Sore muscles can be a painful side effect of working out. While they usually go away after a day or two, there are some things you can do to speed up the healing process.
One of the most important things you can do is ensure you're getting enough protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, so it's vital to ensure you get enough of it in your diet.
However, you can maximize your muscle recovery in several ways, like adding supplements and stretching to your daily routine.
The Pre-Workout Stretch
Before any physical activity, it's important to stretch out your muscles. This stretching will help to prevent injuries and also improve your performance.
There are a few stretches you can do before working out. The hamstring stretch is a common stretch that can help:
To do the hamstring stretch, stand with one foot on a sturdy surface and the other leg bent behind you. Reach back, grab your ankle or foot with your hand, and pull gently until you feel a stretch in your hamstring muscle. Hold the tension for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
The quadriceps stretch is another good one to do before working out:
Start with one foot in front of the other, and lunge forward with your back knee until you feel your quadriceps stretch and hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Both stretches are great for preventing injuries and helping you warm up before working out.
Supplements for Muscle Recovery
You can take a few different supplements to help with muscle recovery. However, not all supplements are the same. Furthermore, it can be even harder to find those that are all-natural and plant-based.
Related: I’m stressed.
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A unique vitamin, B12, plays a massive role in the body's red blood cell count. These are essential cells that deliver oxygen to the muscles in our bodies, and B vitamins give us energy to heal, repair, and keep moving. Studies show that B12 helps metabolizes the proteins we require to make new muscle cells while repairing tiny micro-tears that cause pain and soreness.
Vitamin B12 is a super supplement considering all of its possible health benefits. Not only does it aid in cell production, but it can prevent macular degeneration, osteoporosis, depression, and fatigue. It is an essential nutrient that creates our DNA while nourishing our brain and body and assisting with red blood cells that fuel our muscles.
Related: I need energy.
According to the American Physiological Society, ingesting caffeine after a workout can aid muscle recovery if consumed along with carbohydrates. This combination works because it brings glucose from the blood into our muscles to replenish them quicker.
Again, muscles need oxygen, and caffeine improves circulation in the body, which increases overall muscle power. It is essential, however, with all things, to keep a daily limit to avoid any potentially uncomfortable side effects.
Other Ways to Help Your Muscles Recover
Hot and cold compresses are both effective at healing hurt muscles. The hot compress helps to increase blood flow to the area and improve healing, while the cold compress can help to reduce swelling and inflammation.
You can use a hot or cold compress as often as needed to help speed up the healing process. For example, you might use a hot compress after working out to help reduce muscle soreness or a cold compress if you've sustained an injury.
Getting the proper amount of sleep is essential for healing muscles. During sleep, your body automatically repairs the damage done to your muscles during the day. If you don't get enough sleep, this process can slow down and lead to increased muscle soreness.
To make sure you're getting the most out of your sleep, make sure you're keeping a regular sleep schedule and going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This regular sleep schedule will help to regulate your body's natural sleep rhythm.
Related: I can’t sleep.
Furthermore, your sleeping environment needs to be dark and quiet. Avoid watching TV or other devices in bed, as these activities can make it harder to fall asleep.
If you're struggling to get proper sleep, consider using a noise machine or investing in some blackout curtains.
There are ways to take care of your muscles. Stretching before and after working out is helpful in preventing injuries and improving performance. You can do a few different stretches, and you can also take supplements to help speed up recovery.
Limited amounts of B12 and caffeine can also improve your recovery time. Supplements like HUMBLEROOTS’ plant-based energy support gummies are an excellent option for an all-natural supplement.
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