There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get after you’ve made it through an intense workout. You’re basically ready to take on your inbox and reorganize your closet, all in one go. It’s probably one of my favourite feelings, and generally why I enjoy working out in the first place (thank you, endorphins).
In an effort to hold onto that feeling for as long as possible and to keep your body in good shape for next time, nailing a post-workout routine is crucial. Below are my four non-negotiables when it comes to post-movement, and to sustaining myself both physically and mentally.
Hydrate with electrolytes
Hydration after a workout is obviously a no-brainer; it regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints, not to mention replenishes the water lost via sweat. Although plain water (preferably filtered or spring) is always king, I like to take it up a notch and drink coconut water.
Coconut water is a great and natural way to increase your electrolytes (ions found in your blood and body fluid)—the main ones being sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride, which provide us with necessary energy. After a workout, your ion levels are depleted, which is part of the reason why you may feel sore, stiff, tired, or light-headed. To get ahead of this, coconut water is my go-to, and is the perfect way to rehydrate and re-energize—all while keeping things natural.
Another super important component of any post-exercise routine is protein. Since our workouts serve to literally reshape and re-tone our muscle structure, and considering the fact that our muscle tissue is basically pure protein, replenishing our body with good-quality protein is necessary.
One of the ways I simply and easily ensure adequate protein restoration is by whipping up a loaded smoothie or smoothie bowl. My go-to combo is Vega Sport protein powder, oat milk, bananas (also high in electrolytes thanks to potassium), chia seeds (additional protein with omega fatty acids for joint lubrication), and collagen powder (for added beauty benefits).
Stretch and soothe
After Oil by vitruvi has become a staple in my post-workout routine. I love rubbing the essential oil blend on my problem areas, as well as on the muscles I’ve targeted during my exercise. It’s a perfectly curated blend of oils (Turmeric and Black Cumin Seed, for starters) that soothe muscles and help to relieve soreness. Immediately following After Oil, I’ll give my muscles a deep stretch, level out my breathing, and enter a meditative state to rebalance and reboot.
Not always welcomed with enthusiasm but highly effective is the cold water shower. Cold showers are good for the body and nerves—and although your morning shower session probably doesn't seem like an attractive task with which to test this theory out, post-movement may present a more digestible opportunity to reap the benefits. Cold showers, over time, improve the nervous system’s ability to handle stress; after a workout, it offers anti-inflammatory benefits, which will reduce muscle soreness. Put a few drops of Eucalyptus in the bottom of your shower to enhance the experience.
As is with anything, consistency is key to seeing results and enjoying the advantages of any regimen. If it’s too complicated, it will be hard to stick to, so keep it simple: only essentials.