Tackling a new training program can be daunting for both newbies and seasoned fitness freaks. Change is a challenge! No matter your fitness level, we all have that one thing in common: DOMs (Delayed Onset Muscle Fatigue)! Inevitable muscle soreness can be your best friend reminding you of the hard work you put in, and your worst enemy where stairs and toilets are a worst nightmare. Here’s what you do before and after your workout to prepare your body for a new workout regimen; help it recover faster with less pain while still enjoying the benefits of your hard work.
Stretch, Hydrate and Utilize Active Recovery
Too much of a good thing is still too much. If you’re always working out full speed, chances are your body isn’t recovering and will begin to break down. Plan active recovery in any training program by scheduling a restorative workout. A restorative workout looks something like you would imagine yoga feeling. Light movement in all muscle groups that allows for stagnant fluid to move, a small climb in heart rate and some dynamic stretching. Plan a light hike and stretch or try adding a Pilates or yoga class once a week. Stretching and light movement increases blood flow to sore muscles that might be flooded with lactic acid. Your body will respond faster to the hard work with a little love in between heavy workout days. An entire rest day is also very important to your overall results. In addition to light, restorative movement, staying hydrated will help flush lactic acid out of sore muscles. Drink one half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day to keep flushing out fat, toxins and soreness.
Plan Proper Nutrition & Supplementation
When you workout, you’re essentially tearing muscle fibers and wearing your body down. Proper nutrition timed for your workouts is very important to allow the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Protein and specific amino acids will help revitalize and refuel your body considering your pre and post workout nutrition.
There are 20 amino acids either created naturally or consumed in our daily food intake. These amino acids combine to create complete protein to sustain the body and aid in the growth of lean muscle mass. They are also responsible for aiding in a quicker recovery by repairing tissue, burning fat and building a strong whole-body capable of intense athletic performance. If your fitness goals include any of those qualities, then protein is a must! On average, we require 40-60 grams of complete protein daily. Those looking to build lean muscle could consume close to their body weight in grams.
Adding 1-2 servings of supplemental protein to your diet daily is a fast, easy, and delicious way to add functional calories to your diet without blowing your total daily intake. In addition, adding additional aminos like L-glutamine (the most abundant amino acid found in your body and is known for its ability to aid in tissue health and repair) gets you one step closer to the next workout. Many athletes supplement with glutamine, either in capsule or powder, as most of the naturally produced levels are depleted during exercise. Having high enough levels of glutamine will help delay onset muscle fatigue and aid in a fast recovery.
While the only true way of overcoming muscle soreness is rest, adding in natural supplementation of protein and amino acids can speed recovery and get you back into your training regimen. So what are you waiting for? If you want to burn fat, build lean muscle mass and reach your health and fitness goals, rest up and consider supplementing your diet with amino acids and protein to aid you in your fitness journey and help you reach your goals faster.
Dallas Fitness and Nutrition Coach