Be Well

5 Tips to Optimize Your Post-Workout Recovery*

March 5, 2024 by Enzymedica Team
5 Tips to Optimize Your Post-Workout Recovery*

Going for gains? Trying to maintain strength as you age? What you do after a workout matters as much as what you do in the gym. Read on to learn how to optimize your post-workout recovery. 

1. Take time to cool down. 

Stretch out your muscles to ease tension, boost blood flow and promote delivery of oxygen and nutrients. Budget enough time to let your heart rate come down. 

If you’re squeezing a workout into a busy day, don’t sacrifice the cooldown — or leave your fitness class before it’s over. Aim for three to five minutes of a mix of stretches that are dynamic (moving) and static (holding for 15-30 seconds). Stretch all the muscle groups you worked during your exercise session.  

2. Rehydrate yourself. 

In general, aim to consume 16 ounces of water after a workout (and more if you exercised in the heat or for over an hour). You might also want to replenish your electrolytes

Signs you need to drink more include darker urine and feeling thirst, which happens when you have lost about 2% of your body weight due to water loss. You might also feel foggy after a sweaty yoga session or summer run — another sign to drink up! 

3. Refuel with carbs and protein. 

Eat within 30-45 minutes of your workout, especially if you do fasted exercise. Protein provides the amino acids you need to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Carbs help replenish energy levels by restoring your glycogen stores. Glycogen is a form of glucose, and it’s a source of energy that your body stores in your liver and muscles to use as needed. Glycogen is how the body stores surplus glucose. In general, the longer the workout, the more glycogen you’ve depleted, but all workouts will draw from your supplies.  

Post-workout nutrition should focus on supporting your muscles and replenishing your energy. 

4. Take rest days. 

Even Olympic athletes take rest days to allow their bodies time to recover and repair. Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. 

The number of rest days per week you need will vary based on a number of factors, including your fitness level, age, goals and the intensity of your workouts. If life is extra busy or chaotic right now, you didn’t sleep enough last night, you feel “off” or you’re feeling too sore from your last workout, change up your schedule and take it easy. That might mean a day on the couch binging a series — or it could mean active recovery

Active recovery is any low-impact workout that moves the body without focusing on endurance, performance, etc. You might swap gentle yoga for lifting weights or a walk for your usual run. Other options include a leisurely bike ride, foam-rolling, swimming or a slow jog. 

5. Prioritize sleep.

If you want gains, you need to give your body time to recover from workouts. Sleep is the time when your body does the bulk of its recovery processes — including muscle protein synthesis. 

To perform at your best, whether you’re taking a group fitness class or training for a marathon, you need sleep. Aim for seven to eight hours per night to allow your body ample opportunity to repair and recover physically. 

How to Support Sore Muscles & Joints*

When your active lifestyle (naturally) leaves you with sore muscles, optimize your body’s natural recovery process, with Repair Gold®!* When you’re new to working out or kicking it up a notch, this formula is great to use after exercise or overexertion.* With targeted enzymes for muscle, tissue and joint function, because recovery is as important as what happens at the gym!*

Want to lift stronger, run farther and crush your goals?* The right mix of enzymes can help the body to naturally recover from strenuous exercise. Proteolytic enzymes are best for recovery and have commonly been used for sore muscles from overexertion.* Repair Gold includes proteolytic enzymes like protease, catalase, serrapeptase, bromelain and papain. 

Beyond digestion, enzymes help different systems “tidy up” so you can get back to feeling your best! Systemic enzymes are taken between meals on an empty stomach.* This timing matters: They can go beyond the digestive system, into the bloodstream to specific cells and tissues.*

Magnesium plays a role in fitness recovery, too. This essential mineral is sometimes called the “relaxation mineral,” since it interacts with certain bodily processes and enzymatic reactions. 

For your bones and muscles, magnesium promotes bone development, protein synthesis and muscle and nerve function. It also helps with the active transport of calcium and potassium across cell membranes, necessary to maintain normal heart rhythm, contraction of muscle tissue and nerve impulse conduction.*

Since it promotes healthy muscle function and recovery, magnesium maintains healthy muscles.* When your muscles function optimally, you can work toward crushing your goals, from keeping up with the kids to training for a 5k.* If you’re focusing on muscle growth, magnesium plays a role there, too. Protein synthesis (the process of arranging amino acids into protein) is necessary for muscle growth.

Magnesium soothes daily aches, too.* Magnesium blocks certain receptors in the brain to promote relaxation and offer soothing support.* 

In Magnesium Motion, ATA Mg® paired with magnesium malate and magnesium glycinate work to support the body and the mind.* This synergistic trio soothes daily aches, promotes healthy muscle function and recovery while also supporting healthy bones and cardiovascular function.*

Magnesium glycinate is well known to support restful sleep, the nervous system, healthy bones and heart function.* Magnesium malate soothes daily aches and promotes healthy muscle function and recovery.*