Wanna know how to recover muscles faster?
Working out, especially lifting heavy weights, can put a strain on our muscles.
When you are thinking about building muscle, it is AFTER your workout that you get the biggest gains, namely bigger and stronger muscles.
Why is this so?
Well, after putting your muscles through stress in a rigorous workout, they sustain damage and stress. They then need repair after your training and while you sleep.
While you are resting, your body uses the amino acids and calories in the food you had eaten to repair your damaged muscles and grow bigger and stronger ones to meet your physical fitness demands.
Now, if you’re not giving your body enough time to recover after your workouts, don’t expect to gain muscle and strength as fast as you want.
I’m pretty sure that you’ve been using muscle soreness as a gauge to determine if your body is still able to work out or not.
Here’s the thing.
Muscle soreness is not a very effective gauge for post-workout recovery. While you may not feel sore, it doesn’t mean that you’re ready for another round of weights. On the other hand, while you may feel sore, it doesn’t mean that you can no longer continue to train.
Please remember that heavy weightlifting doesn’t only involve your muscles. It also imposes a tremendous impact on your glycogen stores, joints, and neuro-endocrine system.
Because of this, you should expect systemic inflammation and fatigue to develop over a period of time.
Thankfully, if you want to know how to recover muscles faster, there are five simple steps for boosting muscle recovery and reduce the bad effects that a rigorous workout may impose on your body.
Let us take a look at these steps one by one…
1) How to recover muscles faster? Eat enough calories
The one mistake that many newbie bodybuilders make is to cut down on their calories. This measure is best done WHEN YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT. Cutting calories, though, is a big NO NO if you want to build muscle.
If you don’t eat enough calories you are cutting off your body’s vital energy supply for it to function well, especially during workouts.
Research has shown that if your body is in a state of calorie deficit, you hinder your body’s ability to grow and repair muscles. So, if you are dieting while working out, you may lose fat, but expect very little or no muscle gain at all.
If your goal is muscle gain, you need to maximize muscle recovery by ensuring that your body is not in a calorie deficit.
Do this by eating more calories than what you burn per day (a condition known as “calorie surplus”). This ensures that your body has all the calories it needs not only during your vigorous training.
It will also have extra energy for the repair and new muscle growth during the recovery period.
2) Eat enough protein
Protein is THE KEY macronutrient for muscle recovery. When your body breaks down meat and other protein-rich foods, you end up with amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle.
Heavyweight lifting and other resistance training impose a lot of damage to your muscles. If you are eating enough protein, the amino acids will then be used to repair and grow new muscles. These bigger and better muscles will be able to take any stresses that you will impose upon them in later workouts.
Research showed that people who lift weights on a regular basis have to eat twice as much protein compared to sedentary people in order to meet the demands of the body.
The question is: How much protein should you eat to achieve muscle strength and gain?
Ideally, you should eat between 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. The lower end of this range is best for those who want to maintain their current physique, while still having enough calories for working out (calorie surplus). In contrast, the higher end of this range is best for individuals on a calorie deficit.
3) Eat enough carbohydrates
You’ve heard this advice many times – you should stick with zero or low carbs when trying to gain muscle. Let me tell you this though. If you’ve taken heed of this advice and are now on a low-carb diet, you are NOT doing your muscles any good.
During the conversion of carbs in the body, one of the substances that it is converted into is GLYCOGEN. Glycogen is stored in the muscles and liver. It is the main fuel source for grueling activities, like weightlifting and high-intensity interval training.
Try lowering your carb intake and you will see a drastic drop in the amount of glycogen stored in your muscles. Without glycogen, not only does your body have the fuel for post-workout muscle repair and growth, research has revealed that the genetic signaling for this repair process is severely impaired.
Simply put, being on a low-carb diet makes your body unable to function efficiently during post-workout recovery.
Here’s another thing. While you may be exercising daily, low carb intake raises your cortisol levels while lowering testosterone levels. This has a bad effect on post-workout recovery.
Numerous studies have already demonstrated that athletes on low-carb diets show slower post-workout recovery and very little gains in muscle and strength compared to those athletes who eat more carbs.
Another bad effect of a low-carb diet is that it reduces muscle endurance and strength, thus making it more difficult to achieve progress muscle overload when you train in the gym, so that you are unable to stimulate muscle growth to its maximum limits.
The ideal consumption of carbs for boosting muscle recovery is at 0.8 to 2.5 grams per pound of body weight. Same as protein, the lower end of this range is for those who want to lose or maintain their body weight, while the higher end of this range is for those who aim for major gains in muscle.
4) Get 8 hours of sleep every night
You need to get enough sleep every night because it is while you are sleeping that your body undertakes recuperation and rebuilding of your muscles and other body parts. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it not only inhibits muscle growth, it may lead to muscle loss as well because your body tarts utilizing your muscles’ glycogen stores as energy for the vital repairs. These side effects become very obvious if you are also on a calorie deficit.
You don’t need research to tell you that sleep deprivation can affect your workout performance. A good two days of insomnia will ruin your performance in the gym. Numerous studies have shown that you can expect the best performance if any athlete gets performance.
If you want to ensure the best workout performance, you must get a minimum of seven hours of sleep. Ideally, it should be between eight and nine hours of sleep every night.
You can get better sleep at night through the following measures…
Maintaining healthy body composition
Having a relaxing pre-sleep routine
Avoid big meals before going to bed.
Do not drink caffeine and alcohol, or smoke, before going to bed.
Turn off all television, computer screens and artificial lights one hour before bedtime.
Make sure your bedroom is the perfect environment for sleep by keeping it dark, cool, and quiet.
5) Consider taking the right supplements for muscles
In truth, supplements are not really that important in muscle recovery. In fact, you don’t need to take these powders and pills, since any deficit in calories, proteins, and carbs, and getting enough sleep can be readily addressed by the food you eat.
If you are taking supplements, you might want to consider adding these to aid in faster and better muscle recovery.
Creatine = a natural supplement that works by increasing muscle growth and strength while reducing soreness and damage to muscles.
Carnitine = a substance consisting of the amino acids lysine and methionine, it is important in cellular energy production. Supplements with L-carnitine L-tartrate specifically are very effective in the reduction of post-workout muscle damage and soreness and makes muscle recovery faster.
Protein Powder = this is an easy way by which you can meet your daily protein requirements for workouts. Research has shown the effectiveness of whey protein powder as a post-workout meal. Make sure that you drink a protein shake made from whey protein powder after your workout.
Fish Oil = Two essential fatty acids in fish oil – namely EPA and DHA – help to reduce the inflammation that develops from exercise and other intense activities while exerting positive influences on the various muscle growth processes of the body.
If you’ve wanted to know how to recover muscles faster, these are the five simple tips you need. Just follow these tips and you will find yourself with that magnificent physique you’ve been working and training hard for in no time.