How you recover from your workout is just as important as how you perform the exercises. Caring for your body post-workout in the right way will make all the difference in how fast you get the results you want. Just make sure to avoid these five common post-workout pitfalls that can put the breaks on your progress.
Post-Workout Mistake No. 1: Overeating during recovery.
After training, you've burned off the fat, carbohydrates and protein you consumed before your sessions began, which means you're probably pretty hungry. Proper nutrition is needed after a workout to help the muscles heal and strengthen, but you have to keep portions in check and avoid loading up on simple carbohydrates and bad fats that will keep those cuts from showing.
Post-Workout Mistake No. 2: Not stretching.
Lifting and cardio can create microscopic tears in the muscle tissue. To help your muscles recover and be less sore tomorrow, you need to stretch them out after training. If not, you could set yourself up for greater discomfort the next day or a more serious injury -- both of which mean you're out of the gym and out of the game.
Post-Workout Mistake No. 3: Lack of amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which the muscles desperately need to grow and develop properly. So take this as another reason to skip the junk food after your workout. Having a protein shake or taking a branched chain amino acid supplement (BCAA) post-workout will help you get all the essential and non-essential amino acids the body needs.
Post-Workout Mistake No. 4: Dehydration.
Just like you need food after a workout, you must must must drink water to replenish lost moisture from sweating. The body also loses electrolytes like potassium after training, which help maintain hydration throughout the body. Good old water will work just fine, but consider adding an electrolyte booster or drinking some coconut water.
Post-Workout Mistake No. 5: Skipping rest days.
Knowing when your body needs a break is also key to getting the body and strength you want. You should have one or two rest days a week to allow the muscles to recover. Skipping them can lead to overtraining symptoms like muscles weakness and extreme fatigue. Just eat sensibly and do some light stretching on these days and you'll remain on track.
Make sure to avoid these mistakes and you'll reach your goals faster. Stay well!