You're working hard at the gym and the last thing you want is to compromise your results. While getting to the gym is an achievement, what you do after your workout session is also crucial. Here are some common post-workout mistakes you want to avoid:
1. Not eating.
This is a common mistake people make. After all, why would you want to eat after burning calories? After a long or intense workout, your body needs two macronutrients: carbs and protein. These macros will help replenish your stores of glycogen, which will ensure you have the energy for your next workout and helps repair damaged tissues.
Getting protein in, along with carbs, post-workout will help with your muscle recovery process. As for the amount of protein you need — research suggests that it's your total daily protein intake that matters. Just make sure you're hitting your protein intake for the day for muscle gain and recovery.
Skipping your post-workout meal or snack may also mean that you risk over-eating later in the day. If you're having a tough time finding nutritious food after your workout, keep a protein shake with you. Check out Soluxe's vegan protein powder — it will keep you full with up to 20g of protein and less than 100 calories per scoop.
2. Skipping cool down.
Skipping your cool down and stretching may lead to muscle soreness and injuries in the long run. It's better to spend five to ten minutes after a session to cool down and stretch than to miss several days of working out due to soreness and injuries.
After your workout, your muscles are tense and shortened. Stretching and cooling down will help us to loosen up our muscles, return our heart rate to normal, circulate blood flow, and help with our mobility.
3. Seeking unhealthy rewards.
How many of us are guilty of treating ourselves after a session because we think we deserve it? While rewarding yourself is fine once in a while, you may hinder your results if you do it too often. Instead of rewarding yourself every day or week, why not seek rewards after you've achieved a milestone in your fitness journey?
We also overestimate how much we burn during a workout session. Instead of rewarding yourself with junk food or cheat meals, treat yourself to healthy alternatives that will fuel you with the right nutrients.
4. Relying on sports drinks.
A lot of the sports drinks out there are filled with sugars and artificial ingredients. Unless you're running a marathon or doing hours of intense training, it's unlikely that you require a sports drink. If you're looking to replenish electrolytes, we recommend coconut water or mixing in a bit of salt in your water.