Your Post-Workout Recovery Ritual

To get the most out of your workouts, you have to maximize your recovery. These three simple rituals will help you improve your performance.

Food

What you eat after a workout can be the most important meal of your day. Keeping it simple by aiming for only two goals:

More: How to Refuel After a Hard Workout

Amino Acids

Exercise depletes critical amino acids such as isoleucine, leucine, valine and glutamine. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein used to build and repair muscles and bones, as well as generate hormones and transmitters. Make sure you consume some protein.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body's source for energy. Carbs convert to glycogen, which your body uses for fuel. Replenishing carbs is important after any workout.

More: Are You Eating Enough Carbs?

Below are three great foods to try.

  • Salmon: for Omega-3s, B vitamins and vitamin A
  • Spinach: high in iron and calcium
  • Sweet potato: for carbohydrates and vitamin C

Stretch

Depending on the intensity of your workout, the amount of muscle strands needed to handle the workload will increase. The more intense your workout, the more muscle strands need to react.

More: Avoid Injury With the Proper Leg Stretches

Intense exercise can entangle these fibers, so as you stretch you are creating tension that can align disorganized tissue. This helps prevent soreness, injury and can increase recovery time.

Sleep

Get to bed. Sleep is important for a number of reasons, but for the athlete, it's vital for muscle recovery. About an hour after the onset of sleep, HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is at its highest.

More: Can Improved Sleep Enhance Your Athletic Performance?

HGH is responsible for many things, but its main role is to aid in the recovery of muscles and stimulate the nervous system. The best athletes know how to work hard, but rest well. Make sure you give your body what it needs to perform for you.

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