Is working out a regular part of your daily routine? Great, then you’ve already taken the first step toward a healthy lifestyle and are well on your way to reaching your fitness goals! But it’s not just the exercise itself that’s important: what you do or don’t do after a workout also plays a major role. There are a number of traps that are easy to fall into and keep you from making progress at full speed. We’ve put together a list of the most frequent post-workout mistakes and how you can avoid them in the future. That way nothing will stand in your way, and you’ll be able to reach your full potential!
Want to know one thing you should definitely do after a workout? Give your muscles a boost of protein and other nutrients with, for example, our Whey Protein shake*.
#1 Fasting after a workout
Put pedal to the metal during your workout and burned a lot of calories that you don’t want to just replace by eating again? Whether it’s muscle you want to build or a few pounds you’d like to lose, not eating after a workout doesn’t help. That’s the moment when your body needs a sufficient supply of nutrients, especially enough protein, in order to start up the growth and regeneration processes in an optimum way. Of course, your post-exercise meal should always be healthy and balanced. Need some nutrition inspiration? We’ve put together some suggestions for your next post-workout meal!
#2 Eating too many calories
Now we all know fasting is a bad idea, and after a workout your stomach is growling so you’ve really worked up an appetite. So far, so good because, as we mentioned above, your body wants to get enough nutrients right after a workout.
That said, be careful not to overestimate the calories burned during a workout and stuff yourself with pizza or burgers. Not only will you miss out on some nutrients, you’ll also eat far more calories than your workout burned. Canceling out all your hard work? Big don’t do after a workout! As is often the case, balance is key. Find the best way for yourself to get a balanced, nutrient-packed diet without too many restrictions. For most of you, you won’t even have to cut out pizza! Check out our recipe for a high-protein veggie pizza with purple pesto!
#3 Driving home: Don’t do after a workout
Working out regularly is a good thing, of course, but you still need to get exercise in your everyday life. Even if you know you’re heading to the gym after work, that’s no reason to skip your walk at lunch. Or to take the elevator instead of the stairs. Whether you want to lose a few pounds to achieve your feel-good weight, or just stay fit, all of this is only possible if exercise is an integral part of your daily routine, no matter what you do before or don’t do after a workout. Use your route to and from the gym, before and after a workout, to log some more steps or get in a bike ride, and make use of other opportunities to burn more calories as part of your daily walk.
#4 Rewarding yourself with alcohol
If you give your training your all, you totally deserve a reward after a workout. But going for a beer or wine is something it’s better off you don’t do after your workout. At least, not on a regular basis. Alcohol not only slows down your fat metabolism, it also negatively affects your muscle growth. And whatever you do or don’t do after a workout, it’s not a good idea to counteract all that hard work you put in at the gym, especially right after you get out of your well-deserved shower.
#5 Skipping your cool-down
You’ve made it through your last rep, and you can hear the couch calling your name. Still, you should take 5-10 minutes for a short cool down after a workout to reduce muscle tension and get your cardiovascular system and breathing back to normal. This short round of stretches and exercises supports your muscle recovery and can help relieve muscle soreness.
What exactly your cool-down looks like is up to you but, as always, we’re happy to give you some inspiration.
A fascia roller can also be a useful part of a cool down after a workout, and we’re also happy to tell you what foam rolling is all about.
In general, you should make sure to give your body enough time and attention to recover: hitting the gym when it’s still recovering lands hard in the “don’t do after a workout” list. For an extra boost, our Recovery Aminos are your perfect post-workout buddy.
#6 Postponing your shower
Sure, the showers at the gym are usually not the place for wellness and relaxation. Still, you should use them if showering at home is something you can’t or don’t do after a workout. In addition to the uncomfortable feeling that would stay with you – and your office mates or subway passengers – for the rest of the day if you go without it, you’re also providing a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria. And no one really wants that, do they? Just remember to pack your flip flops and towel in your gym bag, and you’re set!
More healthy living tips from foodspring
- 7 Home Workout Mistakes to Avoid
- Pre Workout & Post Workout Meal: Do it right!
- Muscle Recovery After Your Workout: 6 regeneration rules
- Why Active Recovery Matters: Get moving on your rest days!
- The Best Warm Ups & Cool Downs For Runners
*Protein contributes to an increase in muscle mass.