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31 Fast Ways To Biohack Your Athletic Muscle Recovery

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byNick

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23 Minutes

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At the beginning of my athletic career, I pushed myself through soul-crushing workouts and used my hard work to justify indulgences.

Then one of my mentors forever shifted my perspective.

The main difference between great athletes and professionals is their recovery strategy Share on X

Indeed, the world’s top athletes biohack their recovery with advanced therapies and nutrients like molecular hydrogen, Brown’s Gas, bodywork, vagus nerve stimulation, hot/cold contrast therapy, and targeted supplementation.

And it’s not just for sports either.

Those pushing their cognitive and mental capabilities also require greater recovery.

Smart recovery protocols and cutting-edge products give high-achievers an immense advantage.

The faster you recover, the sooner your body regenerates and returns to peak performance.

In this post, we’ll explore the best ways to biohack recovery and bounce back fast. Safely, without inhibiting your growth and performance. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a high-performer wanting to reach the next level, this guide will help you.

What Makes Muscles Sore After Exercise?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) symptoms can be minimized with biohacking muscle recovery techniques

Post-workout muscle soreness, also called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), is caused by microscopic damage to muscle fibers during exercise. It usually occurs when you begin a new exercise program, change your routine, or increase the duration or intensity of your regular workout.

Or, if you take a longer-than-usual break and come back to the same routine. DOMS usually begins a few hours after your workout and normally lasts up to 72 hours.

Here’s an overview describing the science behind how DOMS works:

  1. Muscle Fiber Microtrauma: When you exercise, especially when performing resistance and high-intensity exercises or starting a new program, you cause small micro-tears to muscle fibers.
  2. Inflammation: These small injuries trigger an inflammatory response in the body, which increases blood flow to the area, swelling, and the release of certain nutrients and chemicals that aid in recovery.
  3. Pain Nerves: The inflammatory response activates pain receptors in the body, leading to a feeling of soreness.
  4. Lactic Acid: During intense exercise, your body produces lactic acid. However, contrary to popular belief, lactic acid isn’t a major cause of post-workout muscle soreness.

Fitness influencers often call DOMS an indicator of muscle growth. But this isn’t necessarily true. You can still have an effective workout without feeling terribly sore afterward.

Plus, DOMS can cause muscle stiffness, swelling, strength loss, and pain.

Some soreness is normal and healthy. Blunting soreness too much can inhibit your beneficial growth. Excess soreness, however, taxes the body and holds us back.

As with all bioharmonization, your ideal biohacking recovery protocol should take into account five core factors:

  • Why
  • What
  • When
  • How
  • Where

Now, let’s explore the top ways you can safely and rapidly speed up your muscle recovery after exercise.

The Best Athletic Recovery Equipment & Products

Thanks to modern technologies and well-accepted wisdom, we have all kinds of recovery biohacks at our disposal today.

Of all the ways to accelerate athletic recovery, certain tools work great and are passive.

You can focus your energy elsewhere while still passively enjoying substantial benefits.

First up, we have the clinical-grade at-home systems that you can use to recover like pros.

Targeted Light Therapy

Red light therapy helps reduce muscle damage and muscle recovery

Light is among the top environmental cues that drive human biology. If you’ve heard virtually any episode of Dr. Andrew Huberman’s podcast, you’ve assuredly heard him emphasizing the importance of light exposure for full-body health.

In addition to entraining healthy circadian rhythm (your internal “clocks” that drive all the biological processes to occur at the right times), light has profound effects on performance and recovery.

Both physical and mental performance, and various markers of muscle recovery [R].

Numerous studies show that red and infrared light significantly reduce muscle damage, oxidative stress, DOMS, and general soreness. [R, R].

For recovery, the most important factors to consider when choosing your best red & infrared light therapy device are the wavelengths and proximity to the muscles worked.

Either way, you can use it about an hour before exercise, or immediately afterward. I notice a difference.

Get LightPathLed Here

Use the promo code URBAN to save 10%

Pulsed Energy

PEMF devices emit beneficial electromagnetic fields that the body regenerate and heal faster

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF), is a well-researched non-invasive therapy, successfully used for decades to enhance recovery and healing. PEMF stimulates cellular repair by sending electromagnetic pulses through injured tissues.

Meticulously designed PEMF devices create beneficial electromagnetic fields that mimic those naturally produced by our bodies and found in nature. These fields act like a reset switch, improving circulation and oxygenation, and unlocking your body’s healing and regenerative mechanisms.

Together these actions promote optimal cellular health and faster healing times while reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.

Plus, PEMF increases cellular energy production. Accumulation of metabolic waste leads to muscle fatigue and soreness. PEMF also immediately improves biochemical processes responsible for removing waste.

Between reducing biomarkers of muscle breakdown, improving waste removal, and boosting energy production, PEMF therapy helps you return to peak performance sooner.

To determine which is best for you, check out this post on the best PEMF mats, machines, and devices.

Use your PEMF device daily—either just before or immediately following exercise. Consistent use causes more noticeable results; however, even occasional use helps.

Investing in a personal PEMF device is a large upfront expense, but these systems often last a lifetime and have wide-ranging benefits (especially for recovery).

Get Our Recommended PEMF

Use the promo code OUTLIYR10 to save 10%

KAATSU

kaatsu b1 gifts e1674853870718

KAATSU, originating from Japan and translating to “additional pressure,” is an innovative and scientifically-backed fitness & recovery biohack.

