Why am I not recovering from workouts?
The ability to successfully recover from exercise is essential for elite athletes. Increasing your muscle mass or improving your physical performance require an alternation between high-stress periods of workout with appropriate and sufficient recovery. If you’re not recovering appropriately after a workout, you’re probably not having enough rest, and something you can do is improving the quality and speed up the process through a series of biohacks and tips (read the full biohacking article here and get a FREE E-Book!)
Nutritional tips for a faster recovery
Nutrition is paramount for achieving your fitness and athletic goals. According to a systematic review published by the journal Sports Medicine, consuming protein after a workout is an essential step to recover faster. It reduces muscle soreness and blood markers of muscle damage after exercise (1), and it is known to stimulate the synthesis of protein, promote muscle growth, and improve body composition when consumed during the early post-exercise recovery period, which lasts around 5 hours (2).
However, if you want to consume protein to recover from workouts, be careful with mass gainers and look for lean sources of protein. This type of protein does not promote an increase in fat mass and provides more nutritional value with lower calorie intake. One suitable example of lean protein is Nuzest Protein, a premium vegan protein that is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and GMO-free.
Do you need specialized recovery therapies?
In some cases, the high-intensity nature of exercise or insufficient physical condition may lead to a stagnant recovery phase that prolongs for longer than expected. In these cases, specialized recovery therapies might be required, as in intermittent pneumatic compression and the application of low-level light therapy through a NovoTHOR machine.
Intermittent pneumatic compression is a popular therapy to improve varicose veins because it promotes mechanical compression that increases the blood flow in the lower limbs. Its application as a recovery therapy is known to speed up the clearance of blood lactate, a chemical component of muscle fatigue and reduced muscle performance (3). It is also known to improve the contractile capacity of the muscles when intermittent sequential pneumatic compression is applied shortly after exercise (4). We also featured Recovery Systems Sport as part of the biohacking article and have a great offer for you to try this technology out!
On the other hand, NovoTHOR is a photobiomodulation machine that uses light therapy to improve blood circulation, muscle performance, and pain symptoms. Studies on the low-level light technology show that it is effective in reducing pain symptoms and provides rapid and transient analgesia or a longer-lasting effect depending on the pulse repetition rate, and 7 of 9 studies show an effective role in alleviating pain, including muscle soreness and stiffness after intense sporting activities (5). Similarly, photobiomodulation is known to improve inflammation and swelling, and it has been proposed as a therapy for different types of injuries and diseases (6).
What you can do on your own
Even if you can’t afford any high-tech methods to speed up your recovery, there is much you can do by making sure you’re resting and sleeping appropriately, stretching, and borrowing a pair of hands for a relaxing massage.
Sleeping appropriately is necessary to achieve protein synthesis and recovering muscle tissue after exercise. Lack of sleep is known to reduce your levels of testosterone and promote the harmful effects of cortisol, which is why it’s considered a fundamental key to recover appropriately (7). Similarly, the classic approach of stretching exercises and massage therapy should always be included in recovery of high-intensity sports as it is known to reduce the perception of pain, promote blood circulation, and increase the range of motion, which is why they are widely used by medical professionals and sports coaches (8, 9, 10).