As important as the things are that you do before your workout (pre workout supplements and meals) as well as during your workout (your actual training) are for getting the results that you want.
Equally important are the things you do after your workout.
What you do (or don’t do) after your workout has a direct impact on how effectively your body recovers, which subsequently affects how you perform and grow.
Here are 7 things NOT to do after a workout to ensure your time spent in the gym doesn’t go to waste!
Top 7 Things NOT To Do After a Workout
#1 Performing Excessive Cardio
Don’t get us wrong. There is nothing wrong with incorporating cardio into your training program.
It can help prevent excessive fat gain (especially if you’re focused on building muscle), and it’s also necessary for optimal cardiovascular health.
So, you want to keep some cardio in your weekly training program.
It’s just that performing too much cardio, especially after your resistance training workouts, can impair your results.
Chronic cardio can lead to excessive cortisol levels and increased rates of protein (muscle) breakdown.
Furthermore, there’s research to indicate that performing cardio training too close to your resistance training workouts can actually impair beneficial adaptations induced by resistance training. Basically, performing too much cardio before or after your workout can reduce gains in size, strength, and power output -- not exactly something you want for all the time and effort you’re spending in the gym.
Therefore, if you want to knock out some cardio and can’t perform it on another day or at some other time on the same day as your lifting, then keep the session brief and low-to-moderate intensity.
All you should need is 30 minutes at most.
Remember, the focus of your resistance training workouts is to gain strength and build/maintain muscle.
#2 Forgetting to Cool Down & Stretch
In our haste to get in and out of the gym and on with the rest of our day, we neglect important parts of the training process, including proper warm ups and cool downs.
Failing to properly cool down and stretch after a workout can increase the chance of pulling a muscle or having it cramp up on you soon after leaving the gym.
A proper cool down also allows your heart rate and blood pressure to return to normal. And, it helps lower cortisol levels, which are elevated during a training session. As we mentioned above, you don’t want cortisol levels to remain elevated all the time as it can lead to impaired recovery and increased protein (muscle) breakdown.
Proper cool downs not only help you recover more quickly and keep you more limber, but they may also enhance the growth process since stretching a muscle under tension is known to stimulate various anabolic (muscle building) pathways in the body.
#3 Not Eating Protein
The post-workout period is one of the primetime growth opportunities during the day, and one of the absolute worst things you can do after a workout is to not eat.
Following a workout, your muscles are damaged and energy stores are depleted.
To effectively repair and growth, your muscles need the right nutrients, like protein and carbohydrates.
Whey protein is an ideal post-workout protein source as it is fast-digesting and high in essential amino acids, especially leucine which is the “anabolic trigger” of muscle growth.[2,3]
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential for recovery and muscle building. Protein Shake is a very convenient and a fast way to get your protein in. Drink it immediately post workout to start the recovery process. Also helps with sweet cravings while dieting
It’s delicious, easy on the stomach, and provides a robust 25 grams of high-quality protein per scoop.
#4 Restrict Carbohydrates
After a workout, not only is it important to consume protein, it’s also extremely beneficial to consume some carbohydrates.
The reason for this is simple.
Carbohydrates (glycogen) are the primary fuel used by your muscles during intense exercise. After a hard workout, glycogen stores are depleted and need to be replenished.
Consuming some fast-digesting carbohydrates, like those contained in 1UP Tri-Carb, kick start the repair, recovery, and growth processes. The more efficiently you recover, the sooner you can get back in the gym and keep making progress.
Tri-Carb is a high quality fast digestive carbohydrate source that your muscles will need immediately post workout to start the recovery process. Perfect for your post workout drink
Furthermore, consuming carbohydrates immediately post workout may also help reduce muscle soreness, and they also facilitate greater nutrient absorption.
This is because ingesting carbohydrates causes insulin levels to rise. Insulin is a vitally important hormone in that it shuttles nutrients (carbohydrates, essential amino acids, etc.) into muscle cells so they can repair and grow.
Insulin also possesses anti-catabolic properties, which means it halts muscle breakdown and supports muscle protein synthesis.
Muscle cells are highly receptive to nutrients immediately following exercise, so if there was ever a time to consume carbohydrates, the post workout period is it!
#5 Eating Too Many Fats
Following a workout, you want to consume fast-digesting protein and carbohydrates, like whey protein and Cluster Dextrin (which is found in Tri-Carb). The faster these nutrients can get into your bloodstream, the sooner your muscles can start the recovery process.
Things you want to limit in the immediate post-workout window are nutrients that slow the digestive process like fats and fiber.
Now, don’t take this to mean that you have to have a zero fat meal immediately after training, but you don’t want a ton of fat (20+ grams) as that will only serve to delay those vitally important amino acids and carbohydrates from reaching your muscle cells.