KAATSU is the best implementation of Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training, a method that involves applying a controlled amount of pressure to your limbs while performing light exercises.

By mimicking the physical effects of high-intensity training, KAATSU enhances the impact of low-impact workouts and promotes muscle growth and strength.

KAATSU also helps athletes quickly rehab from injuries or for those unable to perform high-intensity workouts due to other health issues.

In addition to the low-injury-risk and body-transforming properties of KAATSU, their unique “Cycle Mode” feature expedites recovery. This mode alternates between periods of pressure and release, promoting blood circulation and oxygenation, and helping remove waste products from the muscles.

According to practitioners…

KAATSU Cycle Mode is like a “cellular massage” Share on X

I’ll sometimes use these Cycles while I work on my computer or watch TV. You can also use it while walking or during a movement flow to maximize the benefits and help alleviate soreness.

KAATSU systems are expensive but are close to an all-in-one fitness biohack with a special mode dedicated to optimizing recovery. My ultimate guide to KAATSU & personal review will help you understand the reasons I use my devices multiple times per week.

Get Limited-Time KAATSU Deal

Use the exclusive KAATSU coupon code URBAN for 5% off

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

KATALYST EMS Suit promotes quick muscle recovery by stimulating muscle contractions, improving blood flow, and reducing soreness and pain.

Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS), another exceptional yet little-known recovery tool, is growing popular among athletes, biohackers, and high-performers.

Every time you use a muscle, your body fires electrical impulses which cause the muscle to contract. EMS mimics the body’s natural process of voluntary muscular contraction, by applying external electrical impulses to your muscles [R].

Most EMS practitioners use the technology to rapidly build muscle, power, and strength. With EMS, you can uniquely target specific muscle groups, allowing for focused recovery and rehabilitation. Physical therapists use this feature to rehab injuries faster and more effectively.

Use cases of EMS systems include:

  • Building muscle, power, strength, cardio, endurance
  • Speeding up recovery
  • Rehabilitating injuries effectively
  • Fixing bodily imbalances

High-quality systems, used properly, aid muscle recovery by increasing blood flow to the target area. Promoting nutrient delivery and waste removal. This increased circulation accelerates the healing process, helping you recover swiftly and effectively from your workouts.

Moreover, EMS relieves muscle pain and stiffness – common symptoms of DOMS. This tech helps alleviate discomfort and improves mobility post-workout. Here’s a detailed guide on the benefits & uses of EMS if you want to learn more.

Just like with KAATSU, top EMS Suits are multi-modal. You can tailor the muscle groups, intensity, frequency, and duration to your specific needs and tolerance, making EMS a versatile tool in your recovery strategy.

To explore more about EMS and how it can fit into your recovery protocol, check out my comprehensive review of the Katalyst EMS system to learn why I use mine weekly.

Get Katalyst VIP Deal

Use our Katalyst link to bypass the entire line and unlock expedited shipping for free

Brown’s Gas

Aquacure brown's gas machine aids in fast muscle recovery by delivering a hydrogenoxygen mixture that enhances cellular processes and reduces oxidative stress

Brown’s Gas, also known as oxyhydrogen gas or HHO gas, is a unique combination of hydrogen and oxygen gases produced through electrolysis. This Japanese biohack is renowned for rapid health transformations.

When consumed, inhaled, or applied externally, Brown’s Gas benefits overall recovery in many ways. General recovery, and also muscle recovery.

Hydrogen (H2), a major constituent of Brown’s Gas, acts as among the most potent antioxidants. It neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body that cause inflammation and cell damage.

By reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, Brown’s Gas may speed up recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage and alleviate post-workout soreness. Leading to a more efficient and comfortable healing process.

Brown’s Gas, including H2, supports optimal mitochondrial function. This improves cellular energy production, and in turn, overall recovery.

You can easily incorporate Brown’s Gas into your recovery routine by inhaling the gas, drinking infused water, or applying it topically.

Quality Brown’s Gas machines also last for life. Of all the devices I own, my interview with the inventor of my BG machine has the most likes and comments from random users sharing their miraculous transformational health stories.

To learn more, read or watch my thorough review of the AquaCure AC50 Brown’s Gas Machine.

Get Our Recommended Brown’s Gas Machine

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Whole Body Vibration

A wholebody vibration machine helps fast muscle recovery by stimulating muscles and improving blood circulation, potentially reducing soreness and aiding healing

Whole Body Vibration (WBV or called a “vibe plate”) is a technology increasingly recognized for its potential to aid natural detoxification (removal of metabolic waste) and post-workout recovery. The two are related.

The premise of WBV is simple: You stand, sit, or lie on a machine with a vibrating platform. As the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to your body. Forcing your muscles to contract and relax dozens of times each second.

The rapid contraction and relaxation of muscles during WBV increases blood circulation, stimulates lymphatic drainage, and enhances overall cellular health.

This has a ton of benefits. Improved muscle strength and flexibility when you do a bodyweight workout on top of a platform. From merely standing on top, you improve your balance and coordination and recover faster from exercise-induced muscle damage.

Research and personal experience suggest that WBV reduces post-exercise muscle soreness and even pain. The vibrations stimulate the release of natural pain-killing endorphins, interrupting the transmission of pain signals, and leading to lower perceived pain [R].

