Post Exercise Recovery

Sometimes a hard workout takes a toll on the body including causing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) as was discussed in a previous post. Here are some tips to get you back up and running for your next workout. Some factors that can contribute to this include hydration, nutrition, active recovery and Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) or other massage.

Daily fluid intake excluding the amount needed to replace sweat loss should be approximately half of your body weight in oz. So a 160lb person should consume about 80oz of fluids. Weigh yourself before and after you exercise and consume 16oz of fluid per pound of sweat loss. Hydration should be either via sports drink or water with electrolytes (as a salty snack or included in sports drink). The human body is about 60% water and lean muscle tissue is 75% water so hydrate!

Replenishing energy stores and providing building blocks for muscular repair is also important in helping recovery and preparation for the next training bout. Consuming both carbohydrates and proteins within 45 min of training can boost recovery.

Performing an Active Recovery on training sessions following a tough training session may speed recovery. Active Recovery being skill work or low intensity training; the duration and type of exercise will depend on the individual.

Some researchers found that DOMS and muscle inflammation can be alleviated through massage work. There are many different massage techniques, the most affordable being Self Myofascial Release with a foam roller. There is also the possibility that massage can improve the psychological aspect of recovery. Another method used to reduce inflammation and improve circulation to the muscles is Cold Water Immersion for 20 minutes.



Zainal Zainuddin; Mike Newton; Paul Sacco; Kazunori Nosaka. Effects of Massage on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, Swelling, and Recovery of Muscle Function. Journal of Athletic Training 2005; 40(3):174–180


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