretching is an efficient cooling down technique, meant to help in releasing this substance and rushing muscle recovery.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) go hand-in-hand with protein build-up.
BCAAs, also known as the amino acid chain formed from leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are popular supplements consumed by athletes due to their role in mitigating effects of intense exercising.
Amino acids are the bricks on which proteins are formed. When you eat foods containing proteins, they are digested through the stomach and intestines. In this process, the protein is decomposed into individual amino acids and short amino acid chains.
When enough amounts of BCAAs are consumed, these produce their own metabolic pathway leading to an amplified production of protein.This means that more muscle tissue will grow, and muscles will be refilled much faster.
Considering that branched chain amino acids are primarily processed in the skeletal muscle, unlike other important amino acids that are metabolized in the liver, BCAAs supplements are counted as a nutritional tactic to speed up muscle recovery and prevent the negative effects of heavy exercising.
- The post-workout nutrition shall follow a strict schedule.
Proteins are an essential nutrient for physical recovery and there is robust scientific data to prove its role in pre-workout and post-training. The peri-workout protein nutrition, mostly after intense training, participates in enhancing physical performance, speeding the recovery processes.
The first 45 minutes, after an intense workout, are a critical period in which your muscles need this nutrient to replenish quickly and harmoniously.
The muscles need amino acids to recover and grow, so you should have a source of fast-absorbing protein, such as protein powder concentrates, and a slow-absorbing protein source, such as casein, to stimulate protein synthesis in the muscle.
In order to speed up muscle recovery, carbohydrates are also very important in post-workout nutrition, since during training you “burn” the glycogen from muscles, which is crucial fuel for intense workouts. Factors like the quantity, timing, and sort of nutrient intake play an important role in boosting muscle glycogen build-up.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure carbohydrate intake immediately after exercising. To maximize the results and speed up muscle glycogen build-up, while decreasing post- training muscle damage, some extra protein shall be added to your carbohydrate supplement.
- Pre-workout magnesium intake reduces muscle trauma.
Several studies have proven the importance of magnesium in muscle recovery. Not only it helps in muscle recuperation, but it is an overall vital factor in preventing muscular tension.
In our daily lives, magnesium is responsible for our body’s performance, participating in over 300 biochemical reactions of our organs. Despite its importance, most of us are unable to assimilate enough magnesium in which point we face muscle stress that manifests in various forms: muscles spasms, tremor and muscle weakness.
Several pieces of research sustain the positive effect of magnesium in preventing muscle trauma caused by heavy training. In fact, if taken 30 minutes before working out, the magnesium intake will boost glucose concentrations, leading to decreased lactate build-up and muscle trauma.
- Massage Timing Influences Its Efficiency in Post-Training Muscle Recovery.
As in the case of protein and carbohydrates intake, timing is vital when it comes to massage as an efficient post-exercise muscle recovery method. The medical literature shows the benefits of massage in muscle recovery only when this method is performed immediately after finishing the workout, ideally within 15 minutes after cooling down.
Otherwise, delayed muscle massage shows little to no effect on speeding up muscle recuperation process.
From a physiological point of view, after an intense effort, the following indicators shall be kept in mind:
- The ATP-PC system’s balance is restored in 2-5 minutes.
- Lactic acid is eliminated within 30-60 minutes of active recovery and within 60-120 minutes of passive recovery.
- The glycogen storage is restored to muscle in approximately 48 hours.
Therefore, for an effective recovery of the muscles, at least one day of rest, per week, shall exist. Keep in mind that for maximum results, timing is important when practicing muscle recovery methods.
Vicky is a Food & Lifestyle Blogger at https://AvocadoPesto.com/