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Many people believe they need expensive supplements to achieve results from their workouts. Although some supplements have benefits, you won’t maximize your performance unless you take care of the basics.

This article gives you 15 proven tips to maximize your muscle recovery and help you build a more consistent fitness program.


The foods people eat can profoundly affect athletic performance and recovery.

1. Protein post-workout

When you exercise, the proteins that make up your muscle fibers become damaged. Consuming protein after your workout can help give your body the raw material it needs to repair this muscle damage.

Consuming roughly 1.6 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day is enough to maximize muscle growth. The International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests a broader range of 1.4 – 2.0g of protein / kilogram of weight for building and maintaining muscle mass.

Consuming a high-protein meal or supplement pre- or post-workout can support muscle recovery and be a convenient way to achieve overall daily protein goals.

2. Protein pre-workout

Some people may find that consuming protein before a workout helps them reach their daily protein targets and increase muscle recovery.

While pre- and post-workout protein supplementation will support muscle development and recovery, overall dietary protein intake is more important than specific timings.

3. Carbohydrates post-workout

Your muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for energy. Glycogen is an important fuel source for all forms of aerobic exercise and the primary body’s primary energy source during high intensity anaerobic exercise.

Consuming carbohydrates post-workout with protein can help replenish glycogen stores and improve muscle repair and performance. The amount of carbohydrates a person requires will depend on body composition and exercise intensity.

4. Eat an overall balanced diet

Eating an overall healthy diet can ensure you don’t develop any nutrient deficiencies that may impair your muscles’ ability to recover.

As a general rule, this means:

•minimizing your consumption of ultra-processed foods.

•eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.

•healthy proteins such as beans and pulses, tofu, lean poultry, and eggs

•heart-healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds


Hydration is essential to exercise performance and recovery.

5. Stay hydrated

Dehydration can impair your muscles’ ability to repair themselves. You’re especially prone to becoming dehydrated if you exercise in hot or humid weather. To avoid dehydration, it is recommended that people drink 1.5 liters (L) for every kg lost during exercise. This equates to roughly 3 cups of fluid for every lb lost.

6. Cherry juice

Many athletes drink cherry juice cherry juice as part of a healthy diet to reduce inflammation, muscle damage, and muscle soreness.

A 2022 literature review found consistent evidence that cherry juice taken in the days before exercise can support muscle recovery. However, further research must investigate the most effective forms, doses, and dose timings.


Certain supplements can help support an overall healthy diet. While it is often most beneficial to fulfill nutritional needs through whole food sources, powders, tablets, and other supplementation can help people conveniently reach their goals.

7. Creatine monohydrate

Creatine is one of the most widely studied supplements. Research consistently shows it can help improve muscular strength when combined with resistance training.

Creatine may help athletes recover from intense training by helping reduce muscle damage and inflammation, as well as aiding in replenishing your muscles’ glycogen stores.

8. Protein powder

Protein powder is a convenient way to add more protein to your diet. Many types of protein powders contain a complete spectrum of essential amino acids. Whey, soy and casein protein powders are complete protein choices.  There are also plant based protein powders that provide a great option.


In addition to hydration, and nutrition, a person’s overall lifestyle habits play a key role in exercise recovery.

9. Sleep more

Sleep gives your muscles time to recover from exercise. People who exercise intensely need even more rest than the average person. Some professional athletes allegedly sleep 10 hours or more per night.

Research has found that sleep deprivation may impair muscle recovery by impairing the body’s inflammation reaction and the production of hormones that aid muscle growth.

10. Massage

Many athletes incorporate massage in their training to reduce muscle soreness. A consistent massage routine has a significant effect on improving flexibility and decreasing delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise.

11. Compression garments

Wearing compressions garments has become common among athletes over the past several decades.

There’s a limited number of studies looking at their effectiveness for speeding up recovery from exercise. But a small 2019 study found that they lowered time for body muscle recovery in German handball players.

In the study, the athletes wore the garments for 24 hours and then alternated between 12-hour breaks and 12-hour periods of wearing them for 96 hours.

12. Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is the technique of exposing your body to an extremely cold temperature for a few minutes.

Research has found that it may speed up recovery by reducing pain, inflammation, and muscle tiredness after strenuous activity.