14 Tips for Optimal Muscle Recovery

Contrary to what some fitness sites might say, eating right and getting good sleep are the top ways to help your muscles recover. Some people believe they need expensive supplements to maximize their workouts. While supplements can help, if you don’t get the basics right, you won’t reach your peak performance.

Here are 14 proven tips to boost muscle recovery and build a solid workout routine.


Food consumption has a significant impact on recuperation and sports performance.

1. Protein post-workout

When you work out, your muscle fibers get damaged. Eating protein afterward helps your body get the building blocks it needs to repair those muscles.

To build muscle effectively, Research suggests aiming for about 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends a range of 1.4 to 2.0 grams per kilogram for gaining and maintaining muscle mass.

Having a high-protein meal or supplement before or after your workout can speed up muscle repair and make it easier to meet your daily protein needs.

2. Protein pre-workout

Having some protein before you exercise can help some folks hit their daily protein targets and boost muscle repair.

But studies show that while protein supplements before and after workouts can help with muscle growth and recovery, the total amount of protein you eat throughout the day matters more than exactly when you eat it.

3. Carbohydrates post-workout

Your muscles store carbs called glycogen for energy. Whether you’re doing aerobic exercises or intense anaerobic workouts, glycogen is what your body burns for fuel.

After you exercise, eating carbs along with protein helps replenish your glycogen stores, speed up muscle recovery, and boost your performance. How much carbs you need depends on your body type and how much you exercise.

4. Eat an overall balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet is key to keeping your muscles healthy and aiding their recovery.

Here’s what it involves:

  • Eat less ultra-processed foods.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose healthy proteins like beans, tofu, lean meats like chicken, and eggs.
  • Include heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.


14 Tips for Optimal Muscle Recovery
14 Tips for Optimal Muscle Recovery

For both workout performance and recuperation, hydration is crucial.

5. Stay hydrated

Dehydration can slow down your muscles’ ability to recover. When you exercise in hot or humid weather, you’re more likely to get dehydrated. It’s recommended to drink 1.5 liters (L) of fluids for every kilogram of body weight lost during exercise to stay hydrated. This translates to about three cups of liquid for every pound you lose.

6. Cherry juice

Cherry juice is often included in athletes’ diets to reduce inflammation, soreness, and muscle damage.

Recent research in 2022 from trusted sources has consistently shown that drinking cherry juice before exercise can help improve muscle recovery. However, more studies are needed to figure out the best amounts to take, when to take it, and how to take it for the most benefit.


14 Tips for Optimal Muscle Recovery
14 Tips for Optimal Muscle Recovery

An all-around healthy diet can be supported by several supplements. Although eating whole foods is usually the best way to meet nutritional demands, supplements such as powders and pills can make it easier for people to achieve their objectives.

7. Creatine monohydrate

One of the most studied supplements is creatine. Research consistently shows that when combined with resistance training, creatine can help increase muscle strength.

Moreover, studies suggest that creatine may also help athletes recover after intense training sessions by reducing inflammation, muscle damage, and replenishing muscle glycogen stores.

8. Protein powder

Including additional protein in your diet may be easily accomplished with protein powder. A wide variety of protein powders provide every important amino acid. Popular full protein options include whey, soy, and casein protein powders from Trusted Source.

Also Read: Break Workout Plateaus: Keep Progressing


A person’s general lifestyle choices, in addition to diet and hydration, are crucial for their ability to recover from activity.

9. Sleep more

Your muscles recover while you sleep after exercising. People who exercise a lot need more sleep than those who don’t. Some top athletes even get up to ten hours of sleep each night.

Not getting enough sleep can lower hormone production that helps muscles grow and affect how your body responds to inflammation, which slows down muscle repair.

10. Massage

To lessen muscular discomfort, massage is a common training tool used by athletes.

A review of research published in 2020. According to a reliable source, massage improves flexibility and reduces delayed onset muscular soreness after exercise in a little but meaningful way.

11. Compression garments

In recent decades, athletes have been using compression clothing quite a bit.

There hasn’t been a lot of research on whether these clothes can speed up recovery after exercise. But a small study in 2019 found that they helped German handball players recover faster.

In the study, the athletes wore the clothes for 24 hours straight, took 12-hour breaks, and then wore them for another 12 hours, totaling 96 hours.

12. Cryotherapy

The process of subjecting your body to a very low temperature for a short period of time is called cryotherapy.

Studies have indicated that it might expedite recuperation by mitigating discomfort, edema, and fatigue in the muscles following intense exercise.

Things to avoid

While many factors can promote healing, others might work against it.

13. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is bad for you in many ways; it has little nutritional value, raises blood pressure, and shortens the time and quality of your sleep.

Drinking alcohol on a regular basis may also hinder the rehabilitation of muscles and raise the chance of long-term muscle loss.

14. Tobacco

Smoking can harm your muscles and bones.

Although there isn’t much research on how smoking affects muscle recovery, some evidence suggests it could increase the risk of muscle injuries.

Smoking also makes it more likely to have bone fractures and joint problems.

How long does muscle recovery take?

How long it takes for your muscles to recover after exercise depends on how hard you work out and your fitness level.

The strain on your body from a workout is influenced by how much you do, how hard it is, and how long it lasts.

After a light workout, your muscles might recover in about a day. But after a tougher session, it could take two to three days. Really intense workouts might need even more time.

Other things that affect your recovery time include:

  • How well you sleep
  • The nutrition you’re getting
  • How stressed you are
  • Doing exercises that use lots of different muscles or are very challenging

How do I prevent injury during muscle recovery?

Any good workout plan starts by slowly increasing how much you do over time. If you rush it, you might end up overtraining or getting hurt.

Different trainers have different ideas about training. Most agree that you should feel challenged but not completely worn out after your workout.

Even top athletes carefully decide when to go all out and when to take it easier.

To give your muscles enough time to recover between workouts, try this approach: split your workouts so different muscle groups get a break. For example, if you lift weights three times a week, you could do:

  • Monday: Back and biceps
  • Wednesday: Chest and arms
  • Friday: Legs and core

This way, each muscle group gets a whole week to rest and recover before the next session.

Are there complications from not allowing muscle recovery time?

If you don’t let your muscles rest between workouts, you increase your risk of getting hurt. Not giving your body enough time to recover can also make it harder to perform well in your next workout.

When you exercise, your muscles can develop tiny tears from all the tension. These micro tears can cause discomfort and irritation. If you keep pushing through without enough rest, you might end up with strained or even torn muscles. It’s important to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs to heal properly.

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