5 Healthy Ways To Recover From A Strenuous Workout

It is impossible to rebuild your muscles without tearing them up a little bit. When you work out, you create microscopic tears in your muscles that repair themselves to come back stronger and better than ever. Exercise, when paired with nutritional health, is a guaranteed way to keep your body working in the most healthy manner. But, there are times where you push yourself too hard, whether the reason is you’ve skipped a few workouts, or you’re ready to push your body to its next level of fitness, and those harder workouts can be strenuous on your muscles.

The next day can be a rough patch of waddling, grunts, and groans if you don’t allow yourself a proper recovery. Read on below to get five tips on how to recover from the harder workouts so you can keep going and leave the waddling behind.

Stretching is Important

Forgetting to stretch will give your muscles tension even when your workout is tame, so if your workout is harder than usual, make sure to stretch out your muscles more than you normally would.

If you’re planning a harder-than average workout, you should have the foresight to perform stretching exercises conducive to your workout. Being prepared will help you recover a little better than when you stretch on the fly.

Eat, Drink, and Be Less Sore

Eating tart cherries and items with plenty of protein in them will help your body after your tough workout and help you alleviate some of your post-workout pain. There is a science to the tart cherries discovered in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports; tart cherries are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins that help decrease excess inflammation that may be present after your workout.

Food or drinks with protein in them is a critical part of working out because protein is needed and used to rebuild muscles. Many doctors recommend eating twenty grams of protein after a hard workout to provide your body with what it needs to rebuild your muscles quickly. 

Drinks like water, coffee, and ones with electrolytes will help your body recover as well. Water is an essential nutrient in our body, and when you work out, you can sweat a lot. Making sure that your body has the essentials will help it recover faster.

Coffee (or caffeine) before your workout has been shown to reduce pain and fatigue. The reason is that coffee contains analgesic, which is a pain-killing property that is commonly found in over-the-counter pain relief medication.

Electrolytes are also released with your sweat. Sodium chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are all essential nutrients. When you sweat, similar to water intake, your body releases most of the electrolytes and requires replenishment.

Eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, as well as drinking some sports drinks after your workout, is also beneficial to the recovery period.


If you have the means to get a massage after your workout and you stretch, it has been shown to significantly reduce the pain that comes in with a hard workout. Over time, it appears that getting regular massages will help you fight off the delayed onset muscle soreness entirely. Massaged muscles contain more blood vessels than massaged-free muscles. This information means that the muscles that are massaged show and have less scar tissue than those of the muscles that aren’t.

Rolling Foam

After your workout rolling out your muscles on foam will greatly reduce the risk of muscle soreness. The concept is similar to getting a massage as it will work on myofascial release. This reference is all about releasing the connective tissue in your muscles. Rolling your body out will help avoid the delayed onset of muscle soreness and may also improve your next workout.

If you’d like to try it, spend 10 to 15 minutes a day with a foam roller. This action can be part of your warm-up or cool-down. You can even use it on days that you don’t work out at all. 

Recovery Workouts 

Working out after you work out may sound redundant. However, a recovery workout is about letting yourself off the hook after a hard workout. While you don’t completely jump off the hook, you do tone the next workout down. This kind of action will help you stretch out your muscles (but in a longer, workout-type routine), but still, give you an added boost of strength.

A light workout will give you an increase in blood flow, will nudge the inflammatory process along and will help with other things such as moving immune cells and draining the lymphatic system.


Working out, along with a healthy diet, is a great way to give yourself stamina, reduce stress, and give yourself some much-needed care. There are times when the workout will become a little harder than anticipated or you are ready to kick it up another notch. When this happens, you may be sorer than you are accustomed to.

If you make sure to rest, stretch, eat, and drink well, you may be able to combat most of the harsher soreness. However, this article provided some helpful tips should the strenuous workout take too much out of you.

Foods like tart cherries are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins and help to heal muscles, and nutrients like protein assists in repairing them. Massages have been shown to give your muscles more blood vessels and fewer scar tissues. The same thing goes for foam rolling and light workouts after hard workouts, which will increase your blood flow and help reduce inflammation.

Resources—Cleveland Clinic, NBC News, Telegraph


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