Plus, they reduce serum levels of stress hormones (stress hormones oppose recovery) by up to 30% [R].

Though scientists still debate the effectiveness of WBV for weight loss, they’re worth trying if you’re seeking an easy and passive way to enhance your recovery.

For more information on this technology, check out this comprehensive review & comparison of all the best Whole-Body Vibration machines.

Get Our Recommended Whole Body Vibration Machine

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Compression Gear

Compression gear aids in fast muscle recovery by increasing blood circulation, reducing muscle vibration, and decreasing muscle soreness

Compression gear has become a popular tool in the sports and fitness world for its potential performance and recovery benefits.

These garments apply gentle yet constant pressure to your body. Ultimately, increasing blood flow and lymphatic drainage. As well as promoting essential nutrient delivery once removed.

One 2019 research study found that wearing compression garments immediately after intense exercise significantly improves subsequent athletic performance [R].

Normatec compression boots have become the most famous of all compression clothing and gear.

Yet when it comes to compression gear, you have all kinds of other options. Including socks, tights, arm sleeves, and shorts. Experiment with different types to see what works best for you.

Limit yourself to a few hours, as over-compression isn’t healthy either.

Rebound

Rebounding helps with fast muscle recovery by promoting lymphatic drainage, improving circulation, and engaging muscles without excessive impact

Rebounding involves bouncing on a mini trampoline, also called a rebounder. This low-impact exercise is an efficient way to circulate your lymph fluid.

Exercise increases the accumulation of metabolic waste. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in removing these waste products from your body.

However, unlike the circulatory system, it doesn’t have a pump like the heart to keep things moving. Instead, it relies on your bodily movements.

Rebounding kickstarts your lymphatic system and enhances the natural detoxification processes in your body.

By increasing lymph flow, you’re efficiently accelerating the removal of toxins that accumulate during exercise. Leading to faster recovery times and less muscle soreness.

Starting your day with a quick 3-5 minute rebounding session can be an excellent and low-cost way to stimulate your lymphatic system and improve your recovery protocol. Plus, you strengthen your bones and stimulate the release of powerful hormones.

Get Rebounder Trampoline Here

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) accelerates muscle recovery by increasing oxygen delivery to tissues, reducing inflammation, and promoting tissue repair and regeneration

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a specialized treatment that involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. Saturating the body with oxygen levels much higher than what we typically breathe in our everyday environments. This increased oxygen has several primary healing and recovery benefits.

In high-pressure environments, your lungs absorb more oxygen. This oxygen-rich blood is then carried throughout your body, activating various biochemical and cellular processes. The increase in oxygen supply improves tissue repair, inflammation, and immunity.

For post-workout recovery, HBOT helps repair damaged muscle tissue caused by intense exercise. It also reduces inflammation, one of the primary causes of muscle soreness after a workout.

HBOT improves your body’s production of collagen, a protein that plays a crucial role in maintaining the strength and elasticity of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Which helps prevent injuries and supports long-term athletic performance.

These sessions typically last around 90 minutes and are conducted in specialized clinics or hospitals.

But not always.

You can get soft-shell chambers for home use.

Gold-medal winner swimmer Michael Phelps, professional athletes, Olympians, and elite businesspeople often own—and even sleep in—hyperbaric chambers [R].

This wouldn’t be one of my initial investments, but HBOT is certainly a fringe recovery tool.

Apollo Neuro

Apollo Neuro for Biohackers

Apollo Neuro is an innovative wearable device designed to help the body recover from tough workouts and other stress via subtle haptic vibrations.

Physicians and neuroscientists developed this technology based on years of clinical research.

You strap it to your wrist or ankle, and it delivers gentle vibrations that soothe your central nervous system. These vibrations help restore your body’s natural equilibrium by improving heart coherence (as measured via improved rate variability), a key physiologic indicator of stress.

When your body experiences stress, whether from an intense workout or a challenging day at work, your HRV decreases. A lower HRV is linked to poor overall health and slower recovery.

Apollo Neuro is one of few third-generation wearables, that not only passively track your stats, but actively help you improve.

In addition to the Recovery mode, you can also use it to deepen and extend your sleep. According to the stats, they’ve calculated that I gain about an extra 20 minutes of sleep every night I’m using this device.

But the Apollo isn’t just about recovery. You can select from seven different modes, each designed for a specific purpose – from energy and wakefulness to focus, to relaxation.

The app allows you to build custom schedules so that you’ll enjoy Energy mode first thing in the morning, recover after your workout, and sleep at bedtime. You just wear the device.

For insights into how it could fit into your recovery regimen, check out this data-driven biohacker’s Apollo Neuro review.

Get The Apollo Neuro Device Here

Best Protocols & Tips to Speed Up Post-Workout Muscle Recovery

Fancy recovery tools, technologies, and equipment can make a huge difference.

At the same time, the things listed next are core to most protocols.

Sleep

Sleep facilitates fast muscle recovery by promoting tissue repair and growth during the body's restorative processes

Sleep is a key stage of the recovery process. Sleep duration and quality is the single most important facet of recovery.

During sleep, the hormonal state shifts towards repair and growth. Growth hormone and testosterone surge, helping tissues repair and regenerate.

