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Workout Recovery Tips from a Naturopath

fitness Jan 14, 2022

We all love a good sweat - and it’s super important for our body, mind, and soul - but if you’re finding you experience those day two (or three) aches, here are some tips to help you optimize your post-workout recovery!

1. Get those amino acids in! Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and help to support faster performance recovery and prevent muscle loss. L-glutamine, branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s), carnitine, and creatine, are just some of the key players here. Aim to include good quality lean protein in your meal post-workout, such as eggs, turkey, fish, or legumes.

2. Grab that foam roller. When we workout, lactic acid tends to build up in our muscles, increasing tension. By actively foam rolling and stretching the muscle groups targeted in your workout that day, you’re helping to break up that lactic acid and relieve soreness. It also helps to deliver oxygenated blood to your muscles, and improves range of motion!

3. Hydrate and replace electrolytes. When we sweat, we lose minerals such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. So, it’s important to replace these post-workout! Try skipping the Gatorade, and instead opt for a more natural source of electrolytes like coconut water. Himalayan salt is also full of different minerals, so you can make your own electrolyte drink at home using 1/4 teaspoon, lemon, and 1 tbsp of honey, or add it to your meals.

4. Magnesium to the rescue! This superhero mineral helps to relax muscles (as well as your nervous system!), and ease any post-workout muscle tension. Foods high in magnesium include dark chocolate, dark leafy greens, beans, seeds (especially sunflower and sesame) and cashews. Epsom salts are also full of magnesium - try adding some to your bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil to soothe those hard-working muscles! If you’re considering supplementing with magnesium, be sure to consult with a naturopathic doctor about the right form and dosage for you.

6. Make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep! Sleep is when our bodies have a chance to regenerate cells, repair tissues and make hormones (such as growth hormone) and other important molecules. Getting enough good quality ZZZ’s can make a huge difference in how fast your body can recover after a tough workout, but also how well your body is able to build muscle.

7. Allow your body to rest - don’t overdo it! Without adequate downtime for the body to repair itself properly between workouts, pushing it into overdrive can create more inflammation - which can lead to swollen, stiff joints and prolonged muscle soreness. Make sure to tune into what you feel your body needs, and make time for more restorative exercises in your workout routine (like yoga, pilates, and walking).

If you’re looking for a customized health plan to optimize your workouts and recovery, consult with a Naturopathic Doctor to see what’s best for your body! 

For more wellness tips, follow @healthwithcare on Instagram or book a Naturopathic consult with Dr. Caroline Lewis, ND at https://www.healthywithcare.com/contact.

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