How to Post Workout Recovery | How to Post Race Recovery | How to Recover from sore Muscles | How to for Sore Muscle Recovery | How to Ease Tired Muscles | Muscles and Recovery Tips | Fitness Training Tips

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Post Race and Post Workout Recovery Tips

We all know how painful simple tasks can be the night after a big race or athletic event and the two days after a hard workout. How many of us have tried to avoid the bathroom, or simply dreaded it, just so you didn’t have to bend your leg’s to sit down? Oh come on now, don’t be shy, we’ve all been there. I’ve personally contemplated installing the handicap support bars next to my toilet for this very reason.
If you’re training for a big event or competition it can be excruciating trying to stay on your training schedule when it feels like every muscle including your eyelids are sore! Here are some tried and true all natural recovery tips to help you recover faster without the use of expensive or crazy weird supplements you can’t pronounce.

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First off, use preventative care and maintenance when you train. And remember to consume adequate fuel DURING your race or workout. A good carbohydrate and electrolyte source 15min. before and every 45 minutes during endurance activity (Marathon, Half Marathon, Tri’s…) along with plenty of fluids and pure water. For strength training, consume plenty of pure water and electrolytes, with low amounts of carbohydrate to fuel muscles, taking sips between each set to keep you hydrated.

Now for the RECOVERY fun…

Post race/workout Protein Shake: Repair your muscles! Try to consume a good high quality protein powder blended with some natural carbohydrate/sugars and electrolytes to give the body what it needs to repair. A great mix of Organic Hemp Protein or Vega Performance Protein along with your favorite Organic Frozen fruit, Organic Coconut Water and/or Organic Almond Milk, Trace minerals. Optional: Digestive Enzymes are always helpful since the first “meal”, even if it’s in liquid form, can be the hardest to digest after a long race or intense workout. *Organic Hemp protein or Vega Performance Protein are two great vegan protein powder options.

-Drink water: I know I know, it’s not the diamond in the ruff remedy we all want. BUT it can be if you change your perspective! Water is the key factor to counteracting dehydration, which leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, cramping, irritability, joint pain/stiffness, headache and more. Let’s admit it, we’ve all been there and bless our significant others for putting up with our often nutrient depleted, dehydrated, cranky, sore and overly trained selves as we train for our next big race. Try this and you’ll be amazed: Drink 2 cups of water upon waking up, add lemon to help trigger metabolism early on. And drink 2 cups of water just before bed to encourage lymphatic flow. We lose up to 2 cups while our lymphatic system cleanses our body during sleep. If you typically start your day off with a cup (or pot) of coffee to get you going you’re only increasing dehydration even more. Follow this routine for a prolonged period of time and you’re looking at chronic dehydration that can lead to a wealth of other problems. *Drink at least half your body weight in ounces per day as a minimum, ex: 140 lbs. / 2 = 70 oz. minimum per day. If you’re active and sweat each day, you need more. If you live in Colorado where it’s dry, you need more. If you’re outdoors in the sun daily, you need more. If you drink caffeine throughout the day and alcohol frequently, you need more…catch my drift?

-Magnesium Malate Chelate: Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant that helps ease muscle cramping, spasm and pain and is a key factor in muscle metabolism including a mass of other functions throughout the system. Everyone seems to think Calcium is the most important without realizing that Magnesium is one of the most widespread nutrient deficiencies worldwide. A high quality Magnesium supplement will improve your overall health while acting as a preventative measure and great GO-TO for recovery after strenuous activity. 500-1500mg can make a huge difference. Make sure to split up the dose throughout the day to maximize absorption. *Designs for Health Magnesium Malate Chelate has been one of the best products I have found in over 15 years, you’ll feel the difference!

-Epsom Salts Bath: Another great way to get a dose of Magnesium while you soak away your pains. Soak in nice hot water with 2-3 cups of Epsom Salts for at least 15 min. and get out before the water get’s cold. Soaking as soon as you get home from an endurance race is a great idea to ease muscle cramping, reduce joint pain and edema. The night of a good workout or hard training session is also a great time to soak to help flush muscle, reduce ache, joint pain and edema that can settle into overworked legs. Just before bed is a great time since Magnesium/Epsom salts is great for helping with insomnia and increasing relaxation physically and mentally. Epsom Salts can be an athlete’s best friend AND they’re a cheap date, saving you money while keeping you on your training schedule pain free!

-Bromelain Enzyme: This little gem is something you’ll want to have on hand for your overall health and keep in place of your ibuprophen/NSAID’s. Bromelain is an enzyme found in the core and rind of pineapples. It works as an amazing anti-inflammatory. It also contains chemicals that might interfere with the growth of tumor cells, slows blood clotting. Bromelain extract is a mixture of protein-digesting enzymes—called proteolytic enzymes or proteases, which can aid in the digestion of protein. The combination of Bromelain with Magnesium Malate Chelate can take the place of anti-inflammatory pain OTC drugs without the dangerous side effects. Keep in mind that the more preventative measures you take by giving your body what it needs to repair on it’s own, the less pain and imbalance you will have. Give the body what it needs and it will heal itself meaning you don’t have to rely on medications to block the pain or cover up symptoms. *Country Life makes Bromelain that is allergen free and inexpensive.

