We ride hard at B/SPOKE and as any athlete knows, recovery is key to success when it comes to a good sweat. In fact many top athletes believe recovery is just as important, if not more important, than your actual workout. Overtraining can lead to exhaustion, injury and burning out before you’ve ever reached your goal. Our outlook at B/SPOKE is to train smarter. Not harder. To help you get the most out of your down time, we’ve gathered our top tips for the best recovery.
Even after you ride, your body is still working, burning calories, busy replacing its glycogen stores, removing lactic acid, lowering your heart rate, AND shutting down the capillaries to your muscles as the ones to your stomach reopen. Consuming a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein after a workout will help reduce the severity of muscle soreness. Try a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter or a protein packed smoothie from our fave juice bar Pure Cocobeet. Foods high in potassium are a also great recovery item, bananas, melons and potatoes.
#2 Increase Circulation
Want to decrease the soreness that comes from crushing all those hill climbs? Although there is no proven cure, many riders, instructors, and owners at B/SPOKE use acupuncture and/or massage therapy to help increase circulation to tired, sore muscles which will help them feel better faster. Heat therapy (eg. warm epsom salt baths, hot showers, heating pads) also greatly aide in increasing circulation to tight areas of the body (lower backs, legs, shoulders). Try filling a pillowcase with 5lbs of rice, heat it for 6 minutes and let it rest on any area that needs some love.
Not to sound like your mother but sleep is an essential component to recovery. When you sleep, your body is in overdrive clearing toxins out of your system (think lactic acid which causes muscle soreness). All your individual cells, not just your brain cells, are being completely repaired. These restorative processes take care of all the damage that has occurred during the day. So if you don’t get plenty of ZZZZs, you won’t be reaping the full benefit of the your body’s natural process.
Drink plenty of water! Hydration is a must in order to keep all of your body’s functions finly tuned. Dehydration can lead to muscle soreness which only keeps you away from your routine rides. Because you are increasing your loss of fluids when you sweat in the studio, you should replenish accordingly. Sidenote: If you are a frequenter of HOT R/DE, you should definitely be consuming plenty of fluids before and after…even adding an electrolyte supplement to help diminish the risk of muscle cramps, fatigue or even dizziness. Try out our ProBar Bolts or add electrolyte powder to 8oz of water while you ride.
#5 Cool Down
A proper cool down can help you safely bring your heart rate down and comfortably stretch your limbs while you are still warm. If you skip out on the stretch and head right to sitting at a desk, you can be sure that you will be stiff later that day. It’s much harder to stretch cold, tight & sore muscles than it is to lengthen muscles that have been warmed up by pedaling, so if you can take the time to stretch post ride, we guarantee your body will thank you.