MUSCLE RECOVERY AFTER RUNNING: THIS YOU NEED TO KNOW!

Aan September 21, 2022

It’s another new day, you tap out your alarm clock, whip open your curtains, look outside and see a bright blue sky, full sun and leaves hanging silently. It’s a beautiful day to go for a run. Will you eat breakfast first or do that after? Whatever you do, to promote muscle recovery after running, it is important to eat at least after your lap. By taking care of your muscles in the right way, you ensure that you do not walk with sore muscles the next day and that you can run the next run without muscle pain.

Muscle recovery: nutrition after running

For your muscles to recover optimally after running, it is important that you take in enough nutrients. You can probably imagine that if you have run a lap, your body has consumed energy and thus needs new energy to function. After a good running session, the glycogen supply is depleted or almost depleted. If you do not replenish this supply after your run, your body will switch to burning fats and then proteins. If the latter happens, your muscles will have difficulty recovering and in a further stage even break down.

These are 5 meals you can eat after running to promote muscle recovery:

  • Cottage cheese with fruit and unsalted nuts
  • Whole grain toast with scrambled eggs and avocado
  • Protein shake
  • Protein bar with protein
  • Raw rice with tuna, vegetables and nuts

How many days of rest after running?

Do you recognize that feeling of sagging muscles and water legs? Yes…? Then you have a good running session behind. For your next running session to perform as well as before, it is important that, in addition to paying attention to nutrition, you take enough rest to recover fully.

If you just start running, it is logical that a round of 2 km faster in your mind than a round of 8 km or longer. By running regularly, you build up your condition and you can automatically run that 8 km. To find out how many days of rest you need after a running session, I can only recommend that you go running. That way you will find out which surface, which pace, which distance and how many days of rest are best for you.

How many days of rest you need depends on whether you are doing what is best for your body and needs. Factors such as stress, work, injury and overload have a major impact on the speed of your recovery process. 

In general, it is good to take 1 day of rest after a moderately intense workout and 2 or 3 days after an intense workout.

Taking a shower after running

It’s becoming more and more popular: focus on yourself for a few minutes in an ice bath or under an ice cold shower. You gasp for air, your lungs feel like they’re getting a beating and relaxing seems impossible. But why do we do it and why is it becoming so popular in the first place?

Research has shown that cold water or cold/thermally neutral water could reduce muscle soreness after a workout, making you less tired after a workout and allowing muscles to recover faster. So muscle soreness after a hard workout is greatly reduced or can even be countered by putting your self-control and perseverance to the test. Are you going to try it?

Besides these benefits of a cold shower and muscle recovery after running, a cold shower has even more benefits:

  • You become more alert
  • Increased noradrenaline (you feel more energetic and cheerful)
  • It gives your metabolism a boost
  • Your blood circulation improves
  • Your energy level is increased
  • Sleeps better

Sleeping after running

Are you the type of person who is exhausted after a sports session and immediately sleeps for 8 hours straight? Well done! Or do you find that if you have exercised during the day, you sleep badly at night? That could be because you have trained too late. You can try to train in the morning. During a heavy effort, adrenaline and cortisol are released, which makes it harder for you to fall asleep.

To be able to perform at all in daily life, especially in running, we need enough effective sleep. We all sleep, but the quality of sleep can vary greatly from person to person. Long periods of poor sleep increase the risk of elevated cortisol levels, decrease growth hormone levels and reduce insulin absorption in fat cells and the liver.

The pre-REM sleep phase is the most important phase for muscle recovery and muscle building. In this phase, the body transitions to a total resting state. Your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and body temperature decrease and the production of growth hormone and testosterone increase.

These 6 actions you can do to promote your sleep and thus your muscle recovery:

  1. Work out in the morning or at the latest 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed
  2. Meditate before you go to bed, 2 to 5 minutes can be enough
  3. Take a cold shower after your running session
  4. Eat your last heavy meal no less than 3 hours before going to bed
  5. Eat/drink protein-rich snacks: a protein shake, cottage cheese, a boiled egg, etc.
  6. Create a sleep routine: go to bed at the same times and get up around the same times. The routine before you go to sleep is also important in this. Read a book, listen to soothing music or take a warm bath.

Use the FitGun massage gun after running

Do you want to speed up your muscle recovery after a running session? Then combine the above tips with our FitGun. The FitGun stimulates the muscle tissue and the blood circulation, which accelerates the recovery after an intensive workout.