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How To Make Muscles Recover Faster

author image Kyle Clayton
Kyle Clayton has been a creative writer since 2007 and now works as a freelance writer for LIVESTRONG.COM. He has worked in the fitness industry since 2007 and enjoys writing about nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles. Clayton is the winner of the Rex Reed Screenwriting Award and a UCLA Showcase Finalist. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting from UCLA.
How To Make Muscles Recover Faster
Fit people working out Photo Credit: LUNAMARINA/iStock/Getty Images

Exercise will make your muscles grow over time, but in the short term it actually damages them. They need time to heal and grow stronger before you can repeat a workout. The condition in which muscles become sore after working out is called delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). While there may be no way to prevent DOMS entirely, you can lessen the effects and recover faster through a variety of methods, enabling you to return to the gym in less time.

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Step 1

Young woman running to warm-up
Young woman running to warm-up Photo Credit: Maridav/iStock/Getty Images

Warm up before exercise. A study in the "Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research" found that a warm-up routine lessened the severity of muscle soreness following a workout.

Step 2

Woman drinking a recovery shake
Woman drinking a recovery shake Photo Credit: diego cervo/iStock/Getty Images

Drink a recovery shake right after your workout. The shake should contain protein powder and simple carbohydrates. Your muscles are most receptive to nutrient uptake immediately after working out.

Step 3

A selection of protein bars and nuts as protein
A selection of protein bars and nuts as protein Photo Credit: draganadutina/iStock/Getty Images

Consume plenty of protein throughout the day. Protein is the building block for muscle. A lack of protein will result in prolonged muscle soreness.

Step 4

Young man sleeping
Young man sleeping Photo Credit: Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock/Getty Images

Sleep for at least 8 hours. Your body produces anabolic hormones while you sleep that speed the recovery of your muscles. Fitness writer Dr. David Ryan claims that missing sleep is worse than skipping a workout when it comes to building muscle.

Step 5

Take rest days between workouts. Aim for 1 rest day per workout day. Your muscles cannot heal if you work out every day, and muscles grow when resting.

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