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Do you find that you’re completely incapacitated after your workout and can’t train again for a good few days? One of the worst parts of doing a tough workout is feeling rotten the following day. Even worse is picking up an injury due to not recovering properly and overtraining. Check out these 6 ways to recover better so that you can make the most of your sessions without paying for it the next day.

Eat more protein

If you are an endurance athlete like a triathlete, cyclist, or runner, you will know how important carbohydrates are to your diet. However, are you eating enough protein? A lot of people are aware that you can consume too much protein and that this can lead to weight gain, but many people don’t actually consume enough.

Protein is vital for building and repairing your muscles and by timing your nutrients correctly, you can maximise your recovery. Try adding a hit of protein to your post-workout meal or snack to reduce DOMS in your legs and optimise the recovery process.

Eat more carbs

On the flip side, if your training involves more weight training, you are probably already consuming plenty of protein but perhaps ignoring your carb needs. It is widely accepted that bodybuilders and even powerlifters don’t need as many carbs and live on a high protein, high fat diet instead. This allows the athlete to cut body fat while still increasing strength. However, carbohydrates are still important and can aid in the recovery process just like protein. By taking simple sugars on board during a particularly tough workout, you will replenish your glycogen stores and not only improve your performance during training, but also shorten your recovery period so that you can train more often.

Stretch and foam roll daily

This is the one we all take for granted. It’s very important to make time in your daily routine for at least 10 minutes of stretching and foam rolling every day. Stretching has many benefits including improving flexibility, balance, and reducing stress, but it also reduces your risks of developing an injury. Exercise and sitting at a desk all day shortens the muscles, and tight muscles are more likely to get injured. Stretching will reduce the stiffness in the muscles that you experience when you are achy and it will prevent you from aching while you exercise. For example, if your hips ache when you run, stretching your hip flexors will help this greatly.

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Take complete rest days

If you’re on a roll, it can be tempting to skip rest days and keep the momentum going. However, overtraining has many risks associated with it and your rest days are just as important as your training days. Make sure you have at least 1 or 2 days per week dedicated to relaxing and letting your body recover so that you can bounce back better than ever for your next training session.

Related: How Often Should I Take A Complete Rest Day?

Be more consistent

If you are a weekend warrior or you are inconsistent with your workouts, you will find it harder to recover. Every time you skip a few workouts, you are almost going back to square one and will lose some of the progress you have worked so hard to gain. By training consistently, your body will become more accustomed to working hard and your recovery times will reduce. Not only will your muscles recover quicker, but so will your heart and lungs, which means getting your breath back quicker and getting back to a steady heart rate quicker too. Try to train consistently by not skipping workouts and increasing your workload gradually so that your body has time to adapt.

Improve your sleep routine

Sleep is the one element of recovery that many people tend to take for granted. Did you know that when you exercise, you are actually breaking your body down, and it is only when you eat and sleep that your cells recover and you end up fitter and stronger than before? Sleep is vital for proper recovery and getting your 8+ hours of good quality sleep will be the difference between taking a week to recover and being able to get back out there the very next day.

Related: Fitness Recovery And The Importance Of Rest Days