If you consider yourself to be an athlete, or if you simply exercise regularly, you’re likely putting a good bit of thought and effort into maintaining a healthy diet and planning your workouts. But, are you giving your workout recovery much attention?
Whether you do CrossFit, love yoga or run marathons, your post-workout routine can be just as important as the things you do before and during exercise. Why? Because when we exercise, our muscles lengthen and endure small micro-tears as stress is applied to them. Unless your body gets the support it needs to naturally fill in those tears, the muscle recovery process is not nearly as efficient.
The world of plants provides plenty of natural ways to help us recover from our workouts faster, including botanicals like rhodiola, ashwagandha and turmeric.
Regular exercise is a key component to a healthy lifestyle, but unless you’re intentional with your post-workout recovery routine, you could be compromising your gains
This science-backed guide will tell you what you need to know about how these surprising ingredients can speed up your post-workout recovery — so you can get back out there and do more of what you love.
Natural Post-Workout Recovery Aids
Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb native to northern regions across Europe, Asia and North America. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants commonly known for their unique ability to help the body adapt to stress and restore balance. Rhodiola has been used in traditional herbalism for centuries, and in recent years, it has become popular among athletes who commonly use it to improve performance during endurance exercise and as an effective post-workout recovery supplement.
So, what does this mean for you? As an adaptogenic herb, rhodiola helps your body adapt to stress — and that includes the physical toll that exercise takes on your body.
When it comes to promoting a healthy inflammatory response, turmeric, and particularly its powerful curcuminoid compounds, is the gold standard. This bright orange-yellow root has been beloved in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine system of India, for millennia. Today, modern athletes also increasingly turn to turmeric to manage pain and soreness.
Strenuous workouts naturally create inflammation within the body. As previously discussed, when you push hard and feel the burn, you’re actually creating tiny tears in your muscles, which must be repaired by your body. That normal post-workout soreness that we all know and love is a physical symptom of your body’s innate healing response.
Ashwagandha is another herb commonly used in Ayurveda. And, like rhodiola, it’s an adaptogenic herb. Why do athletes like ashwagandha herb so much for post-workout recovery? Hint: It’s all in the name(s).
Ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words ashva (horse) and gandha (smell). The herb’s name is a direct reference to the scent of the fresh root, but it can also be interpreted as “strength or vitality” of a horse. And its species name, somnifera, comes from a Latin word that means “sleep-inducing.”
While moderate exercise can help relieve stress and promote a good night’s sleep, strenuous workouts (like races or competitions) can have the opposite effect – especially if you’re in pain. As an adaptogen, ashwagandha can help promote a more restful night’s sleep through its impact on cortisol levels and overall stress.
Interested in making these key botanicals part of your post-workout recovery routine? Learn more about how we combined them with other therapeutic plant-based ingredients in Rightful For Pain & Recovery AM + PM.