They say sore muscles are a sign that you’re doing it right at the gym. But let’s be honest, no one likes waking up to intensely sore muscles. Wondering if you can speed up muscle recovery, and what helps muscles recover faster?
While most muscle soreness resolves on its own after a few days, you probably won’t want to wait it out. Not only can it be uncomfortable, you likely want to get back to exercising. Let’s look at what causes soreness and how to speed up muscle recovery.
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Ever wondered how muscles grow? First, they tear, and then they build back stronger. Well, it’s a bit more scientific than that, but every time you exert your muscles, you’re creating tiny microscopic tears in the tissue. These tears are normal and actually help the rebuilding process.
As muscle fibers are torn from exercise, tissue begins to tear slightly. Then satellite cells, which sit outside of muscle fibers, step in to repair the damage. Muscle satellite cells will replicate, grow, and fuse with muscle fibers farming new protein strands. The result? Increased muscle mass and strength, plus a decrease in muscle soreness.
At a microscopic level, muscle tears are fine. But overtraining can lead to greater soreness or even injury. There’s nothing wrong with testing your limits, but you must know when to stop.
It’s somewhat true that the harder you train the muscle, the greater the soreness and the longer it’ll take to recover. The only parts missing from that formula are diet and sleep.
Sore muscle recovery duration isn’t an exact science. But for relatively light workouts, you should expect about a day of recovery. More strenuous workouts can take two or three days.
Your body can’t build muscle without protein from food, and it can’t rebuild if you’re not asleep. However hard you train, you need to recover just as hard. Otherwise, you risk injury and putting yourself behind.
Your path to recovery starts before you lift a single weight. Warming up is a great way to prepare your muscles for more strenuous activity and can help prevent injury. Start your fitness routine with a brisk walk, jog, or a few minutes of stretching. Warming up also gets the blood flowing early, meaning nutrients will reach your damaged muscle fibers faster.
Recovering muscles need protein to grow back larger and stronger. Your body doesn’t store protein, so you’ll need to keep it supplied daily to get the most out of each exercise session. It can be as easy as starting the day with a high-protein breakfast or drinking a protein shake after your workout.
There is a common myth that you must get protein immediately following your workout or else you risk losing out on potential gains. The truth is, there is no set time frame. To get the recovery process started, it is a good idea to eat a high-protein meal, shake, or supplement shortly after exercise.
To grow and heal, your body needs rest. A full night’s sleep can help your muscles recover even faster and give you more energy to tackle the day. But it’s not always easy getting a full night’s rest, especially if you live a busy life or have kids. If that’s your situation, try including a daytime nap if possible.
Without enough water, muscles won’t repair themselves. Dehydration can happen quickly and lead to muscle cramping and poor performance, especially in hot weather. No matter where or how you exercise, always carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout your workout.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound you lose while exercising. A couple of glasses of water can help your workout run smoothly and aid in the recovery process.
For all recovery nutrients you need that aren't in your diet, there are supplements. Your body can absorb protein through food—but it’s not always possible to squeeze in extra protein in your meals. Work in a protein supplement to ensure you're getting the right amount each day. There are even some protein supplements that’ll help you lose weight while retaining lean muscle mass.
Another key part of speeding up recovery is reducing inflammation that’s caused by muscle damage. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can help reduce inflammation and delayed muscle soreness after exercising. You can find supplements with turmeric in your local supplement store or online.
You can’t completely avoid muscle soreness, but you can control it. One easy way that’s helped guys recover faster is taking supplements that work with their body's natural processes.
Mdrive was designed to support your body with clinically tested ingredients that can help you repair sore muscles and feel more energized. For protein, we recommend Mdrive Start or Mdrive Lean. To help with inflammation and joint health, try Mdrive Joint. Learn more about our products and find out which Mdrive you are today.
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