What you must do after your next intense workout
By Lexi Petronis
Pre-workout, I’ve noticed there are certain things that work for me: a banana with peanut butter, plenty of water the night before (if I do it just before a class, I am way too…you know, sloshy), gentle stretching.
But your post-workout ritual is just as important as your pre. Cycle House instructor Brandon Mills has these three very important post-intense workout must-dos that can help prevent soreness, fatigue, and dehydration.
You just spent 30 to 60 minutes working out—and now you have five minutes to focus on those well-worn muscles. “Focus on both static and dynamic stretches from head to toe, making sure to spend time on your hamstrings, quads, and glutes, seeing as they do most of the muscular work. But don’t forget about the core!” he says.
In other words: Eat something. “Fuel is what keeps you going and what gives you the ability to give it your all,” Mills says. “It keeps you focused and primed for recovery. The perfect post-workout fuel is a mix of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Not in the mood for a meal after spin? I don’t blame you. You’re in luck—you can drink it,” he says. Chocolate milk has been found to be excellent in helping your body, post-workout, and there are other energy drinks that can help your body refuel.
Intense workouts usually mean intense sweat. And even though you sip water throughout your exercise session, it may not be enough. “Make sure you replace your electrolytes,” Mills says. “You’re losing salt and water when you sweat, and it’s mandatory to replace it.” What does that mean? Post-workout, keep on drinking that water—but you can feel better, faster, with tomato juice, leafy greens, and yogurt, all of which contain nutrients that can help replenish the water you lost during your workout.