#6 Skimping on Sleep
The importance of sleep on your body’s ability to effectively recover and grow from training cannot be emphasized heavily enough.
Simply put, if you want to maximize your results from your time spent in the gym, then getting adequate quality sleep each night is a MUST.
Too many individuals eschew sleep in favor of watching more TV, scrolling through social media, or playing video games. All the while they’re looking for the “quick-fix” that will get them the results they so desperately want.
The single biggest thing to improve your results, be it muscle gain, weight loss, or body recomposition, is to get enough sleep.
Why get more sleep?
Not getting enough sleep is known to reduce protein synthesis and increase rates of protein breakdown. Sleep deprivation also reduces production of anabolic hormones, promotes fat storage, and reduces energy expenditure. Lack of sleep also messes with your hunger and satiety cues, increasing the chances you’ll gorge on high-calorie, high-fat foods.
The bottom line here is that if you want to maximize your results from hard work in the gym and in the kitchen you must get enough sleep.
If you have trouble getting to sleep each night (and/or staying asleep), consider some of these tips:
- Set a bedtime
- Establish a bedtime ritual
- Limit blue light exposure 2 hours before bed
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours preceding bedtime
- Listen to relaxing music
- Have a cup of herbal tea
- Avoid acute stressors before bed (social media, news, work emails, texts, etc.)
Recharge PM and Beauty Dream PM contain natural, non-habit forming ingredients that help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety while promoting feelings of calm and relaxation, fostering the ideal environment for a night of restorative, energizing sleep.
#7 Not Using the Right Supplements
When it comes to getting results, nothing can trump the powerful trifecta of diet, training, and sleep.
That being said, the implementation of the right supplements in the post-workout periods can greatly enhance your recovery and results.
As we mentioned above, your muscles are highly receptive to whatever nutrients you throw at them following a workout.
Why not give them the best supplements to support recovery and muscle growth?
In addition to whey protein and carbohydrates, the best post workouts supplements include ingredients that enhance the recovery and growth process, such as creatine, betaine, glutamine, and electrolytes.
We’ve compiled the best post workout supplements into a single product so you don’t have to waste time scouring the net for each individual ingredient.
1UP Pure Rebuild is a 5-in-1 post workout supplement specifically formulated to accelerate recovery, reduce protein breakdown, and support muscle growth. You can take a serving of Pure Rebuild immediately before your post workout shake or mix it into it!
- Nunes JP, Schoenfeld BJ, Nakamura M, Ribeiro AS, Cunha PM, Cyrino ES. Does stretch training induce muscle hypertrophy in humans? A review of the literature. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2020 May;40(3):148-156. doi: 10.1111/cpf.12622. Epub 2020 Feb 5. PMID: 31984621.
- West DWD, Abou Sawan S, Mazzulla M, Williamson E, Moore DR. Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Whole Body Protein Metabolism and Performance Recovery after Resistance Exercise: A Double-Blind Crossover Study. Nutrients. 2017 Jul 11;9(7):735. doi: 10.3390/nu9070735. PMID: 28696380; PMCID: PMC5537849.
- Volek JS, Volk BM, Gómez AL, Kunces LJ, Kupchak BR, Freidenreich DJ, Aristizabal JC, Saenz C, Dunn-Lewis C, Ballard KD, Quann EE, Kawiecki DL, Flanagan SD, Comstock BA, Fragala MS, Earp JE, Fernandez ML, Bruno RS, Ptolemy AS, Kellogg MD, Maresh CM, Kraemer WJ. Whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass. J Am Coll Nutr. 2013;32(2):122-35. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2013.793580. PMID: 24015719.
- van Loon LJ, Saris WH, Kruijshoop M, Wagenmakers AJ. Maximizing postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis: carbohydrate supplementation and the application of amino acid or protein hydrolysate mixtures. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jul;72(1):106-11. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/72.1.106. PMID: 10871568.
- Viribay, A., Arribalzaga, S., Mielgo-Ayuso, J., Castañeda-Babarro, A., Seco-Calvo, J., & Urdampilleta, A. (2020). Effects of 120 G/H of carbohydrates intake during a mountain marathon on exercise-induced muscle damage in elite runners. Nutrients, 12(5), 1367. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051367
- Dattilo M, Antunes HK, Medeiros A, Mônico Neto M, Souza HS, Tufik S, de Mello MT. Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. Med Hypotheses. 2011 Aug;77(2):220-2. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.04.017. Epub 2011 May 7. PMID: 21550729.
- Schmid SM, Hallschmid M, Jauch-Chara K, Born J, Schultes B. A single night of sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels and feelings of hunger in normal-weight healthy men. J Sleep Res. 2008 Sep;17(3):331-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00662.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28. PMID: 18564298.