Are you feeling extremely sore, tired, fatigued after your workouts? Are you having a hard time recovering in order to exercise in the day or two after a workout? These simple guidelines will help direct you toward reducing excess recovery time and fatigue.
When I first started exercising and weight lifting to reach specific health goals I didn’t know anything about supplements for recovery. At that time, I took a multi-vitamin, a probiotic and vitamin C for general health. Now, five years later, I have experimented with a lot of different supplements, protein powders and diet changes in order to find what works best for my body and to help me reach my health goals. While supplements should not take the place of food, they do play a beneficial role in our nutritional playbook.
Unfortunately, our food sources and processing make it difficult to get enough nutrients from our diet, even when eating healthy and organic foods. This is due to the nutrient depleted soil, GMO foods, transportation of food, etc. For this reason, supplementation has increasingly sound evidence in contributing to healthy individuals. I still encourage eating whole, organic foods, but I also encourage supplementation as needed. Here I will share with you my Ultimate Eight supplements/lifestyle changes to help increase recovery and sports performance.
First, what does recovery mean? Recovery is repairing muscle and tissue, removing waste products, reducing inflammation, replenishing nutrients and energy stores necessary for cellular activity and restoring central nervous system, which means repairing the communication between the brain and the body. As you can see, the recovery process after working out is very important to stay healthy and active.
In addition to the supplements listed below, here are a few other good habits to include post workout. It is important to eat a good meal including protein and carbohydrates post workout in order to give nutrients to your muscles and to avoid excess soreness. Another important aspect of training is sleep. It is important to sleep 7-9 hours per night in order to allow for the central nervous system to repair and recover. Sleep is also important for fat loss and muscle building because growth hormone is released during sleep. And lastly, don’t forget water! I recommend drinking at least ½ your body weight in ounces of water everyday! (More if you sweat!)
Supplements for Exercise and Training Recovery
Probiotics supply your gut with healthy flora necessary for digestion, absorption, elimination and proper immune function. If your gut or digestion isn’t operating properly, you wont recovery properly either, thus slowing the repair of muscle and tissue and leading to more inflammation. A healthy goal daily dose for health maintenance is between 30 and 50 billion CFUs.
- Omega 3 Fish Oil
Most known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, it is also essential for hormone synthesis and improves bone repair while reducing muscle soreness. Aim for 3-5g daily to maximize the benefits.
- BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
Very well known in the exercise world for enhancing muscle protein synthesis and preventing muscle soreness. Studies have also shown that BCAA’s are energizing and aid in weight loss. I love using Designs for Health BCAA powder with glutamine!
Protein gives your muscles the necessary building blocks to build muscle and strength/prevent muscle wasting, especially when taken after a workout. It also provides satiation and increases metabolism post workout by restoring glycogen and reducing cortisol, which naturally rises during a workout. I recommend to eat/drink 20g protein after working out. Too much more than 15-20g will not be more advantageous and the body will excrete what cannot be absorbed. If you can tolerate whey protein, it is a great source for muscle synthesis and it is highly absorbable. If whey protein does not work in your body, such as mine, I use a vegan protein with a rice base or I LOVE PurePaleo protein by Designs for Health. It is a dairy free protein with beef collagen, which is great for hair, skin and nails. It is very high in protein and is a great recovery drink. I do recommend however, if your body doesn’t tolerate whey, be sure to take BCAA’s and your protein immediately post workout.
An antioxidant that is used throughout the body is specifically useful to avoid muscle fatigue in both strength and endurance athletes. It regulates inflammatory pathways in the body that naturally increase during and after exercise. This can be taken at any time throughout the day, not needed right after exercise.
Glutamine is an amino acid that speeds up recovery by allowing the muscles to intake carbohydrate more readily post workout. It also increases growth hormone, thus allowing the body to create new muscle mass. Plus, it’s great for gut healing! I prefer powdered glutamine taken immediately after your workout and you can even get a combined product with your BCAA’s (see above).
Curcumin is the potent anti-inflammatory component found in turmeric. It reduces pain and swelling when used either topically over sore muscles or taken orally. When choosing curcumin supplements, source and quality is important, so be aware of inexpensive or generic brand products.
MOST important of all of these is sleep! It is so important to maintain 8-10 hours of sleep every night because sleep is when we heal, recover and replenish. Also during sleep we release growth hormone, which aids in muscle growth, increased strength and recovery. So without enough sleep, we can have low energy (poor workouts), low or dysregulated hormones (poor workouts), dyregulated appetite (weight gain) and low muscle growth.
Adding these supplements and lifestyle changes to your daily routine and post workout meal will help the body to recover quicker after exercise and allow you to be more prepared to get back into the gym for your next workout session. Additionally, they will help to avoid overtraining, a very common occurrence with athletes and gym-goers today.
If this information is resonating with you and would like more complete guidance on how to implement these changes into your daily routine with doctors that provide you with a targeted plan, designed JUST FOR YOU, then be sure to take your NO RISK NEXT STEP for YOUR FREE Discovery Call with Dr. ACE or Dr. Alioto TODAY by calling the office 805-620-7122 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Rachel Alioto, NMD –
Regenerate Health Medical Center