8 Major Mistakes That Slows Down Muscle Recovery

image of physical therapist working on muscle recovery

Injuries can get in the way of your competition, training, and everyday routine. They can be mentally and physically frustrating, and it usually takes a while for them to heal altogether. Surprisingly, when you’re looking for muscle recovery, resting is not the only thing you have to consider.

You’re Just Not Healing

A long-term injury is an athlete’s worst nightmare. It can hinder them from productivity and progress which can take a toll on their mental health. As an athlete, the only thing you want to do is get back on the sport and train even harder for all those missed sessions. But what happens when you just can’t get better? The following are some things you may want to consider.

1. There’s not enough protein in your diet.

Injury requires a high amount of protein intake. Eliminating this from your diet could mean stalling your muscle recovery. It’s helpful to note that doctors recommend a minimum of one gram of protein per pound of your body weight. This is the best way to address muscle injury.

2. You don’t consider training.

Many of you might actually be exercisers or athletes who train on a regular basis so you might not want to hear this part, but I think it’s important to address nonetheless. Even if you’re injured, it’s imperative to continue training.

True, you have to rest from several activities and minimize the frequency and intensity of your training. But you should never eliminate exercising entirely. Your training has to continue so that you prevent future injuries and to let the muscles rehabilitate.

Of course, your training will change as you focus more on limited mobility and stability work, but you should also include a few strength training. You’ll find yourself changing your workout routine to fit your comfort levels and your doctor may suggest warming up the injured area as part of the recovery protocol. Make it a goal to adhere to your physician’s directions.

As a good rule of thumb, it’s important to know that whether your injury involves overuse, muscle imbalance, and trauma, rehabilitation will increase the recovery. Consult your physical therapist to see which activity is best to address muscle strengthening.

3. You’re not taking essential minerals and vitamins.

Vitamin A, B, C, and D, as well as zinc, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and calcium, promote tissue regeneration and repairs to support protein synthesis, strengthen connective tissue, and collagen formation. This means, consuming processed food without the right combination of fruits, meat products, dairy, and vegetables can impede you from receiving key micronutrients.

4. You’re not taking the time to regenerate or recover.

Sure, after seeing results, the last thing you want is to halt your progress. After all, you have goals to meet and deadlines to pursue. However, engaging in strenuous activities right after medical treatment will only slow down your recovery time. Instead, take a few weeks to recuperate your body.

When you’re feeling anxious about getting back to the gym, consult with your doctor to see which regimen is best for you.

5. You’re not exactly eating nutritious meals.

What you eat is crucial to injury rehabilitation, and it is often overlooked by professionals and athletes alike. The truth is, a well-balanced nutrition can actually increase the healing progress while the opposite can have reversed effects. This means junk foods can impede you from getting better.

6. You’re not eating enough.

Due to injury, you will need to consume less food than normal if you’re competing or training. However, many professionals tend to tremendously lower their caloric intake, and eating what they normally would when they’re at a sedentary state. The issue here is during the acute phase of recuperation, your body’s energy level is heightened. It has been proven that the basal metabolic rate elevates to about 15-50% depending on the injury. Because of this, your body needs the extra energy from food to heal meaning you could delay the process when you’re depriving yourself of the fuel.

7. You don’t to eat good fat.

Research shows that lifestyle high in omega-5, trans-fats, vegetable oils, and saturated fats can aggravate inflammation. On the contrary, a diet rich in omega-3 and monounsaturated fats has a reversal effect. Interestingly enough, the anti-inflammatory drive from these fats doesn’t interfere with muscle recovery. Instead, it assists in collagen deposition and healing.

8. You’re consuming alcohol on a daily basis.

Occasional consumption of alcohol is okay, but there is a fine line between drinking in moderation and excessive. Some people delight themselves with alcohol to “numb the pain”. However, masking the pain only means masking your ability to protect yourself from further injuries.

But that’s not the only negative effects. Alcohol impedes recovery, depletes energy dehydrated the body, impairs muscle growth, and decreased the ability to create ATP. In addition, it impairs your sleeping pattern which can negatively affect the body’s healing process. Simply put, alcohol can hone in more damage than benefits as it slows your process to heal.