A few tips on recovery

Sleep – getting eight hours is ideal to optimizing recovery. Your body needs REM cycles to fix and recycle tissue cells that have been damaged during exercise, as well as regulate hormones. These things are dependent on not just the amount of sleep, but also the quality. Eight hours seems unreasonable to most. No matter how much sleep you get, try getting thirty minutes to an hour extra the night after a workout depending on the difficulty. 

Nutrition – the simplest explanation here is that when you workout, your body breaks down slightly. When your body is repaired/healed, it comes back stronger than before. To ensure optimal repairs, you have to put the proper building materials into your body to make that happen. Eating junk will not make that happen. Also making the proper effort immediately following your workout will help greatly as well. Have a small meal as soon after your workout as possible of half carbs and half protein to aid recovery. 

Adjust this ratio based on your body fat. The less body fat you have, the more carb tolerant your body will be. If you have less fat, eat more carbs, if you have more fat, eat less carbs. 

Hydration – shoot for half your body weight in ounces of water. A 200 pound person needs at least 100 ounces of water per day. Your body needs fluids, and you lose more than you think when you work out. Water aids in the recycling of metabolic waste as well as proper kidney function. No, slamming a bunch of alcohol right after your workout is probably not a great idea. 

Active recovery – get moving. Get the blood flowing at lower intensities to help break up the soreness. Go for a jog, row a 2k, or play a sport. 

If you do not recover from your workouts effectively, soreness can cause you to miss workouts, or at best, keep you from putting forth intensity in subsequent workouts. Either way, your progress will be slower than if you are able to recover more effectively. Some soreness is normal and should be expected, but managing it is a must!