As opposed to pre-workout, when you ensure your body is fueled, hydrated, and warmed up to prevent injuries, post-workout is defined as the routine or set of activities one completes after a workout to achieve optimal results and aid the body in beginning recovery.
What You Should Know About Women’s Post-Workout
The post-workout routine is often either over or underemphasized, causing women to be confused or stressed. That’s why we feel it’s essential that women understand the 3 most important elements of a post-workout routine:
1. Rehydrating - Drinking water and BCAAs
2. Refueling - Eating a meal that will help assist in optimizing the effects of your workout
3. Muscle Recovery - the actions that we take to help our muscles begin to recover
By following these guidelines, you can feel confident you’re getting maximum results from your workouts while providing your body the support it needs for optimal performance and injury prevention.
Rehydrating Your Body Post-Workout
We previously shared how dehydration affects mood, energy, and performance. But did you know that a recent study found that almost 80 percent of American workers don’t drink enough water daily to meet their health needs? Or that thirst does not prevent you from becoming dehydrated because the thirst sensation doesn’t kick in until after you’re already dehydrated? So drinking plenty of water and BCAAs is essential to an effective post-workout routine.
You may wonder when to drink post-workout, and we’re so glad you asked. The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 8 ounces of water and other fluids within 30 minutes after a workout. To make your liquid even more effective, add a scoop of BCAAs to help reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and help your body begin recovery.
Refueling Your Body Post-Workout
Why A Post-Workout Meal Is Important
What you eat after your workout matters a lot, but the window in which it’s eaten is flexible. While previous guidance was to consume a post-workout meal within 30 minutes of exercise, that’s not as significant as previously thought. What DOES matter is what’s in the meal.
If you’re thinking, “Oh no. I don’t have time for another meal!” We have good news. The most crucial element of a post-workout meal is protein!
How Much Post-Workout Protein Do I Need?
Women should aim for at least 20 grams of protein in their first meal after a workout.
Consuming protein helps increase protein synthesis, which helps our muscle fibers recover and grow after a workout. We recommend a Mom Fuel shake as a quick and easy way to refuel after your workout. Just mix with water or dairy-free unsweetened milk, and you’re good to go!
Most experts recommend drinking protein shakes within 30 minutes of a workout. While this is ideal, it might not be realistic for a busy mom. SO just ingest that protein as soon as possible.
Need recipes for fantastic smoothies that combine protein and light carbohydrates to assist with recovery? Find our recipes HERE.
What Post-Workout Supplement Should I Take?
Aside from Mom Fuel, we love to refuel with Momsanity BCAAs. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) also help our muscles to recover - by promoting protein synthesis - and also help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness that may cause discomfort in the days following an intense workout.
Why Is Post-Workout Recovery Important?
If you’re participating in an effective fitness program, you’re pushing yourself beyond your current fitness level to develop a strong, toned, healthy body. But in that process, you’re also creating tiny tears in your muscles, a necessary part of developing bigger, stronger muscles. So your muscles need time to heal.
But post-workout recovery doesn’t mean you have to be totally still. In fact, light physical activity that gets your heart pumping above the resting rate - like walking or swimming - removes waste products from broken-down soft tissues and delivers essential nutrients to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
And stretching and massage increase range of motion and flexibility, reduce stiffness, and help prevent injuries.
Why After Workout Muscle Pain?
Intense exercise causes DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) as our muscle fibers begin to heal. Especially after lifting weights, our muscles must recover from the tiny tears that result from weight training. As part of the recovery process, extra blood is delivered to the areas needing healing, which results in temporary inflammation that causes soreness and stiffness.
Remember that effective workouts do NOT have to make you extra sore. Focus on the Bs and Hs instead.
How To Stretch Post-Workout
Cooling down before stretching is best, so your body continues to burn calories. This prevents overstretching and injury.
Our favorite cool-down is an easy walk maintaining a comfortable pace for 5 to 20 minutes, followed by 5 to 10 minutes of gentle stretching of the areas worked during exercise. Consider dynamic stretches (rather than static stretches) that help the body keep moving.