Research clearly shows that sleep deprivation impairs muscle recovery by dysregulating hormones and inflammation. Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, for example, hinder recovery.

Sleep quality matters as much as quantity. We must get enough of each sleep stage. Deep sleep is the most important stage for physical regeneration.

During deep sleep, for example, blood flow to the muscles increases, delivering oxygen and nutrients essential for recovery. Growth hormone levels peak. Additionally, metabolic rate decreases during sleep, creating an environment conducive to muscle repair.

Sleep also supports immune function, a key part of muscle recovery. The immune system helps repair damaged muscle tissues and regulates inflammation. Lack of sleep obliterates immune function, dramatically slowing post-workout recovery.

Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep each night and create a sleep environment that promotes relaxation and deep sleep. Use these tips to biohack your way to perfect sleep.

“Earth” Yourself

Earthing aid fast muscle recovery by potentially reducing inflammation and oxidative stress through direct contact with the Earth's surface

Grounding, or “Earthing,” involves direct contact with the Earth’s surface to absorb its micro-electrical energy. This is an original recovery technology.

It’s theorized to work because Earth contains a negative electrical charge, which neutralizes positively charged free radicals in the body, reducing inflammation and promoting recovery.

By walking barefoot on grass or sand, using a conductive system indoors, or swimming in a natural body of water, you reconnect with Earth’s energy. Research associates this with reduced pain, improved sleep, and better overall well-being.

For muscle recovery, grounding reduces exercise-induced inflammation. By neutralizing free radicals, grounding potentially accelerates the repair process and minimizes soreness.

I personally use it whenever I travel to avoid jet lag.

Additionally, grounding reduces stress levels and cortisol secretion. Stress impedes muscle recovery, so grounding helps.

You can easily incorporate these practices into your routine. Spend time outdoors barefoot, swim in natural bodies of water, or use grounding products, such as special conductive mats or sheets.

Learn more and find your best indoor Earthing products with my ultimate guide.

Get Our Recommended Indoor Earthing Mat

Active Recovery “Working In”

Working in helps fast muscle recovery by improving blood circulation and reducing muscle stiffness through light, lowintensity movement or exercises

“Working in” is the opposite of working out. Coined by a mentor of mine, Paul Chek, this low-intensity, low-stress movement has a net positive on your energy and recovery.

There are three kinds of rest:

  • Active — Same activity as your chosen workout, at a far lower intensity
  • Passive — A different activity, still at a very low intensity
  • Total — Sleep and complete rest

Active/passive rest are movements that boost your recovery from intense workouts. This promotes blood circulation, energy levels, digestion, and nutrient delivery to muscles while minimizing additional stress on the body.

Low-impact activities such as “super walking”, swimming, or gentle cycling, increase blood flow to your muscles. This helps remove metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen and nutrients necessary for muscle repair and recovery.

These forms of rest also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. As we’ve discussed, lower stress levels improve recovery and muscle repair.

The benefits of active recovery extend well beyond the physical. It elevates mental and emotional health, boosts mood, reduces fatigue, and can help with pain.

Incorporate active recovery sessions into your routine by dedicating specific days or intervals during the week for low-intensity activities. Make any movement a “work in” movement by making sure it adheres to these criteria:

  • No heart rate elevation
  • No respiratory rate elevation
  • Tongue stays wet
  • Improves digestion
  • Flow with movement

Listen to your body and adjust the intensity as needed to ensure that you are providing sufficient rest while still promoting blood flow and movement.

Stretch

Stretching aids fast muscle recovery by improving blood flow, reducing tension, and enhancing flexibility

Stretching is a tried-and-true practice for post-workout recovery. Virtually every sports team uses it for a reason… It works.

Stretching improves flexibility, reduces muscle tension, and enhances blood flow. Better blood flow helps the removal of waste products and delivery of nutrients.

When you stretch, those muscles receive more blood, which brings essential nutrients and oxygen necessary for repairing damaged tissues. This improved circulation flushes out metabolic byproducts that contribute to post-workout muscle soreness.

Stretching also helps prevent muscles from becoming overly contracted or tense, decreasing the risk of injuries. It increases joint range of motion, improving movement efficiency. Indirectly reducing soreness.

Finally, stretching helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Again, this reduces stress levels and enhances your overall recovery.

There are two forms of stretching: dynamic and static. Dynamic is active, moving stretches. You can easily add either form into your post-workout routine or as a separate session at any time throughout the day.

Although immediately after a workout yields the best results.

Focus on major muscle groups used during your workout and hold stretches for at least 30 seconds for optimal muscle lengthening and relaxation.

Foam Roll

Foam rolling assists fast muscle recovery by reducing muscle soreness and increasing flexibility through selfmyofascial release

Foam rolling, a form of self-myofascial release (SMR), uses a foam roller to apply pressure to specific areas of the body. This pressure helps release muscular tension, improve flexibility, and reduce DOMS.

Like most recovery modalities, this added pressure stimulates blood flow and increases oxygen delivery to the tissues. Better circulation helps remove metabolic waste products, such as lactic acid.

Foam rolling also targets the fascia, a layer of connective tissue surrounding muscles, improving movement and muscle function. By focusing on tight areas or knots in the fascia, foam rolling helps to break up adhesions and improves overall tissue suppleness and quality.

