You’re working hard in the gym, but are you building muscle and burning fat the way you want? If you’re not getting the results you want from your workout, the answer could be not in your program, but in your recovery.

What Your Muscles Need After a Workout

Your workout is tough, and when you’re finished, there’s not much left. That’s because a good workout breaks down muscle. As you push, your muscles use up available glycogen that drives muscles function. Your muscles turn to fat stores for energy to rebuild muscle.

But unless glycogen is replenished quickly, your body may turn to muscle itself to refuel. Your post-workout recovery is the time when you can really build muscle—or lose it. Gain muscle by restoring nutrients quickly after your workout. Try these tips to speed your workout recovery:

1. Timing is Everything in Workout Recovery

It’s critical that you refuel muscles within 30 minutes to an hour. This time, called the anabolic window, is the period when your muscles are most able to take up nutrients, replenish glycogen, and restore protein balance. Your muscles, starved for fuel, must be fed quickly.

2. Post-Workout Is Carb Time

Carbohydrates are the nutrient you need to quickly restore glycogen to muscles. Replenishing glycogen releases insulin to help build and repair protein—your muscles. At this time, simple sugars are best for a fast workout recovery. Try a carb powder that can be easily mixed with a protein powder at a ratio of 2:1.

3. Drink to Your Health

For the quickest delivery, turn to liquids, which can be absorbed in 30 minutes, speeding your workout recovery. A digestible, bio-available whey protein shake with carb powder will be absorbed quickly.

4. No Fat, No Problem in Your Workout Recovery

Fats are important nutrients in a muscle-building nutrition plan—fats regulate hormones and help keep joints fluid. But your post-workout recovery is not the time to eat fats, which can slow down absorption of other nutrients critical to muscle building.

5. Remember to Foam Roll Pre & Post Workout

A post-workout session with the foam roller benefits circulation, sending oxygen and nutrients to tired muscles. It helps remove waste products such as lactic acid, and it breaks up fibrotic tissue, increasing your range of motion.

Foam rollers are a great part of treatment for back pain, too. Ask your chiropractor for help in using a foam roller to keep large muscle groups healthy and ease tension in the upper spine. Always let your chiropractor know about your foam roller use and follow their directions.

Related: Unexpected Benefits of the Foam Roller

King Chiropractic Can Help, Too

When your post-workout recovery isn’t quite enough, turn to King Chiropractic, a performance Chiropractor. We offer fast, lasting pain relief and plenty of options for improving your athletic performance. King Chiropractic can help you heal faster from injuries, improve your coordination, stability, range of motion, and mobility, and reduce inflammation.

For help with post-workout discomfort or to improve your athletic performance, call (910) 777-7228 to schedule an appointment today with King Chiropractic.