Post Workout Recovery Tips for CrossFit or HIIT
What you do in post workout recovery mode after a tough workout like Crossfit and HIIT can have a big impact on everything from physical adaptations to exercise and overall muscle soreness. Applying the following workout recovery tips can make a positive impact on your health and fitness.
- Stay Hydrated
What's the best post workout recovery drink Crossfit athletes should try? Believe it or not, it might just be water. Your body needs lots of fluid after a tough workout so that you can flush out any metabolic waste. Although all types of fluids including protein shakes or chocolate milk can help, often plain water is the best way to stay hydrated pre and post workout.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Muscle recovery time is different for every athlete, but you might notice that some of the top athletes in the world make time for extra sleep after a challenging workout. Post workout recovery for most of us can't include a daytime nap, but we can still prioritize rest at night. A great place to start is with sleep hygiene, which can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleep hygiene tips include:
- Go to sleep at the same time every night
- Get your bedroom to a cool and comfortable temperature
- Avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before bed
- Reduce caffeine consumption, especially in the afternoons and evenings
- Maximize Nutrition
If you're trying to figure out how to heal sore muscles faster, look in your fridge. What you eat can have a huge impact on your overall muscle recovery. Often, athletes look for the ultimate Crossfit post workout recovery drink but fail to factor in what they eat for dinner each night. While a balanced diet is key, athletes should prioritize protein. Some tasty options to enjoy after a workout include:
- Protein shakes
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Hard boiled eggs
- Canned tuna or salmon
- Quinoa salad
- Stretch it Out
For decades, athletes were told to stretch before and after their workouts. Today, most athletic experts minimize pre-workout stretching in favor of dynamic movements, but post-workout stretching can be incredibly helpful. Some of the best muscle recovery tips involve practicing a short session of yoga or making a foam roller your friend the evening after a tough day at the gym.
- Skip Happy Hour
After working out in the gym, it is normal to want to reward yourself with a cold beer or a glass of wine. While moderate alcohol consumption won't necessarily impact your recovery, those looking for Crossfit recovery tools might want to step away from the bar. Instead of grabbing an alcohol beverage, try one of the following at your next gathering:
- Soda water with lime
- Diet cola with ice and lemon
- Green tea
- Non-alcoholic beer or wine
- Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation can often be what causes the muscle soreness we experience a day or two after a challenging workout. Reducing inflammation is a great goal, but it is easier said than done. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can reduce inflammation in the body. While you don't need to adopt them all, adding a few into your routine can go a long way in decreasing soreness and speeding up muscle recovery after a workout.
- Try supplements like turmeric
- Avoid sugars and unnecessary processed foods
- Eat foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon
- Try anti-inflammatory foods like ginger or pineapple
- Try an Ice Bath
The very best Crossfit recovery workout might not take place in the gym: It might happen in the bath! Ice baths are used widely by those who want to reduce inflammation and speed up muscle recovery. The idea is that blood rushes to the core to keep your primary organs safe in cold water, but then rushes to the extremities once temperature adjusts back to normal. If you can stand a cold bath for 15-20 minutes, this is an affordable and effective tool in the recovery arsenal.
- Restore Vitamin and Minerals in the Body
During a tough workout, your body can lose critical vitamins and minerals through sweat with your metabolism in overdrive. Some of these can be replaced by a healthy diet, but others need to be supplemented to allow your body to recover optimally. Start recovery before the workout even starts with the help of an energy caffeine gum or mints from Neuro that also contain the B-vitamins that you might otherwise lose during the workout.
- Create a Recovery-Minded Workout Schedule
One of the most valuable Crossfit recovery tips is this: Not every day should be a Crossfit day! An active recovery workout, or even a rest day, can be a chance for your body to loosen up, increase circulation, but still work toward recovery. Some active recovery workout ideas for you could be:
- An easy swimming session
- 25 minutes on an elliptical machine
- Walking outside
- A short jog
- A fun beginner's aerobics or dance class
- Foam rolling and stretching
To really make the most of your workouts, you need to allow your body to recover. These tips and tricks can help you to speed up muscle recovery after tough workouts. Whether your goals are strength, muscle gain, or weight loss, recovery can aid in the process and improve your overall health and fitness.