Done properly, it quickly reduces muscle soreness and stimulates post-exercise recovery. It is especially helpful for large muscle groups, like the quads, hamstrings, chest, calves, and back.

Foam rollers are cheap and easy to add to your routine. Slowly roll over your muscles that feel tight or sore. Spend at least 1-2 minutes on each muscle group.

Massage

Massage helps fast muscle recovery by improving blood flow and reducing muscle tension

Massage therapy is a popular (and certainly indulgent) tool for recovery and relaxation.

Like foam rolling, massage applies pressure and works the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Stimulating blood circulation, nutrient delivery, and waste removal from the muscles.

Research regularly shows that massage decreases inflammation, alleviates muscle pain, and enhances flexibility. It can also dramatically reduce stress and anxiety, further improving recovery.

Serious athletes will attest to the power of a thorough sports massage.

Your ideal massage style depends on your preferences and needs. These include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage, or trigger point therapy. Each technique targets specific areas of the body and applies varying amounts of pressure to promote muscle recovery.

Professional massage therapy sessions tend to cost and take quite a bit more than self-massage techniques like foam rollers or massage balls. But they tend to work deeper and more thoroughly.

If your budget allows, adding regular massage into your routine can be a game-changer to alleviate soreness, improve flexibility, de-stress, and feel great.

Sauna

Sauna helps fast muscle recovery by increasing blood flow and relaxing muscles

Heat therapy, such as using a sauna, is a popular and growing health optimization modality with the potential to enhance recovery. Saunas provide dry heat (or infrared light) that increases body temperature and promotes health.

As you may expect, sauna increases blood flow and the release of growth hormone. The heat causes vasodilation, which widens blood vessels and improves circulation. Boosting blood flow improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles while removing metabolic waste.

Growth hormone significantly accelerates bodily repair and growth. All of this helps reduce swelling and inflammation in the muscles.

Additionally, the sauna induces relaxation and reduces stress levels, further supporting sleep and muscle recovery. Some of these top infrared saunas appear to be even better and gentler on the body than traditional ones if recovery is your goal.

However, a major caution when using the sauna for recovery purposes.

Use my DIY elixir to stay hydrated and pay close attention to your body’s signals to prevent overheating. Start with shorter sessions at lower temperatures and gradually increase as tolerated. Overdoing it in the sauna can actually slow recovery.

Get Our Recommended Sauna

Cold Therapy

Cold therapy aids fast muscle recovery by reducing inflammation, numbing pain, and potentially speeding up healing processes by constricting blood vessels

Contrary to the previous section, exposing your body to cold temperatures also has wide-ranging health and performance benefits.

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, involves the application of cold to the body through methods like ice packs, cold showers, ice baths (”cold plunges”), or cryotherapy chambers.

Cold therapy works by constricting blood vessels, reducing inflammation, and numbing the area, helping alleviate muscle soreness and reducing swelling. It also decreases metabolic activity and reduces the activity of inflammatory substances. The cold temperature helps flush out lactic acid and metabolic waste in the muscles.

Some peoples’ nervous systems respond to cold by going into a deep parasympathetic relaxation state in the hours following a session.

All these mechanisms lead to faster recovery.

Cold exposure therapy is another staple in the modern athlete’s biohacked recovery toolkit. Most athletes on my competitive rugby and American Football teams used ice baths.

Additionally, alternating between cold and hot therapy, such as switching between a cold plunge and a hot sauna, further improves blood circulation and recovery. This contrast therapy promotes both vasodilation and vasoconstriction. Acting like a pump to drive nutrients throughout the body and help clear waste.

Just like with the sauna, always consider cold therapy’s benefits and risks. Even more with cold, as there’s a finer line between the positives and possible negatives.

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HRV Biofeedback

Sens.ai brain training and HRV monitoring  helps fast muscle recovery by optimizing mental and physiological readiness for exercise

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) biofeedback is a technique that measures the variation in time intervals between consecutive heartbeats. HRV indicates the status of your autonomic nervous system activity and reflects your current ability to adapt to stress.

It’s a much more sensitive and useful metric than normal heart rate (total beats per minute).

Recovery has both physical and mental components. Chronic mental stress takes a large toll, impairing recovery, increasing muscle soreness, and decreasing energy levels.

Monitoring your HRV and practicing HRV biofeedback helps you build resilience against stress.

HRV biofeedback uses special devices or apps to measure HRV and provide real-time feedback on your stress levels. Then, you use deliberate breathwork and relaxation techniques to learn to regulate your autonomic nervous system. Gaining the relaxation and rejuvenation benefits associated with it.

Every day, I personally use the Sensai headset to train my brain and practice HRV biofeedback at the same time.

Adding HRV biofeedback sessions into your routines gives you tools to manage stress. Helping you create an optimal environment for health and long-term growth.

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Warm Up & Cool Down

Cooling down postexercise reduces muscle soreness and cramping by lowering  heart rate

Every athlete has a warm-up and/or cool-down routine.

They’re essential for preparing the body, nervous system, and mind for exercise. Then again to transition back into normal living. Helping our hormones and biology efficiently shift states.

These transitions regulate body temperature, blood flow, and joint mobility. Dramatically reducing the risk of injury.

During a warm-up, dynamic movements activate the muscles you’re about to use, improve flexibility, and extend range of motion. Improving muscle function while reducing the likelihood of muscle strains, tears, or injury.

