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Help Your Muscles Heal with These Post-Workout Recovery Tips

Three products reccomended in the article below from brands like MZOO, M MCIRCO and Gimme 10.

If you’ve been hitting the gym hard, chances are your muscles are starting to feel sore. But getting closer to your goals means giving your muscles time to recover, too. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to give your sore limbs a break.

It’s important to give your muscles time to rest and heal after a challenging workout. If you don’t, you run the risk of injury. These seven tips will help you give your sore muscles a much-needed break.

Why Is Recovery Important?

Someone massaging her muscles after an intense workout.
PR Image Factory/Shutterstock.com

The time and effort you put into sweating at the gym are essential to reach your fitness goals. However, there’s one often overlooked part of the equation called recovery.

Recently, experts have discovered that your post-workout recovery is just as, or possibly, even more critical than the time you spend training. That’s because, after working your muscles, they need time to repair and strengthen, which is essential to high-quality performance.

So, if you feel guilty about taking a day off, think again! If anything, you’re promoting healthier muscles and better performance. Post-workout recovery starts with a few basics, like a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and getting a good night’s sleep. Luckily, there are a few accessories that’ll help you get all of the above.

Stay Hydrated

Two images showing the Venture Pal water jug filled with a half gallon of water to help motivate them to drink all day, especially with sore muscles.
Venture Pal

You probably already know how vital drinking water is for your body, and it’s especially important when you exercise. You should try to drink around 15-20 ounces of water a couple of hours before your workout, and about eight every 15 minutes during your workout to avoid dehydration.

Sweating is your body’s natural way of getting rid of heat and maintaining its temperature. Drinking water helps replace the fluids you lose when you sweat, which is essential for maintaining normal body function and good performance.

Of course, remembering to drink all that water can be a challenge for many. That’s why having a motivational water bottle is an effective reminder to keep on chugging.

Venture Pal Motivational Water Bottle

Motivates you to keep chugging!

Eat Well-Balanced Meals

A fridge filled with M MCIRCO food containers and a bunch of filled containers during a meal prep session.

Eating a well-balanced diet filled with nutritious, whole foods is incredibly important, especially if you work out. That’s because most processed foods don’t provide the same (if any) quality of nutrition as fruits and vegetables do, which can lead to certain deficiencies.

Mineral, vitamin, and macronutrient (like protein) deficiencies impair healing, which is why the choices you make during recovery should be carefully considered.

To avoid this, make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy protein sources. Also, try to minimize your intake of highly-processed foods as much as possible. One way to eat healthier is to cook and prep your own meals and snacks as much as possible.

If you fill your fridge with loads of wholesome foods, you won’t get hangry cravings for fast-food and takeout when you’re on the go. These food containers are ideal for packing a healthy lunch or storing leftovers.


Perfect for meal prepping and storing healthy leftovers.

Get Plenty of Rest

Two images displayed showing a MZOO contoured mask and a woman sleeping soundfully with one on.

Getting enough sleep is also necessary to give your muscles enough time to recover after exercise. Unfortunately, most of us are so busy, going to sleep at a decent hour might seem impossible.

However, there are many things you can do—big and small—to improve the quality of your sleep, as well as your routine. You can also try some breathing tricks to help relieve stress or adjust the temperature of your nighttime shower.

If blocking out light is your biggest problem, a comfortable eye mask might help you catch some Z’s. This option from MZOO is particularly good for daytime naps and early evening snoozes.

MZOO Contoured Sleeping Mask

For a dark, comfortable night's rest.

Take Time to Stretch

A woman and a OPTP stretch out strap poster demonstrating various stretches you can do at home.

It’s essential to do a cooldown and stretch after you work out to prevent muscle soreness. Not only will this help ease muscle tension, but you’ll also improve your flexibility and range of motion.

No matter what kind of workout you do, there are stretches that can help. Post this laminated poster in your home gym to help you remember. It features 20 different stretches even those with limited flexibility can do with the included nylon strap.

OPTP Stretching Strap

Stretching made easy.

Consider Supplements

A Garden of Life logo with various flavors displayed including vanilla, chocolate, lightly sweet strawberry and chocolate peanut butter.
Garden of Life

Protein is vital when it comes to helping your muscles recover from exercise, and sometimes, a well-balanced diet just doesn’t cut it. Many protein powders, including whey and plant-based, are popular because they contain loads of essential amino acids, which can repair and rebuild muscles.

Garden of Life organic whey protein powder can help you with muscle recovery and growth. It even comes in different flavors, including delicious chocolate peanut butter.

Get a Massage or Use a Foam Roller

A woman using a Gimme 10 foam roller in the comfort of her home to help massage her sore muscles.
Gimme 10

It’s not uncommon for athletes to incorporate massage in their training routine, as it helps reduce sore muscles. Massage helps with the delayed onset of muscle soreness, which is the pain you start to feel after a workout.

For the best results, you should wait at least 48 hours before getting a massage. If you’d rather reduce soreness at home, consider using a foam roller right after your workout. The Gimme 10 roller is perfect for athletes, runners, or anyone who dances or does yoga or Pilates.

Gimme 10 Foam Roller

Massage those sore muscles.

Take an Epsom Salt Bath

Two bags of Dr. Teal's Pure Epsopm Salt including varieties like Relax & Relief and Soothe & Sleep.
Dr. Teal’s

Soaking in Epsom salts will have a serious relaxing effect on both your body and mind. While there isn’t much scientific evidence to support that magnesium and sulfates can reduce muscle soreness when absorbed through the skin, there are a few other things they will do.

Epsom salt is known to help ease constipation and soften your skin and hair. To use it, just add the salt to a very warm (but not too hot) bath. The temperature alone will help soothe those cold, achy muscles. The soothing properties of Dr. Teal’s Eucalptus & Spearmint or Lavender before bedtime will also help you get a peaceful night’s rest.

Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt

Just sprinkle in a warm bath and soak.

Proper muscle recovery is an essential part of a healthy workout routine. Try some of these tips whenever your muscles are particularly sore. Whether it’s foam rolling or a nice long soak in Epsom salts, you’ll soon find which method works best for you.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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