1

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Slow workout recovery

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 08, 2011 at 11:52 PM

As I've gotten older (I'm 37), I have noticed that the time it takes my muscles to recover from strenuous exercise has increased. I have been doing Paleo and Crossfit for the last 2 months and leg workouts in particular have me hobbled for 3 days or so. Does anyone have any tips or supplements that have worked for them to speed up recovery? I figured I might try supplementing with Creatine to see if I notice any change. What about Glucosamine or Chondroitin? I don't want to waste cash on things that definitely won't work but am willing to try anything that can help me cut down the amount of soreness between workouts. Thanks!!

Jamie

88cffa260e8259942de579503d282ee7

(466)

on June 09, 2011
at 05:18 PM

+1 for bone 2 months is not long at all, it will get better. Try yoga right before bed. COLD showers also help. Make sure you're getting enough quality sleep. I'm 52 and I'm less sore now than before crossfit.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:34 PM

great answer. Also, there is a good body of research that says supping with BCAAs goes some way in alleviating soreness/DOMS. I eat a lot of meat, which of course is high in BCAAs, but i still supp with them around big workouts just for some insurance. If you can afford it money-wise, why not? Recovery is the number one most important aspect of smart training I'd say. We get stronger while we recover, NOT in the gym - so why not give ourselves every possible asset to use in that process?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:31 PM

yeah creatine doesn't taste bad really. LikeJake says just mix it in HOT water and chug it. Done. Hot or warm water will dissolve it much better and you will avoid any and all possible digestive issues. Even the stuff from Creapure, which is called "micronized", still doesn't dissolve well in cold water. If you get it to you stomach undissolved the powder will pull water from inside your body to dissolve it and thats when people start talking about bloat, digestive issues, etc from creatine. hot water and you'll never have a problem

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:28 PM

@Grok, i totally agree. Fat is tasty and healthy yes. But after intense activity, like lifting low-volume and heavy or CF, etc. the glycogen-replenishment and sugar-hit from starchy plants is all but needed to feel well. Fat and protein are fine if you're not overly active but once you engage in purposefully expending muscle glycogen, if you want to recover well and feel better mentally you need sugar.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:04 PM

I just bought some creatine and started yesterday. I mixed it with plain water and chugged. Honestly it's a lot less repulsive than unflavored BCAAs so just plug your nose and go for it :)

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:20 AM

Less fat more plants. Believe it.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Yep. I always found a short bike ride or run really helped loose me up.

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:06 AM

Thanks Ben! I used to take extra Creatine when I was drinking protein shakes and doing conventional workouts. For some reason I stopped, likely because I can't tolerate whey protein anymore. I just need to find something to mix the Creatine with to make it palatable. I will need to research the racquet ball. We don't do anything with them at my box. I foam roll before every workout but may need to get one for home.

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:03 AM

Thanks! I mentioned in an earlier answer that I IF in the morning most days, Crossfit at noon and then eggs and sweet potato and sometimes a banana.

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Good stuff! I appreciate the help!

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 01:59 AM

I tend to IF and Crossfit fasted at noon most days. As soon as I get back its eggs and sweet potato. Cold shower might work.

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 01:58 AM

While my cardio recovery during the workouts has gotten much better, my recovery from workout to workout appears to have gotten a bit worse. I am only going 3 times a week but I likely would go 4 or 5 times if not for the pain.

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 01:57 AM

It really is the wall balls that are doing the most damage. They are brutal!

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:29 AM

Foam roller does help but it always hurt me so much to roll out on it I wouldn't do it. What always works for me is to force myself to do a short set of squats the next morning after a heavy leg workout. It hurts like hell but it hurts worse if I don't do anything. Nothing like almost falling in the toilet the morning after 150 wall balls for time

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9 Answers

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2
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 09, 2011
at 01:53 AM

I'm 31. I find that foam rolling and raquet ball work every morning and every night everyday helps a lot. Suck it up and do it, especially on the legs. IT bands, inner thighs, quads, glutes! Get that raquet ball right in the meat of the butt cheek muscles and it'll help a lot after back squatting.

Eating more starch in general keeps the muscles topped off with glycogen and I feel like it helps me recover quicker.

I take 3grams creatine everyday, I'd recommend it. No downsides and every study about it reports the same positive improvements to performance. I don't know about recovery specifically.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:04 PM

I just bought some creatine and started yesterday. I mixed it with plain water and chugged. Honestly it's a lot less repulsive than unflavored BCAAs so just plug your nose and go for it :)

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:06 AM

Thanks Ben! I used to take extra Creatine when I was drinking protein shakes and doing conventional workouts. For some reason I stopped, likely because I can't tolerate whey protein anymore. I just need to find something to mix the Creatine with to make it palatable. I will need to research the racquet ball. We don't do anything with them at my box. I foam roll before every workout but may need to get one for home.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:31 PM

yeah creatine doesn't taste bad really. LikeJake says just mix it in HOT water and chug it. Done. Hot or warm water will dissolve it much better and you will avoid any and all possible digestive issues. Even the stuff from Creapure, which is called "micronized", still doesn't dissolve well in cold water. If you get it to you stomach undissolved the powder will pull water from inside your body to dissolve it and thats when people start talking about bloat, digestive issues, etc from creatine. hot water and you'll never have a problem

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 09, 2011
at 01:01 AM

I am also "older" (41), and I hear you about being slow to recover. Not to mention hangovers... but that's another story.