5-10 minutes pre-workout make a world of difference.

After a workout, slowly taper down the intensity. Use light aerobic exercises like walking or easy cycling.

Cooling down aids sports recovery by gradually reducing heart rate and helping drain metabolic waste. This can significantly prevent muscle soreness, stiffness, and cramping.

A thorough cooldown routine also minimizes blood pooling, which can cause dizziness or, in extreme cases, fainting.

Should you add stretching into your cool-down phase, you’ll also improve your flexibility and the suppleness of your muscles. Hold stretches for 15-30 seconds to allow your muscles to relax and lengthen.

Best Foods & Supplements to Speed Up Muscle Recovery After Working Out

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in your recovery.

Some athletes spend thousands per month meticulously honing their perfect pre-workout, intra-workout, and post-workout supplement stacks.

Armed with a few essential ingredients and certain foods, you too can recover (and thus grow) like a professional.

Essential Amino Acids

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First on our list of essential nutrients, fittingly, is essential amino acids. It’s one of the best universal supplements for virtually every goal and every human.

These are the building blocks of protein—the raw materials your body uses to repair, regenerate, and grow tissues and organs. Including, muscle fibers.

Of the ~20 amino acids, your body can produce all but the nine essential aminos. Which you must consume through diet or supplementation.

Let’s explore the basic functions of the nine essential amino acids:

  1. Leucine: The king amino acid for performance and recovery, Leucine activates the mTOR pathway, ultimately stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
  2. Isoleucine: Regulates energy levels during exercise, promotes the uptake of glucose (fuel) into muscles, and works synergistically with leucine.
  3. Valine: Helps prevent muscle breakdown during intense exercise, and is also involved in muscle protein synthesis and energy production.
  4. Lysine: Aids collagen formation (for the structural integrity of muscles, tendons, and ligaments), aids calcium absorption, and supports growth hormone production.
  5. Methionine: Used to synthesize other amino acids and important molecules like glutathione (powerful antioxidant).
  6. Phenylalanine: A precursor to several neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine), regulates mood, focus, and motivation.
  7. Threonine: Controls collagen and elastin production, and regulates absorption of other essential nutrients like calcium and potassium.
  8. Tryptophan: The precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps lift mood and promotes restful sleep.
  9. Histidine: Helps form proteins and enzymes, maintains pH balance in the body, and is a precursor to histamine (which is involved in digestion, the immune response, and overall nervous system health).

Leucine, in particular, activates protein synthesis and stimulates the mTOR pathway, improving muscle growth. Isoleucine and valine also contribute to muscle repair and growth by aiding in nutrient uptake and energy production.

These three together are called the Branched Chain Amino Acids (“BCAAs”). Although they’ve become popular peri-workout supplements, avoid BCAA products.

To work optimally and avoid deleterious side effects, you want to also consume the six other essential amino.

Get a detailed comparison and overview in my ultimate guide to essential amino acids.

Most of us don’t get enough essential amino from food sources. Supplementing is a great idea to enhance your body’s recovery, alleviate soreness, and efficiently build muscle.

Consuming these amino acids before, during, or after exercise also helps prevent muscle breakdown and promote muscle protein synthesis, optimizing your recovery process.

Click here to learn the critical mistakes most people make when choosing between the best essential amino acid supplements.

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Carbon 60

C60 Super Supplement Science, Benefits, & Buyer's Guide | Chris Burres @MyVitalC

Carbon 60 (”C60”, ”fullerene”, “buckminsterfullerene”, or “buckyballs”), is a unique molecule made of 60 carbon atoms with profound health benefits. It’s best known as the supplement that extended the life of mice by 90%! But it does a whole lot more.

Scientists refer to C60 as a super protector. It’s a powerful antioxidant, neutralizing harmful free radicals and shielding the body from damage. By reducing oxidative damage, C60 reduces exercise-induced inflammation and dramatically improves recovery.

This wonder molecule also supports mitochondrial function (energy production and overall muscle performance).

Clinical studies regularly report that C60:

  • Improves muscle endurance
  • Reduces muscle damage markers
  • Lessens muscle soreness
  • Accelerates recovery and repair after intense exercise

Although much of the clinical research on the health and performance benefits of C60 has occurred in animal models, elite athletes often report similar effects.

A friend of mine who runs ultra-marathons swears by C60 for the final stretch of the event.

This molecule is not very well known. And low-quality products often do more harm than good. That’s why I put together this roundup and review of the best C60 supplements. Either avoid the scams and choose one that works, or skip it altogether.

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Molecular Hydrogen

Drink HRW molecular hydrogen tablet reduce oxidative stress for fast muscle recovery

I mentioned Brown’s Gas earlier. Molecular hydrogen (H2) is the primary active ingredient within it. H2 has emerged as a potential tool for enhancing recovery due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

During strenuous exercise, oxidative stress and inflammation occur, leading to muscle damage and soreness. This is good and healthy in moderation.

Most antioxidants work broadly, mopping up all oxidation. Which blunts the beneficial adaptations of exercise.

Instead, molecular hydrogen acts as a selective antioxidant. Specifically targeting harmful free radicals that contribute to oxidative stress and accelerated injury.

