A post-workout can feel like a workout in itself, but there’s no denying how important it is to the overall workout experience. It not only helps us recover from all the hard work we’ve done, it also helps heal, prime, and prepare our bodies for the next one. Not to mention making sure we can experience the full benefits of each workout we do. To help painful muscles — and for your body to get the most out of exercising — it’s vital to complete a few key steps post-workout.
Have a Strong Pre-Workout Routine
I know, I know, this article is about the after-workout. But one of the best ways to ensure your body doesn’t have to go through a lot of strain during a workout can be the key to making the most out of your post-workout.
Many athletes use supplements to bolster their performance during exercise, and this can have some great benefits. The aim of a pre-workout is to provide your muscles with the required energy supplies and support for your future workout. This normally consists of protein and simple carbs that can be easily digested and put to work.
Since energy supplies can decline rapidly during exercise, the aim of these supplements is to increase physical performance, prevent premature fatigue, and reduce protein breakdown. But because many of these supplements are designed to rapidly increase your energy, they can contain some not-so-great ingredients.
Excessive amounts of caffeine and other stimulants — not to mention synthetic ingredients whose effects aren’t fully understood. An interesting alternative could be to try CBD, which offers a pre-workout supplement without these negative effects. CBD may help with aches and pains, and may help prep our bodies for the workout to come. It might also help us relax and alleviate stress so we can fully focus on the exercise at hand.
Cool Down and Stretch
After running or doing weights, you need to cool down and allow your heart rate to gradually slow down. In terms of running, this could mean slowing down to a jog or walk towards the end. For muscle workouts, this might involve doing stretches, as well as ensuring your muscles don’t tighten up — stretching will improve your general flexibility and mobility.
If you have more time, you can also cool down by swimming a few laps of the pool, or by engaging in some yoga poses. Whatever you choose, spending 10-15 minutes to close out your workout will allow you to get back to normal without getting stiff.
Applying CBD topicals such as lotions or balms to areas that feel stiff and sore after your workout may help the affected area. CBD does not enter the bloodstream if applied to the skin, but this does not mean that it works any less. Because our endocannabinoid system (ECS) has receptors all over our bodies, topical CBD products will interact with these receptors on our skin.
Have a Post-Workout Protein Shake
Immediately after a workout, your muscles are dying for quick-acting protein to replace the muscle protein breakdown that is occurring. By consuming a fast-acting whey protein shake, your body quickly absorbs nutrients and instigates the protein synthesis that helps your muscles grow.
You can easily add a few drops of CBD oil to a protein shake, which may support faster recovery and less aches!
Drink Water and Eat Carbs
Sweating from exercise can rapidly dehydrate your body, so one of the most important things you can do is to drink water to rehydrate. Water is vital to your body’s recovery, so always have a ready supply available.
It helps normalise your electrolyte balance and prevents fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea and general discomfort. It also helps you absorb important nutrients from food, while preventing muscle proteins from breaking down.
What food is good for muscle recovery? Well, during workouts, your body’s main source of fuel is glycogen. This is stored in the muscles and comes from the carbohydrates that you eat. So consuming carbs keeps your body fuelled up for the rest of the day — ensuring that you feel recovered when the next workout session comes around.
There are several ways in which CBD products can be incorporated into a post-workout drink or meal.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
One of the most important elements of post-workout care is getting a good night’s sleep. When you’re asleep, your body does a lot of behind the scenes repair to our muscles. If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, CBD oil may be able to help. Whether you are working out late at night, or you experience stress and anxiety from everyday life, it is likely that cortisol is keeping you awake.
It’s crucial to let our bodies rest and recuperate so that they can rise, better than ever. We want to help you make the most out of your fitness, and showing you how to take care of yourself during all aspects of activity is definitely a good start. The world of fitness is ever-changing and evolving, and CBD may just have a spot in this dynamic landscape.