-Trace Minerals Drops: These bad boys are a necessary addition to anyone who get’s their sweat on regularly! Trace Minerals and electrolytes are readily lost through our sweat and pores. Adding these liquid drops to your water bottle while you race, train and workout can help replenish them while you lose them instead of fighting to get them back once they are overly depleted. *Trace Minerals Research- ConcenTrace Trace Minerals Drops are inexpensive and long lasting at just a few drops per day. Plus they are a fantastic addition to the water you consume. Our bodies CRAVE nutrients (not a whole bag of potato chips, sorry) after only a few days your body will start to CRAVE the minerals in the water you’re drinking, you’ll enjoy the taste of water and want to drink more, it’s a win win!

-Vitamin E: This golden nugget can help you reduce muscle soreness and reduce it quickly! Try taking some prior to an intense workout or a small amount prior to a race as a preventative AND directly afterwards. Daily supplementation is a great idea if you’re spending long hours training outdoors exposed to the Sun. And it’s a great supplement for longevity. Vit. E helps repair our cells and reduce free radicals that can build up during high intensity or long distance endurance training when our nutrient stores are being taped at higher than normal levels. *SOLGAR natural Vit. E 400IU is a good brand and free of the top food allergies *DEVA and VegLife are good Vegan alternatives.

-Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother: If I had to guess, ACV is what flows from the fountain of youth. Not only is it good for reducing muscle cramping, spasm, pain, and DOMS it is also fabulous for reducing joint pain, joint swelling, joint inflammation as well as being great for all arthritic conditions including RA, OA, Gout, Degenerative Disc Disorder plus hair, complexion, Restless Leg Syndrome, skin disorders, acne, digestion issues…the list goes on and on!  ACV, despite being acidic in nature, is extremely alkalizing internally. The more alkaline the system the less disease, imbalance, inflammation, bacteria, infection etc. there is festering in an Acidic environment. 1 shot of ACV straight up can be wicked but it will help release a severe cramp or muscle spasm from overworked muscles and those caused by Restless Leg Syndrome immediately. Don’t worry; there is a better alternative to ACV shooters every day. You can dilute 2-3 tbs. in pure cold water with a few slices of lemon and 2-3 drops organic Stevia liquid on ice for a refreshing alternative to lemonade. Sip on this throughout the day and/or after your workout/race/training to help flush out muscles, detox the system, reduce joint pain while improving your overall health daily without breaking the bank. Make sure that you get ‘organic raw unfiltered with mother’ for the best results and best tasting without being overly harsh like processed versions. *BRAGG’s Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother is the best tasting and most effective that I have found. And at less than $5 for 32oz. you can’t afford NOT to use it.

-Rehabilitative Treatment and Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapy: Lymphatic Drainage Technique can be the lightest yet most effective technique a trained Massage Therapist can use to help relieve edema, sore and overused muscles. The lymphatic system cleanses our body of excess toxic buildup, which can lead to soreness, cramping, swelling and edema.  These toxins can settle in and cause pain for days after strenuous activity. Schedule an appointment with a Certified, State Board Registered Massage Therapist trained in Sports Massage, Rehabilitative Treatment work and Lymphatic drainage, at least 2 days after your big event or race if you can handle some light flushing touch. While in your training phase, use Massage Therapy as a natural effective preventative to ease pain, break up scar tissue and release holding patterns for overuse injuries that are all too common with intense training schedules. If you’re up for Deep Tissue treatment work, use some of the recovery tips above to help recover from deeper work and flush toxins that are broken up through the massage work. Massage Therapy can help you increase your energy output after chronically tight muscles are released and able to heal. Discuss proper pre/post race treatment options with your MT. Do your research and make sure the Massage Therapist you see knows what they are doing and has the experience. Deep Tissue doesn’t necessarily mean Sports or Medically based Treatment work. Education is important along with credentials and experience. A 1,000 hour education program with major focus in sports, orthopedic and rehabilitation is a good baseline along with National Certification, State Board Registration and a few years under their belt is a good sign you’re getting what you pay for and not risking your health and training in the process.

And last but not least, don’t forget to stretch, get plenty of fresh air, get plenty of sleep, take your multi-vitamin and most of all ENJOY the journey as well as the finish line!

You can find all of these items online for less than you can in any store and less than any dangerous medications. Sites I frequently use and recommend to clients are, and for finding bargain prices on natural health items. Check out my other blog on how to stay healthy, eat organic and live well on a budget.

*Cheers to your health! As I raise my glass of ACV lemonade to each and every one of you.

About me

-Health is Wealth – Integrative Health Specialist, Miranda Reyes, NCMTB, RMT, CMH



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