Selectively neutralizing free radicals allows molecular hydrogen to reduce oxidative damage to cells and tissues. It also modulates the body’s inflammatory response, reducing inflammation and pain associated with exercise-induced muscle damage.

All in all, it promotes faster recovery.

Plus, H2 improves mitochondrial health & function.

That’s why savvy biohackers use molecular hydrogen therapy for health & performance benefits.

The best way to add H2 into your routine is via a high-quality Brown’s Gas machine. Though these systems are quite pricey. The easy way is to just get one of these top molecular hydrogen tablets and let them dissolve in a glass of water.

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Cellular Hydration

Paleovalley Essential Electrolytes aid fast muscle recovery by maintaining proper muscle function and hydration, helping prevent cramps and fatigue

You won’t perform or recover well without adequate hydration. In fact, a mere 1-2% causes significant and measurable performance decreases. Dehydration impairs decision-making, cognition, and overall health.

Hydration carries oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. It also helps you excrete metabolic waste products. Hydrated athletes also experience fewer injuries.

But loading up on water alone won’t hydrate you [R].

When we sweat, we obviously lose water, but also electrolytes and key minerals. This is why it’s important to add good quality trace mineral supplements to our everyday diet.

Without adequate minerals, the body cannot propagate electrical impulses to contract muscles. Your nervous system struggles to self-regulate.

So you must consume ample electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

This true cellular hydration also helps regulate body temperature during exercise and lubricates your joints. Optimizing your ability to repair damaged tissues and minimizing soreness and injury risk simultaneously.

You can get some more electrolytes in your diet by using a high-quality, un-refined salt. Drinking coconut water can help, but it contains a ton of sugar and can be hard on the GI system.

You’ll probably want to add one of these top electrolyte supplements.

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Magnesium

Bioptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough supports fast muscle recovery by relaxing muscles, reducing muscle cramps, and aiding in the repair and growth of muscle tissue

Magnesium is an essential mineral with vital roles in muscle relaxation, energy production, and protein synthesis. As mentioned above, it’s also an electrolyte and among the most deficient nutrients in the human diet. Virtually all humans lack it.

According to researchers…

Magnesium is the mineral of chill Share on X

During exercise, muscle contractions and energy metabolism require magnesium. Sweat depletes magnesium levels, leading to muscle cramps, fatigue, and impaired recovery.

Quality magnesium supplements support muscle relaxation, improve energy, and reduce cramps. Mag also helps DNA repair, regulates melatonin (improving sleep), and helps muscle protein synthesis.

Plus, it improves the absorption of calcium into bones, aids in the regulation of cortisol, and “activates” vitamin D.

Additionally, magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties.

These are just a few of the many top health benefits of magnesium.

Altogether, magnesium helps alleviate exercise-induced inflammation, supports optimal health, and promotes most facets of recovery.

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Creatine

Thorne Creatine helps fast muscle recovery by boosting energy in muscle cells, potentially reducing damage during exercise

Creatine has become one of the most studied supplement ingredients in history. Especially for sports performance and recovery. Virtually all top athletes use some form of creatine for good reason. It works.

Creatine naturally exists in trace quantities in meat and fish. It’s key to the production of cellular energy (ATP).

Supplementing creatine increases your muscle’s phosphocreatine stores, which are rapidly depleted during intense exercise. Forceful muscle contraction and power output require phosphocreatine.

Recovery-wise, creatine reduces muscle damage and inflammation resulting from intense exercise. It boosts muscle repair and growth via increased satellite cell signaling [R].

You also increase the fluids (water and nutrients) within muscle cells.

Most people use the form of creatine monohydrate to great success. There are lots of great products.

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Essential Fatty Acids

Thorne Advanced DHA Fish oil for fast muscle recovery

We previously discussed essential amino acids (protein building blocks), and essential fatty acids (fat building blocks) share similar importance. People supplement with fish oil for the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

There are two types of essential fats:

  • Omega-6
  • Omega-3

Most people get plenty of omega-6 in their diet. Plus, omega-6 promotes inflammation. Which will make soreness worse and recovery slower.

We want more of the two subsets of omega-3s:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

These fatty acids have potent anti-inflammatory properties and play a crucial role in overall health and recovery.

During intense exercise, muscle damage causes inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce exercise-induced inflammation. Without interfering with “gains”.

By suppressing excessive inflammation, fish oil supplementation aids recovery and alleviates muscle soreness.

Plus, omega-3 fatty acids improve joint health (again, by reducing inflammation in the joints).

You can get plenty of omega-3 fish oil in your diet from either consuming algae-based products or SMASH fish:

  • Spirulina and chlorella micro-algae
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines
  • Herring

If you don’t consume these, most athletes prefer to supplement. Every day, I use either Thorne’s High-DHA Fish Oil or Paleovalley’s Fish Roe.

This post shares everything you need to know about omega-3 oil supplements.

Regardless of your activity levels, fish oil is another nearly universal supplement for cardiovascular and brain health, eye function, beauty (skin), growth, and of course, recovery.

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Protein

Paleovalley Whey Protein aids fast muscle recovery by providing essential amino acids that support muscle repair and growth after exercise

You won’t fully recover without adequate protein. Essential amino acids are the building blocks (and very concentrated sources of the key amino), but the other non-essential amino also benefit your health, performance, and recovery.

