Recover Like A Champ

by Susan Lacke from Fit Bottomed Girls

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Everyone loves a post-ride meal – it’s a time to indulge in your cravings, whether it’s a giant plate of pancakes or a platter of enchiladas from the Mexican joint down the street. When that meal is followed by a nap, it’s even better!

But could this recovery routine today be hurting your training next week? It’s possible. Though a post-workout routine can (and should!) be a celebration of what you’ve completed, it also sets the tone for what’s ahead. Recover like a champ with these tips:

Soak it Up

In the hour after your workout, your muscles are like a dry sponge, ready to soak up whatever you put into them – good and bad. Though you may be craving junk immediately after a hard workout, choosing nutritious foods helps your body jump-start the repair process, allowing you to recover faster. Your post-workout meal should include protein, which is key for recovery.

Drink it In

Though many remember to hydrate during a workout, few continue drinking water after the workout is over. Though you may not be feeling thirsty, it’s possible you’re still dehydrated. After your workout is over, combine nutrients and hydration with a smoothie made with fresh fruits, vegetables and protein powder. Continue to drink water throughout the day – if your workout was particularly hot and sweaty, add electrolyte tablets to your agua to replenish lost stores.

Roll it Out

Buy a foam roller and use it as part of your cool-down routine. Foam-rolling helps to stretch and massage your muscles, reducing the risk of soreness, tight muscles, and injuries. Check out this post on No Meat Athlete for demonstrations of how to roll specific muscles!

Sleep it Off

If you’re feeling tired after a workout, don’t fight it! When you sleep, your brain releases hormones that stimulate muscle repair and growth. A sleep-deprived athlete is more likely to see decreases in performance than increases. Naps are great, but don’t forget to grab at least 7 hours of shut-eye each night, too!

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