7 Workout Recovery Myths
You Thought Were True (But Aren't)
It's not uncommon for athletes to have questions about recovery. It can be a pretty confusing topic with so much information out there, but the truth is that recovery myths are abundant and many people believe them without question. In this article, we will discuss 7 common workout recovery myths you thought were true – but aren't!
Let's jump right into it!
Stretching prevents muscle soreness.
Many people stretch before or after engaging in athletic activity. Usually, the purpose is to reduce the risk of injury, reduce soreness after exercise, or enhance athletic performance. A study conducted on the subject suggests that muscle stretching, whether conducted before, after, or both, does not produce important reductions in muscle soreness or risk of injury in most sporting activities. There's no significant difference in the perceived recovery between stretching and not stretching. So it may not help with the soreness afterwards but take some time and foam roll before you start so that you can get in a more productive workout! This is perfect to increase the blood flow to the muscles and get the most optimal range of motion before or after your workouts.
You need protein supplements to recover from a workout.
The recovery process after a challenging workout is crucial for athletes, and there's a lot of misinformation about what you should be eating and drinking in order to optimise recovery. Protein supplements are often marketed as the key to muscle recovery, but that's not necessarily the case. In fact, research has shown that recovering from a workout is as much about the total calories consumed as it is about protein intake.The most important thing to think of when you're trying to recover after a strenuous workout, however, is getting your body hydrated and keeping up with electrolyte levels – not necessarily chugging down extra servings of protein! Plus, eating a balanced and healthy diet that will provide your body with the nutrients it needs for recovery. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Rest days are for the weak.
This is a recovery myth that has been around for quite some time. The belief is that if you're not working out, you're doing something wrong and you're actually making yourself weaker in the process. In reality, rest days are an important part of any fitness routine. They give your body a chance to recover from the previous day's workout and prepare for the next one. In fact, if you don't give your body time to rest, you're actually more likely to get injured. So make sure that you are taking at least one day off per week and giving your body the time it needs to come back to action!
If you're sore you're out of shape.
Many people believe that if they are sore after a workout, it means their body is not ready for the intensity of training. This recovery myth actually has some truth to it – but only in specific circumstances. If you're doing something new and challenging your muscles will experience more micro-tears than usual as a result of this change. But if you're working out regularly and increasing the intensity of your workouts, you shouldn't be as sore because your muscles will have become more used to the load. However, if you are just starting a new workout routine or doing something much more challenging than what you're used to, you can expect to be quite sore for a few days afterwards. This doesn't mean you're out of shape – it just means your muscles need time to recover and adapt.
You can cut corners on sleep.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for athletes – especially if you're trying to improve your performance. Studies have shown that athletes who get adequate sleep, perform better and are less likely to get injured than those who don't. In fact, research has even shown that sleeping just an extra hour can improve athletic performance by up to 14%! But if you're not getting enough rest, your body isn't able to repair itself as it should. This recovery myth is only going to make things worse over time – especially as the intensity of your workouts increases. So no matter how busy you are or how much you want to get done each day, remember that sleep is just as important – if not more important – than working out.
Recovery should be high-tech.
There are a lot of recovery gadgets and high-tech tools on the market these days, from foam rollers to compression sleeves and many many more! While some recovery tools can really help you take your recovery and performance as an athlete to a new level, you should always combine that with the basics of proper recovery to get the best results. This means eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and taking time for regular stretching and massage. Don't think of a recovery device as a magic tool, but rather as an addition to your regular recovery routine. Once you do this, you'll start to see even better results! And yes, this might sound crazy coming from a recovery store, we know, but we are here to help before we are here to sell.
Total rest is the best way to help your body recover after a hard sports session.
Many athletes make the mistake of assuming that recovery happens most effectively during total rest. But actually, allowing your body to move after a hard workout is one of the best ways to recover from it! This form of recovery is known as active recovery and the science behind sports recovery has repeatedly shown that it can help remove toxins from muscles more efficiently than just resting. Now, this doesn't mean you need to go for a run after every workout – it can be as simple as doing some foam rolling or light stretching. So the next time you're feeling sore after a workout, don't automatically reach for the ice pack and painkillers. Try some active recovery instead and see how you feel afterwards!
The 7 myths we’ve debunked today are just a few of the many common workout recovery myths. Even if you know them, it might be worth reading through and seeing which ones you fall for! If this article has helped you debunk any misconceptions about your fitness routine or improved your knowledge of exercise science, please share it with someone who needs to hear these tips too! We all need some reminders to know that some things we think work, actually don't. Until the next time,
Train Harder & Recover Faster!