Still feeling sore days after your workout? Some soreness is expected after a tough training session, but you may need to do more than just relax on the couch if you want to feel fully refreshed. Follow these five important tips to properly recover from your workouts and hit the gym at peak performance every time.

1. Get Proper Sleep

Taking the time to get enough sleep at night is arguably the most important component for muscle recovery. It’s important to be as consistent with your sleeping habits as you are with your workouts. You can’t simply “catch up” on sleep so aim to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, even if you haven’t had a workout session that day. Getting enough sleep will allow your body to produce growth hormone that is essential to muscle growth and recovery. It may sound strange, but it is often helpful to schedule sleep just as you would schedule your workout session. This way, you can prioritize sleep as part of your overall training, giving your muscles sufficient time to rest.

2. Eat Right

Most people don’t know that what you do outside of the gym has just as much of an effect on your overall results as lifting heavy. Make sure you’re getting enough protein before and after your workout. Each day you should aim to eat at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you’re looking to build muscle, you’ll need to eat a little more. Lean meats, fish, milk and eggs are great sources of clean protein. In addition, it is crucial to keep your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout to keep your body working efficiently. When your muscles are hydrated, they are more resistant to injury and less prone to painful cramps or spasms.

3. Use Supplements

Sometimes, your body needs an extra boost to keep it working efficiently. Incorporate a magnesium supplement into your everyday routine to reduce muscle tension and cramping. You could also take Omega-3 fish oil, an anti-inflammatory that eases muscle soreness. Another great supplement for muscle recovery is cbd oil. CBD naturally reduces cortisol levels in your body after a workout, encouraging muscle regeneration while preventing cramps and tension. Not only is CBD oil great for post-workout recovery, it often gives you a natural boost in the gym if you choose to apply it before workouts, as well. Studies have shown that medicinal cannabis use helps relax your muscle fibers and mental health so that you can recover better. Find out which cannabis is great for your individual body type to recover as best as possible. 

4. Stretch

You should always stretch before and after a workout, as well as periodically during your recovery period at home. Stretching before your workout gives muscles flexibility to perform well as you train. After a workout, stretching relieves stress on muscles that have tightened up during the workout. There are several great stretches that promote healthy muscle recovery, including the swan stretch, runner’s lunge and the butterfly. Stretching your body will ease muscle tension during recovery while also preventing potential injuries.

5. Avoid Overtraining

Your body requires sufficient rest after a workout in order to rebuild and re-energize your muscles. If you spend several days each week in the gym lifting weights or performing high intensity exercises, you’ll need to be mindful of your body’s limits. Create a workout routine and stick to it, but don’t go over the top. Resist the urge to complete a few extra sets or lift too heavy. Overtraining can lead to serious injury, significantly stalling any progress you’ve made in the gym.

Keeping your body in great shape doesn’t have to result in sore, achy muscles. By following these tips, you’ll promote healthy muscle recovery and keep your workouts on track!