Boosting recovery: Solutions to the most common recovery problems |

Recovery is the next most important component to training, and today, we take a look at some of the most common recovery problems that we see in the gym, and how to fix them.

In the realm of sports recovery, there are a few things that are almost universally true: Ice reduces pain, stretching increases range of motion, proper nutrition is critical, and rest is extremely important. In recent years, many new methods have emerged that attempt to break those rules, and their popularity has grown rapidly. As a result, many athletes are looking for ways to make sure their training is as effective as possible, and the most common complaints they have are related to recovery.

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How can you enhance your recuperation by eating better? To give you more energy? To get rid of aches and pains? To increase your strength? In order to lessen inflammation? To boost your immune system? Yes, absolutely!

Kurtis Frank (one of the creative brains behind, the web’s most remarkable compilation of independent research on supplements and nutrition) offers advice on how to solve the most frequent recovery issues in this post.


Consider the last time you felt at the top of your game, both physically and intellectually, achieving peak performance.

If you imagined your eighth-grade field day, you may need some assistance with your recovery plan. (See All About Recovery for additional information on recovery.)

The cycle of training and recuperation

We must exercise hard enough to catch our bodies’ attention — to momentarily and slightly surpass their capability — if we want to become fitter and stronger. Only by putting in a lot of effort can the body get stronger.

However, training alone is insufficient to provide the desired results. It is the time in between training sessions that allows us to enhance our fitness.

Our bodies can only adjust to the stress we’ve placed on them when we’re sleeping. To put it another way, get back on your feet.

Fitness and strength are made possible through recovery.

As a result, training and rest-recovery times are mutually beneficial. Both are required.

The faster and more intensively you can exercise, the greater your recuperation. 

The financial account of your body

Consider training to be similar to making withdrawals from a “body bank account.” The greater the retreat, the more severe the training.

Other life stresses, including as job, relationships, family, financial, and other obligations, may mix with training stress.

A deposit into the bank account is rest and recuperation. And ideally, you’re putting in a decent — and consistent — wage of rest and recuperation procedures.

Otherwise, you risk overtraining and overachievement, which is referred to as “deficit spending.”

Overtraining & over-reaching

We face the danger of overtraining or over-reaching if we disregard our need for rest and recuperation.

Our bodies’ “bank account” is depleted… or, much worse, complete insolvency.

The symptoms are similar in appearance and vary mostly in severity.

Overtraining is the most severe form of this “body debt,” and it occurs often in bodybuilders and other athletes who significantly decrease their calorie intake while training hard and regularly.

Overtraining may result in the following:

  • significant deterioration in strength and fitness
  • joint and muscle discomfort that is severe and persistent
  • severe mood swings, such as profound depression or other mental problems
  • a substantial disturbance in sleep
  • significant immune system issues — frequent and severe diseases (e.g., bacterial/viral infections, etc.)
  • suppression of hormones (e.g. low thyroid, low sex hormones, amenorrhea or irregular periods in women, etc.)

For leisure exercisers, over-reaching — a milder form of overtraining — is a much more frequent and pernicious issue.

Overreaching may lead to:

  • poor mojo and low energy
  • Workouts that are always “meh”; lack of enthusiasm for training
  • I’m always sore and achey.
  • moderate irritability, moodiness, or anxiety
  • mild, bothersome injuries
  • I’m not feeling 100% – I’m catching small bugs and I’m tired.

In both situations, you essentially feel bad.

First steps in supplementation

First and foremost, pay attention.

Do any of these signs and symptoms ring a bell? That’s OK.

The first step in addressing an issue is to become aware of it. Consider keeping a symptom diary to monitor your feelings – even a few lines in the margin of your exercise log may help you see patterns.

Step 2: Stick to the fundamentals.

The second stage is to reinforce your positive behaviors right away. This includes the following:

  • obtaining enough sleep
  • obtaining sufficient amounts of high-quality nutrients
  • pursuing rest and recovery regimens with zeal

Following this “fundamentals first” prescription for a few days — and then committing to keeping it up – should usually improve your symptoms.

