Easy Post-Workout Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making.

When you start seeing results from your workout routine, it’s like you’re unstoppable. You feel like you can conquer the world. And then, you plateau.  What happens next is entirely up to you. You can persevere and keep doing the same things you’re doing. That’ll work to an extent, but you aren’t going to optimize your gains. If you want to keep the momentum going, be sure you aren’t making these easy post-workout mistakes that so many people are guilty of. 

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Fasting

Depending on your workout goals, fasting post-workout could be the worst thing you can do. If you workout in a fasting state, your body will burn more fat. And for some people, that’s a welcome change. But if fat loss isn’t your goal, you may want to have a pre-workout protein shake or high-protein meal. Either way, you’re going to want to have a high-protein meal or shake after your workout. If you’re fasting, this means to time your eating window shortly after your workout. 

When you work out, your body is breaking down muscle. In recovery, your body is repairing and rebuilding muscle. This is why it’s essential to supply your body with the necessary amino acids in the form of dietary protein post-workout. 

Skipping a post-workout meal can leave you feeling tired and foggy, and it can stand in the way of your recovery. 

Inviting stress too soon

This is a mistake, so many of us make after a workout. But part of honoring your body is protecting it during this post-workout phase. This means avoiding anything that will cause a spike in cortisol (like stress) or otherwise cause inflammation levels to rise. These things will hurt your body’s ability to bounce back after a workout. So don’t be so quick to pick up your cell phone post-workout. 

Drinking alcohol

After a workout, your body needs a lot of hydration to help rebuild your muscles and generally recover. But when you drink alcohol, you’re essentially putting all that to a halt. The same is true for recreational drugs. When your body is consumed with handling a toxin, it does not focus on the important matter at hand, your body’s recovery. 

The effects of cocaine are particularly problematic before or after a workout. Cocaine prevents the re-uptake of norepinephrine, and this exacerbates the fact that the body produces more norepinephrine from a workout. This is an example where too much of a good thing can kill you. Norepinephrine is involved in helping the body deal with stress, but an overabundance of it has proven to be cardiotoxic. 

Ignoring Popeye’s advice

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If you want to be strong to the finish… you guessed it, eat your spinach. There’s a reason why leafy greens are associated with building strong muscles, and that’s because they’re rich in minerals. The body needs magnesium to function correctly and to build muscle and repair damage. 

But don’t worry if you don’t like spinach. Most leafy green vegetables, including kale, romaine, and dandelion greens, are rich in minerals like magnesium that will aid your body in recovery. This is one good reason why a post-workout salad is always a great idea. Just be sure there’s plenty of protein. 

It can be frustrating when your workout efforts don’t seem to be paying off, but there may also be a reason. These common post-workout mistakes may just be sabotaging your workouts. Fortunately, there are easy fixes for each of these mistakes. All you have to do is become aware and make some minor shifts to your routine. The payoff will be worthwhile.