Something that I found that really helps is to eat some carbs within about 15-20 minutes after workout. I generally eat pretty low carbs (some would say very low carbs, probably <= 50g in a typical day), but I let loose after a workout. I'll have a large glass of whole raw milk and a banana, or some sweet potatoes, or something like that. I try to keep it very nutritious, and use it as an opportunity to eat nutritious starchy stuff that I would otherwise not eat.

I find that this makes a big difference in recovery. Trying to fast after a workout and then go into a protein and fat meal makes for a long and painful recovery.

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:03 AM

Thanks! I mentioned in an earlier answer that I IF in the morning most days, Crossfit at noon and then eggs and sweet potato and sometimes a banana.

2
535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

on June 09, 2011
at 12:43 AM

I have improved my recovery significantly from introducing PWO 250g-300g sweet potato with lean protein serving. And finishing her off with a cold shower. I do a tiny bit of stretching mid workout

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 01:59 AM

I tend to IF and Crossfit fasted at noon most days. As soon as I get back its eggs and sweet potato. Cold shower might work.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:34 PM

great answer. Also, there is a good body of research that says supping with BCAAs goes some way in alleviating soreness/DOMS. I eat a lot of meat, which of course is high in BCAAs, but i still supp with them around big workouts just for some insurance. If you can afford it money-wise, why not? Recovery is the number one most important aspect of smart training I'd say. We get stronger while we recover, NOT in the gym - so why not give ourselves every possible asset to use in that process?

2
C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:10 AM

In his book, Tim Ferris suggests doing a few intervals of biking after a leg workout to prevent soreness the next day. It makes sense as it would promote blood flow and begin the healing process. Foam rolling afterwards might also help.

Id also recommend some sort of protein or branch chain amino acid either before, during, or immediately after your workout if you arent already.

If you really want to get serious, supplements like cissus or colostrum can definately help

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Yep. I always found a short bike ride or run really helped loose me up.

1
Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on June 09, 2011
at 08:21 AM

I am also 37 and have noticed the same thing. I don't do crossfit, but do workout at home 3-4 times a week (pull ups, push ups, sit ups, dumbbells, kettle bells, yoga etc.). I've always been a very active person and participate in many different outdoor activities. Since starting paleo back in February, I've gone from 235 lbs and am now at 196. The extra weight has just melted off. However, the muscle soreness after a weekend of skiing or after a hard mountain bike ride or even after just doing 5 sets of pull ups, has been harsh. I've got a feeling I'm not getting enough healthy carbs or starches to help with recovery. We eat sweet potatoes at least 3 times a week, I have a banana and apple every day (sometimes two bananas), but I don't think it's enough. I'm going to start introducing more starchy foods and see what happens. I don't want to lose too much more weight!

One thing I have noticed, though: When I was big in to weightlifting, it was all about 3 days on, 1 day off. I think I was actually over-training a lot of the time. My gains seem to be coming quicker now, even with the longer recovery times. Now, if I could just turn down the soreness a bit during those recovery periods......

1
3c7856106195fd0084a06b5892269d36

on June 09, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Been Crossfitting 8 months, last 2 months doing it pretty well...legs come back quicker, but sometimes it takes a while to get explosiveness back after a big leg day. Squats and MobWod are what I follow, i supplement with Coconut water and sweet pots and high fat meats, ribs are a favorite, although hard to find sustainably raised, I'm finishing up with Max Muscle recovery and then dropping it for a protein only diet...I'm up the fat and protein and eat within 30 minutes of the WOD---also I'd make time for 10 minutes a night to Mobwod, just hit whatever hurts the most--pain balls can be had for $1-$2 at the dollar store in the pet section

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Good stuff! I appreciate the help!

1
06f46afda9ee3ca7f0070a3caa294a91

on June 09, 2011
at 12:11 AM

imo, depending on how active you were before, it will just get better with time. 2 months of doing xfit is not very long. have you noticed any improvement in recovery time since you started?

try stretching, yoga, foam rollers, etc to help breakdown the soreness.

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 09, 2011
at 01:58 AM

While my cardio recovery during the workouts has gotten much better, my recovery from workout to workout appears to have gotten a bit worse. I am only going 3 times a week but I likely would go 4 or 5 times if not for the pain.

88cffa260e8259942de579503d282ee7

(466)

on June 09, 2011
at 05:18 PM

+1 for bone 2 months is not long at all, it will get better. Try yoga right before bed. COLD showers also help. Make sure you're getting enough quality sleep. I'm 52 and I'm less sore now than before crossfit.

1
A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:10 AM

I'd go minimal on the supplements (fish oil, mainly, for anti-inflammation among other benefits) and up the rest time. Your body needs recovery time and is very good at telling you how much. If you're hellbent on working out more often than your body clearly wants you to, you might consider ice baths. When I coached wrestling, they would help my athletes recover from ridiculously strenuous workouts quickly.

0
263e2d3f741d1ecb0886454e977f4e6f

on June 09, 2011
at 03:51 AM

I've done some of the things mentioned here, I'm 40 and run at a minimum 4 miles a day taking off 2 days a week (usually the weekend) also i life weights. I make sure to really stretch out well, take Beta Alanine before my run and or workouts. and consume some whey protein before and after my run and workouts. I follow that up with some Fish Oils. I've tried the cycling, I'm mixed on the results.

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