Keep in mind that supplements are meant to be used in conjunction with the basics.

If you persist on killing yourself at the gym despite your body’s screams for help, a supplement is unlikely to help you avoid additional injury.

So, before you start taking supplements, be sure you’ve mastered the fundamentals of rest and recuperation. Supplements will not help you overcome your stubbornness.

Step 3: Choose your supplements carefully.

However, if you’ve tried the basic rest and recuperation methods for many weeks and are still dragging, supplementing may be necessary.

Let’s take a look at a few typical issues.

Problem #1: I’m tired and can’t seem to get myself to exercise!

Take a breather.

Take it easy for a few days first. It’s really simple.

Create a nighttime regimen to help you receive adequate restful sleep. (See “Hacking Sleep: Engineering a Restful Night” for more information.)

Take a day off from working out.

When you return to the gym, keep your training volume (the number of repetitions and sets) low or your training intensity (the amount of weight you use) low. Or you could do both.

Activate your “relaxation” mechanism.

Yoga, meditation, and massage are all practices that promote the parasympathetic nervous system. Even low-intensity cycling, strolling, or trekking can suffice if your heart rate is kept low.

Reduce your anxiety.

Other sources of stress in your life should be minimized.

This may require some problem-solving skills. It’s possible that you’ll need to seek assistance.

However, whatever you can do to decrease your stress load will help you have more energy both in and out of the gym.

Adaptogens (supplement 1)

Adaptogens, a class of supplements that may decrease the effects of stress on the body, are your first line of defense.

Adaptogens may be taken before a stressful event to reduce or remove the stressor’s effects.

Adaptogens may also be used to assist reduce the consequences of a stressful experience.

Adaptogens do not combat tiredness in the same manner that a performance enhancer does; they will not aid your exercise under normal circumstances. However, they may help to minimize or avoid the tiredness that occurs with overexertion.

There are numerous adaptogens, but panax ginseng and Rhodiola rosea are the two most well-studied.

Both of these supplements help people feel less stressed and tired, and rhodiola has been proven to be both preventative and rehabilitative.

Potency wood is another adaptogen that is presently undergoing early study (technically Muira puama).

Weightlifters in South America seem to have had some success with it, so it may be worth considering in the future.

L-tyrosine (supplement 2)

L-tyrosine is an amino acid that is a precursor to the catecholamine neurotransmitters (adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine).

Catecholamines are decreased when we are worried or fatigued. Supplementing with l-tyrosine does not seem to enhance the levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain or body, but it does offer more of the raw materials needed to produce them.

Ginseng root reduces the stress and fatigue of training.

Ginseng root decreases training stress and tiredness.

Problem #2: In the gym, I simply don’t feel very powerful!

It’s natural to feel weary and sluggish in the hours after a strenuous exercise.

However, you should be doing as well as, if not better than, before in a few days. If this isn’t the case, something is wrong with your recuperation.

Consume extra food, particularly carbohydrates.

To combat chronic weakness, start by increasing your calorie intake, especially before or during an activity session.

If your diet is lacking in carbs, this is an excellent time to add some back in.

If you’re attempting to lose weight, keep in mind that the ideal time to consume carbohydrates is just before or after your exercise, and that if you keep your amounts small (and stick to healthy carbs), an additional spoonful or two of sweet potato won’t derail your progress.

Go easier

For a few days, go easier at the gym. Continue to move, but decrease your weights for a few days (and perhaps add more reps). This should be plenty to allow your body to rest and regenerate.

If you’re a woman who menstruates, get to know how your natural strength fluctuates during your cycle. Over the course of the month, most women experience changes in strength and energy due to hormonal changes. On days when you know you’ll have less petrol in the tank, do your lighter exercises.

Examine your medications.

Many medicines, such as statins and corticosteroids, cause muscle weakness as a side effect (e.g. Prednisone).

Supplement 1: Vitamins & minerals

Muscle weakness may be a sign of nutrient deficits. This includes the following:

  • B12 deficiency (common in vegetarians and vegans who don’t supplement)
  • vitamin D deficiency (extremely frequent; up to 80% of individuals may be deficient)
  • Low iron (common in endurance athletes, women who exercise, and/or vegetarians)

If you think any of these are true, get your levels tested and supplement as needed.

