Yesterday Fox News published a lifestyle article by Max Knoblauch about “workout hangovers.” I won’t lie, I giggled at the name they gave this so-called hangover. Post-workout soreness, also known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is very real, especially when you’re new to working out.
Knoblauch also talks about the most common types of workout injuries, which are pulled muscles, ankle sprains, and knee sprains.
Apparently these injuries and workout hangovers have people calling in sick to work and canceling social plans! Like… seriously?!
Knoblauch attempted to write about how to recover from these workouts better but fell short of providing any useful, unbiased information. He quoted the co-founder of LIFEAID Bev Co., which was honestly a bit sneaky because it could potentially give his audience the impression that they need to consume these products to recover fully and not have a “workout hangover.”
Do you need supplements to avoid the workout hangover? Nah. You can definitely supplement with a post-workout protein shake or bar if you want to, but it is not necessary!
Here are some tips for how you can avoid the workout hangovers and common workout injuries:
A balanced diet that meets daily caloric intake and macronutrient needs will help a lot with the post-workout recovery process. If you have a well-balanced diet, then you don’t really have any need for supplements or other recovery products!
Sleep is so important! Getting enough sleep doesn’t just help your mental health, energy, and immunity, but it helps your muscles recover from a tough workout!
Rest days are SUPER critical, especially if you are working out more than half of the days of the week and doing intense workouts on top of that. If you workout with no rest days, then you are doing more harm than good and you will likely end up with an overtraining injury.
If you are brand new to working out, the muscle soreness can be overwhelming. I recommend starting slow and working out maybe two days the first week. Then slowly increase how many days you workout per week until you reach a number that aligns with your lifestyle. If you stay consistent and don’t stop exercising, then you won’t experience as much muscle soreness!
Rotating Muscle Groups
Obviously if you work chest on a Monday, then you shouldn’t do more chest exercises the next day! I recommend waiting 48 hours before working out that same muscle group again if you are lifting heavy weights and fatiguing your muscles.
The human body is made up of a ton of water, so obviously staying hydrated is important! Water and hydration helps with digestion of important nutrients, rebuilding of the muscles (protein synthesis), and so much more. Drink up, buttercup!
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and always my go-to when I am experiencing muscle soreness. There are tons of teas or you can even look up a recipe for golden milk! Disclaimer: I have not tried golden milk, so I can’t tell you whether it is good or not!
Using proper form will ensure that you avoid injury. If you are unsure of whether you’re using proper form or not, you can always look up videos or photos of the proper form, ask a friend to spot you, or even ask a personal trainer at your gym. They’d be more than happy to help!
Warm Up and Cool Down
Warming up and cooling down are vital parts of workouts, and so many people skip their warm ups and cool downs! Warming up helps the human body slowly raise its heart rate and increase blood flow to muscles. It also helps to prevent injury during the actual workout. Cooling down is important because it returns your body to its normal state.
No Pain, No Gain? FALSE!
Most importantly, feeling any sort of intense pain during your workout is not normal and therefore you should stop your workout. The “no pain, no gain” mindset is dangerous and could make the injury even worse, preventing you from working out for awhile while you heal.
Like I said before, you do not need any fancy drinks or supplements to recover from a workout. You can do it without ANY products and I actually recommend paying attention to everything I have listed above to prevent the “workout hangover.”
I wear a lot of hats; NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist; wife; fur mom; writer; college student; mental health advocate; pet sitter; Airman; athlete; and many more. I love my home in the southwest and my favorite season is summer. I am a sepsis survivor and I battle with generalized anxiety disorder and depression.