20 Minute Fitness Podcast

Science Backed Tips That Will Enhance Muscle Recovery

20 Minute Fitness Episode #29

In this episode of 20-Minute Fitness, we expand on the subject of recovery. We first delve deep into the science of what is actually happening to our muscles during and after working out. Then move onto myth busting some popular recovery techniques. Does science actually prove that cherries can boost your recovery? Also, we learn about the little habits that could be tripping us up. Find out all that on more in this episode! 

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Things You Will Learn 

1.) Nailing The Basics of Recovery

The best way to figure out how to speed up recovery is to understand how your body recovers in the first place. In this episode, we break down the science of recovery. Detailing what it means to put your body under physical stress. Along with how your body cope’s with it. 

2.) What is Actually Proven

Everyone’s got their own way of recovering whether it’s foam rolling, getting protein before or after your workout, or a specific cool-down. However, what are proven methods of recovery and what aren’t? We look at the studies backing or disproving the claims that cherry juice, ice baths, and compression wear have an effect on recovery.  

3.) Is Something Holding You Back? 

It’s sad but true. Some of our daily habits could be slowing down the recovery process. However, how much are little habits like a drink with dinner really holding us back? Listen on to find out! 

Show Notes

The Basics

To achieve muscle hypertrophy, your muscles first experience localized muscle damage through microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. A cellular process then occurs where new muscle protein strands (or myofibrils) are formed. They are thicker and greater in number.

We establish that our muscles actually grow when we rest and recover. This is when protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. Because our workouts are catabolic.

Speed Up Your Muscle Recovery

Also, we discuss methods which have been hypothesized to increase muscle recovery. Starting with natural anti-inflammatories such as cherries and turmeric.

A study was conducted on the influence of cherry juice on indices of muscle recovery. Finding that due to increasing total anti-oxidative capacity and reducing inflammation, the time to recovery could in fact decrease.

Also. we look at whether compression garments are an innovative way to help us recuperate faster. Or whether they are simply a marketing ploy. Compression garments are compressive forms of clothing. Often made out of elastin and nylon designed to enhance recovery.

According to Jessica Hill, an exercise scientist who authored a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Compression garments can reduce fluid build up in the muscle and decrease swelling and pressure. Spanish scientists also conducted a study on a number of football players.

With the results also pointing to compression garments boosting recovery and aiding muscle function. 

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What Is Holding You Back?

Also, we look at the effect of alcohol on muscle recovery.  Along with the impact of foam rolling and deep tissue massage.

We also look at a study conducted on twenty male subjects which was conducted to establish whether foam rolling actually helps to get us recover. Again this subject has many differing opinions. With a number of studies confirming the benefit of foam rolling and deep tissue massage. Along with some research pointing to a lack of added value.

Finally, we look at the impact of ice baths on muscle recovery.  A study conducted out of the Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research found that it does have a significant effect on muscle inflammation and soreness. However, Jonathan Peake from Queensland University conducted much research on this subject matter. Finding that although it may be beneficial for a speedy recovery. It may actually attenuate long-term muscle gain.


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Lesley George

Lesley is a content writer and community manager at Shape.

One Comment

  1. Awesome podcast as usual, Charlie. I feel like sometimes too much time is spent on planning out the workout phase of muscle growth, and not enough on the recovery phase. Many of the people I work with aren’t seeing progress because they are spending way too much time in the gym and not enough resting and making sure they are eating the right foods.

    I will have to say that I have found cutting back on alcohol to be extremely beneficial for my recovery. I used to have a long, intense workout and then have some beers soon after. I would wake up with a bad headache the next day and my muscles would be extra sore. Not drinking right after working out and cutting back on alcohol in general has increased my recovery time greatly. Incorporating natural anti-inflammatory foods and supplements like fish oil, salmon, ginger, and a good multi-vitamin has really helped me recover faster and more smoothly.

    Thanks for always bringing us the science.

    Cheers,

    -Stephen

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