Supplement 2: Cholinergenics & caffeine

Consider cholinergics or caffeine if changing your diet and workload doesn’t help.

Caffeine has been shown to improve power output when taken in high amounts (400-500mg) before training, but most people will be OK with 100-200 mg (the equivalent of 1 to 1.5 cups of coffee), particularly if they aren’t regular coffee drinkers.

Cholinergics are a less well-understood group of chemicals. Even the most well-supported, Alpha-GPC, is still in the early phases of study, and although it seems to be beneficial, the body of data supporting it is limited.

Problem #3: I’m in pain!

Persistent soreness is a major roadblock to fitness, since the more uncomfortable you are, the less motivated you are to exercise, and the less successfully you can perform, even if you persist through the discomfort.

The perfect exercise regimen would be so well-balanced and well-planned that discomfort would never occur. However, this is not always the case in reality. As a result, if we have persistent pain, we must concentrate on rehabilitation.

Examine your medications.

Muscular discomfort, like muscle weakening, is a common adverse effect of several popular medicines.

And, paradoxically, some of the painkillers you may be taking may actually hinder your recovery.

When immune cells are drawn into the muscle compartment, inflammation occurs. Inflammation not only causes pain, but it also aids in protein production.

Meanwhile, anything that decreases inflammation (such as anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen) may also limit protein synthesis, interfering with muscle development.

To put it another way, if you want to become stronger, you may have to put up with some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

Examine your thoughts.

Stress, the time of the menstrual cycle (for women), and individual tolerance may all influence pain perception.

Pain perception is also influenced by mental and emotional health; for example, severe depression may worsen chronic pain.

Supplement 1: Nutrition for workouts

One simple solution is to drink carbs throughout your exercise. There’s no need to purchase a special blend since regular table sugar will suffice.

If you haven’t eaten yet, supplementing this solution with protein or EAA may be beneficial.

(See Exercise Nutrition Explained for additional information on workout and post-workout nutrition.)

Otherwise, pre-workout treatment with HMB in free acid form may help users feel more prepared for their next exercise by reducing next-day muscular pain.

I don’t suggest HMB in its normal form (calcium salt) since it’s less effective and less time-dependent.

Curcumin is the second supplement.

If you prefer a nutritional supplement, high dosage curcumin (400-500mg) may be a possibility, provided it is in an absorbable form (phytosome or paired with piperidine).

Turmeric contains cucumin, which is one of the primary ingredients in many curry spices.

A high-dose curcumin supplement can help reduce the severity of DOMS.

DOMS may be lessened with the use of a high-dose curcumin supplement.

Fish oil is the third supplement.

Fish oil may help with morning stiffness and arthritis-related joint discomfort. This is because omega-3 fatty acids included in fish oil aid in the reduction of inflammation and the maintenance of healthy cells throughout our bodies.

Fish oil, according to several athletes, helps to decrease DOMS. (To learn more about fish oil, go here.)

Cissus quadrangularis (supplement 4)

Cissus is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine known as a “life extension agent.” In fact, rather of adding more years to life, it adds more life to years. It helps individuals feel younger by mobilizing their joints and reducing joint discomfort.

Due to its widespread usage by athletes and other hard trainers in gyms, Cissus has earned a reputation as a “underground” supplement. Fish oil and curcumin are the subjects of further study, therefore they aren’t often suggested.

It seems to have minor but substantial impacts on muscular aches and pains, as well as more strong effects on joint discomfort. So, if your joints are constantly aching, it’s worth looking into.

Eggshell membrane (supplement 5)

Eggshell membrane has been proven in a few trials to be a safe and effective treatment for pain and inflexibility associated with joint and connective tissue diseases.

Problem #4: I’m always ill!

Examine your sleeping and eating habits.

To avoid sounding like a broken record, if your immunity is low and you’re having trouble sleeping, address those issues first. All problems can be cured with a good night’s sleep.

Also, make sure you eat for optimal immunity.