For example, the non-essential amino acid glutamine helps the gut and athletes supplement it specifically for its recovery-enhancing benefits.

Muscle fibers require this macronutrient to recover and rebuild stronger muscles. Protein also helps minimize soreness.

You can and should get most of your protein from your diet. You want sources rich in certain amino acids that the body can quickly absorb and assimilate into tissues.

Some of the best protein-rich foods include:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Algae
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Greek yogurt

As you see, animal sources have the best amino acid composition.

Whey protein is among the best overall, which has made it the hands-down choice of bodybuilders. Whey is also vegetarian-friendly.

Plus, whey protein improves the immune system’s response to exercise-induced stress. Helping you avoid infections or illnesses that would otherwise hinder recovery.

For the best effects, choose one of these top grass-fed whey protein powders.

If you’re physically active, you should be consuming at least 75% of your body weight in grams of protein [R]. As a 200-pound man, I’d aim for 150 grams of protein per day.

Ideally, spread over 2-3 meals.

For convenience, you can simply add the powder to the water. Or, my personal favorite, add it to a blender with some fruit and a better liquid.

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Carbs

biohacking recovery carbs

Muscles burn glycogen as energy, which is the stored form of carbohydrates. Your primary almost exclusively runs on this fuel for short, intense exercise. Alongside consuming ample protein, adding carbs helps rapidly restore glycogen and promotes fast recovery.

As well as optimizing performance for future workouts. In fact, advanced athletes training multiple times per day almost always have a carbohydrate replenishment protocol.

The type and timing of carbohydrates can influence their impact on recovery.

You can consume a small quantity of carbs pre-workout to help prevent muscle breakdown.

Post-workout carbs promote faster recovery and improved muscle function.

High-glycemic carbohydrates (white rice or potatoes) get rapidly digested and quickly spike blood sugar, promoting faster glycogen replenishment. Use these when you need rapid and profound recovery.

In contrast, low-glycemic carbohydrates (berries or legumes), get slowly digested and provide a steady release of energy over time. Use these for longer recovery periods or when sustained energy is needed.

For metabolic function and overall health, most people don’t need high-glycemic carbs. 50-100 grams is usually sufficient. During intense depletion, you may increase your carb intake to 150 grams.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Healthy Smoking Alternative Vaporize Herbs

Inflammation is a natural response to exercise, but excessive or chronic inflammation impedes the recovery process. In addition to contributing flavor, anti-inflammatory foods, spices, and herbs support the repair process.

Some of the top anti-inflammatory herbs, spices, and foods include:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Cloves
  • Oregano
  • Green Tea
  • Berries
  • Fatty Fish (SMASH)
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocados
  • Cherries
  • Dark Chocolate & Cocoa

Each of the above possesses anti-inflammatory properties. These foods contain compounds like antioxidants and polyphenols that help reduce inflammation and protect the body.

Red fatty fish (salmon) also contain an especially potent antioxidant called astaxanthin.

Work these into your meals to provide your body with the necessary nutrients to counteract exercise-induced inflammation, accelerate the recovery process, and alleviate muscle soreness.

The lack of plant-based polyphenols and antioxidants explains one reason that some folks following the carnivore diet notice that they take longer to recover from exercise.

I’d structure my recovery-focused diet hierarchy as follows:

  • Protein > Carbs > Antioxidants

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart Cherry Juice concentrate rich in antioxidants that is beneficial to add for recovery routine

Tart cherry juice has gained attention mostly for its muscle recovery benefits. This drink is rich in antioxidants and contains special compounds called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Make tart cherry juice a valuable addition to your recovery routine.

This isn’t your average juice. Real, pure, tart cherry tastes quite tart.

Tart cherry juice addresses exercise-induced inflammation, leading to faster recovery and reduced soreness and stiffness. Research suggests it improves levels of inflammatory markers, oxidative stress levels, and even pain [R].

Natural sleep supplements often include tart cherry juice or extract, as it’s a precursor to increased melatonin production.

In fact, I’m formulating my own custom sleep supplement and it’ll include tart cherry.

Drinking tart cherry juice, especially before and after exercise, enhances muscle recovery, reduces inflammation, and helps prevent muscle soreness.

For maximum benefits, make sure to choose pure tart cherry juice (not regular cherry juice) without added sugars or artificial ingredients. This sounds trivial, but few products do this well. I use this tart cherry concentrate.

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The Best Biohacks For Lightning-Fast Recovery

While social media celebrates soul-crushing workouts, that’s often not what makes the difference.

The top athletes all know this…

How fast and effectively you recover ultimately determines your success Share on X

Everyone knows some of the sports recovery basics:

  • Sleep
  • Stretching
  • Warming up and cooling down

But recovery isn’t only for athletes either. The greater we perform, and the more stress we experience, the more important our regenerative processes.

As many of the world’s most successful businesspeople will tell you…

Neglect recovery and you’ll eventually burn out.

Healing from burnout takes considerable time, energy, and money.

That’s why the more advanced biohackers add in modalities like targeted light therapy, Brown’s Gas, KAATSU, EMS, PEMF, “Earthing”, and potent supplements.

I hope something in this post has given you ideas of things to research and/or add to your own protocol.

What do you think?

Am I missing anything?

Drop a comment below and share your top recovery tips!

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Post Tags: Biohacking, Fitness, Movement, Recovery & Resilience

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