How to Relax Your Muscles After a Workout

Muscles suffer a terrible strain during a workout, which is essentially the basis to make them stronger. However, even though this is necessary, the soreness and tightness don’t have to be constant. Here’s how to relax your muscles after a workout. 

Drink water

Drinking water before, during, and especially after a workout is a great way to help relax your muscles. However, to really relax the muscles, a little more than water is needed. According to many studies, to help muscles relax and prevent future spasms, the body’s electrolyte levels must remain the same before and after a workout. Electrolytes are small chemicals in the body such as ions. These substances are responsible for hydrating the body as they attract water. 

This means that if the body is losing electrolytes (like during exercise), it will also lose a lot of water and dehydrate. Muscle cells that have lost water are more likely to cramp, especially after a workout. This is why it’s essential to hydrate and replenish electrolyte levels. Some of the basic electrolytes are simple minerals such as sodium, calcium, and potassium, readily found in common foods. Eating a healthy snack with a big glass of water is the way to go.

With massage

With massage

Aside from replenishing electrolyte levels, there are many proven ways to relax your muscles after a workout. Various types of massages have been shown to help with muscle relaxation. These include traditional massages, sports massages, and even suction cups and hot stone massages. However, this is not the only way to alleviate the pressure of muscles, and it certainly isn’t the cheapest option. 

In addition to this, traditional massages require a lot of time that many people don’t have. Their efficacy and availability are what made massage devices a staple of muscle relaxation. Massage devices such as gun massagers can also help break any muscle knots. Moreover, these devices are portable, and also do the job of a professional masseuse. This is another great way to relax your muscles after a workout without going through any trouble.

Proper nutrition

Another great way to relax your muscles after a workout is with proper nutrition. Proper nutrition is not only key to relaxing tense muscles, it’s the premise of a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, the fastest way to build muscle is with proper nutrition and sufficient calorie intake only. While muscle building focuses on high protein intake, muscle relaxation has other foods in mind. Some of the proven nutrients to help with muscle relaxation after a workout are amino acids and derivatives. 

This comes as no surprise as muscles are built from proteins made up of amino acids. Muscles are broken down during a workout, which is why taking these nutrients helps them rebuild and rest. Leucine and HMB (b-hydroxy-b-methyl butyrate) are nutrients that relax muscles. Furthermore, some studies have shown that taking up milk protein casein also aids with muscle relaxation. Many supplements contain casein, which removes the need for ingesting milk for people who are lactose intolerant.

Light cardio the day after

Light cardio the day after

Sore muscles indeed need to rest but having too much rest has been shown to prolong muscle soreness. Even though having extra exercise when your muscles are sore seems like a counter-intuitive means to relax them, it’s been proven to work. Gentle movement through hatha yoga, a walk, a bike ride, a light jog, or even a swim is a great way to relax muscles. 

Muscles can become quite tense after a workout, and when they tense up, they hold the water within them and some toxins. The muscles come loose by having light cardio the day after a workout, and they release both the tension and the water. This makes the muscle soreness better, and it certainly relaxes them. Even professional marathon runners know to take a small run the day after a race to relax their muscles, and that’s saying something.

These are some of the best ways to relax muscles after a workout. Water and proper nutrition are imperative, but massage devices are a good option for immediate results. Remember to get plenty of sleep too, as this also helps relax the muscles in the long run.

Peter Minkoff
Peter Minkoff
Peter is a LGBT writer at Gay Republic and The Homo Culture magazine. A true craft beer and soy latte aficionado, he loves spending his days at the beach and visiting second hand stores on a daily basis. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

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