Assess your level of anxiety.

Chronic stress weakens the immune system. Our immune system is excellent at dealing with acute stressors, such as a single session of exercise, but not so good at dealing with the steady, grinding stresses that we face on a daily basis.

Moderate exercise improves immunity in general. However, if you reach a particular level of intensity and/or frequency, exercise becomes a stressor.

So if you’re running a lot of miles or doing metabolic conditioning circuits many times a week, your body is undoubtedly sending you a message. For additional information, see our infographic on exercise and immunity.

Garlic is the first supplement.

Garlic’s unique blend of volatile chemicals makes it a potent immunity booster.

Garlic activates two types of antibacterial and immunosupportive cells (macrophages and natural killer cells), as well as a third kind that is less widely recognized (gamma-delta T cells).

All three act to prevent infections (or vampires) from causing symptoms.

To take it as a supplement, you’ll need 9 grams of the primary bioactive (allicin) each day, which is approximately 2 to 3 cloves. You may also take a 2,560 mg daily dose of aged garlic.

Garlic at these dosages can decrease illness by 60%; in other words, for every 100 individuals who become sick from a placebo, only 40 people will get sick with garlic. Echinacea pales in comparison to this degree of power.

Some people choose to grate fresh garlic cloves and take them as tablets instead.

Choose the choice that your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors are willing to put up with.

A brief aside: Garlic generates allicin to protect itself from harm. To get the most out of fresh garlic, cut or crush it and set aside for 5-10 minutes to enable the chemical components to completely emerge.

Then you may use it to cook (or nibble on) as you want.

(See Volume 9 of Spezzatino magazine for more on garlic.)

Andrographis paniculata (supplement 2)

Garlic is a wonderful preventive, but it doesn’t assist you very much if you’re ill. So, what should you do if your garlic pills don’t seem to be working and you become sick?

Try Andrographis paniculata, which seems to be the active component in Kan-Jang, a Chinese medication.

This herb may decrease symptom frequency and intensity in as little as two days, making it an excellent choice for ill people.

What you can do to help yourself recover

1. Make complete rehabilitation a top priority.

Make recuperation a priority, as PN advises in its coaching programs, if you want to maintain long-term health and performance.

  • Get plenty of (and good) sleep. Create and stick to a nighttime regimen.

  • Your exercise routine should be well-balanced and varied.

  • For a few days, take it easy at the gym.

  • Make sure you’re getting enough calories and nutrients. Feed the machine if you’re working hard at the gym. Don’t limit your food intake too much.

  • Pay attention to your body’s messages. If possible, keep track of them in your exercise diary. Keep an eye out for patterns.

  • As much as possible, reduce your total stress load.

2. Adequately supplement

If you’ve been following these recommendations for many weeks and are still fatigued, hurting, or weaker than you’d like, consider using a supplement to help you recover.

3. Seek assistance if you need it.

If supplementation fails to provide effects, see your doctor. Chronic tiredness, discomfort, and weakness may be indicators of a more severe health issue.



It will teach you the optimal diet, exercise, and lifestyle methods that are specific to you.



I spent a lot of time as a high schooler experimenting with various forms of recovery to help me get my workouts in. It seemed like every week I’d run into a new problem that I couldn’t seem to solve. This is a problem that I hear a lot from other people whose bodies are out of whack and their recovery is suffering. Recovery is a hassle that we all have to deal with, but when you’re really pushing your body to the limit, the recovery problems can be one of the biggest problems that you could face, and it can really affect your ability to get the most out of your training sessions.. Read more about intra workout nutrition and let us know what you think.

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Recovery is currently being worked on by the developers.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”What is the best method for recovery?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
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Frequently Asked Questions

How can recovery be improved?

Recovery is currently being worked on by the developers.

What is the best method for recovery?

The best method for recovery is to use a backup of the save file. This will allow you to recover your progress without having to start from scratch.

What helps muscle recovery?

There are many ways that help muscle recovery. For example, a massage can help relieve tension and stress from muscles, which can in turn speed up the process of healing.

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  • nutrition for cns recovery
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  • intra workout nutrition