How to Speed Up Muscle Strain Recovery

If you are an active individual, you are likely no stranger to the occasional muscle strain that can hinder your workout routine. But what can be done to expedite the recovery process and get back to crushing PRs? Let’s take a deeper look at the most effective strategies for how to speed up muscle strain recovery.

Why is muscle recovery important?

Muscle recovery is important because it plays a critical role in fostering muscle growth, enhancing performance, and minimizing the risk of injury. 

Since recovery periods are essential for replenishing energy stores and repairing the muscle fibers that are stressed during exercise, it’s crucial to allow your body adequate time to rest and rejuvenate to ensure that you can perform safely in subsequent workouts. 

Without sufficient recovery time, your body can become susceptible to overtraining and overexertion, which can impede progress and increase the likelihood of injury. 

Furthermore, studies have found that if you ignore recovery or don’t get adequate rest, you can experience a decrease in performance, increase the risk of injury, and prolong muscle soreness and pain (1,2,3). 

Correlation between muscle strains and overexertion

When it comes to exercise, you really can have too much of a good thing. While you may think that “more is better”, experts agree that going too fast, having poor posture, lifting too much weight, exercising for too long or doing too much of one activity can overexert your body and lead to an overuse injury, such as muscle strains (4). 

To avoid overexertion during exercise, be sure you are properly warmed up, have proper form, and take small breaks throughout your weight lifting sets or endurance sessions. You can also keep a training log to make sure you don’t overdo it. 

How to speed up muscle strain recovery

While muscle strains are a common injury, you won’t be benched forever. Here are four ways to speed up muscle strain recovery so you can get back to crushing your goals in no time. 

1: Consider muscle recovery supplements


Creatine is a naturally occurring compound made of amino acids (such as L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine), and helps supply a steady source of energy to your muscles to aid growth, strength, and performance (5). 

As such, research suggests that creatine might aid muscle recovery since supplementation can produce greater muscle strength after exercise-induced muscle damage (6). 

Furthermore, other studies indicate that supplementing with creatine (such as Naked Creatine) might be effective in mitigating immediate muscle damage within 24 - 96 hours of exercise (7). 


Magnesium is a mineral that plays many critical roles in the body, including glucose metabolism, protein synthesis, bone integrity, blood pressure, and heart and nerve function (8).  It also supports healthy muscle function, contraction, relaxation, and reduced muscle soreness - all of which play an important role during post-workout recovery (9,10). 

Moreover, some research shows that magnesium may help reduce certain types of muscle pain and relax stressed and injured muscles (11). 

While you can find magnesium in a variety of dietary sources (like chia seeds, spinach, black beans, cashews, and soy milk), you can also meet your needs through supplementation. 

Our men's and women's multi is a high-quality supplement that contains 25% of the recommended daily amount for magnesium. 


Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in strength, lean muscle mass, and satiety (12,13). It can also help to offset muscle damage and promote recovery, as studies have found that consuming protein before or after exercise may mitigate feelings of muscle soreness, maximize muscle repair and optimize strength (14). 

While you can get protein through numerous dietary sources, protein powders are a popular supplement for muscle recovery. Research shows that protein supplementation pre- and post-workout increases physical performance, training session recovery, lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy, and strength (15). 

2: Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential for revitalizing both the body and mind. While you sleep, your body engages in critical restorative activities, which can help you feel refreshed upon waking. However, the importance of sleep goes beyond mere rejuvenation, as research indicates that inadequate sleep can impair concentration, cognitive function, and memory processing (16). 

Moreover, sleep is integral to the recovery process, as it repairs tissues (including those damaged by exercise) and regulates hormones such as cortisol and growth hormone, which are crucial for muscle growth and recovery (17,18,19). 

Studies have also found that getting enough quality sleep could help control inflammation and boost recovery caused from exercise-induced muscle injuries (20). 

3: Focus on hydration

Water is crucial for survival and plays a vital role in many bodily functions, as it helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, maintain fluid balance, transport nutrients, remove waste, circulate blood, and improve cardiovascular and digestive health (21,22). 

Staying hydrated throughout the day can help replace any body fluids lost through sweating, exhaling, and waste elimination. It also supports joint and muscle health, and promotes mobility and flexibility. As such, dehydration can wreak havoc on your body by increasing the risk of muscle damage and impairing performance and recovery (23,24). 

You can boost your hydration status through electrolytes (check out NakedAde), as they help support muscle and nerve function, balance pH levels, regulate fluid balance, and facilitate recovery (25). 

4: Prioritize rest 

Recovery is arguably just as important as the workout itself, as research suggests that inadequate rest can contribute to poor immune function, neurological changes, hormonal disturbances, and depression (26). 

Furthermore, skipping rest days means you’re not allowing your muscles and joints to adequately repair themselves, which may increase your risk of injury. It can also lead to a depletion of muscle glycogen stores and can force the body to utilize proteins as an alternative energy source, subsequently reducing the availability of proteins needed for muscle repair and growth (27). 

It’s recommended to take a rest day every three to five days to give your body the time it needs to repair, rebuild, and strengthen itself. While the ideal rest day looks different for everyone, some ways to spend your time off include working on a hobby, practicing yoga, enjoying time with family or friends, cooking a new recipe, reading a book, or watching TV. 

Muscle recovery FAQs

What are the three symptoms of a muscle strain?

Three symptoms of a muscle strain include sudden onset of pain, bruising or discoloration, and swelling. Other common symptoms include (but are not limited to) reduced range of motion, muscle weakness, and/or muscle spasms. 

If you suspect you have a muscle strain, talk with your healthcare provider about next steps. 

How long does it take for strained muscles to heal?

How long it takes for strained muscles to heal varies based on the injury's severity. Mild strains might heal within three to six weeks with home treatments (like rest, ice, compression and elevation), whereas more serious strains can require several months for full recovery. In severe instances, surgical intervention and physical therapy may be required.

Should I stretch a strained muscle?

You can gradually and gently stretch a strained muscle after the swelling subsides and the pain diminishes. However, it's crucial to avoid overstretching, as this can reinjure the healing muscle fibers. 

If you experience significant pain while stretching, stop and allow the muscle more time to rest before trying again when the discomfort lessens.

Is it better to rest or exercise a pulled muscle?

It’s advised to not exercise a pulled muscle until the pain subsides. Avoid using the affected area initially to prevent exacerbating the injury. 

Once the pain diminishes, you can gradually introduce light stretching and gentle activities to aid in recovery.

What are the 4 stages of muscle healing?

The 4 stages of muscle healing include degeneration, inflammation, regeneration, and remodeling/maturation (28). 

Bottom line

Muscle strains are a common setback for active individuals, but recovery doesn't have to be prolonged or painful. 

By understanding the underlying causes of muscle strain and implementing targeted strategies, you can speed up the healing process and quickly return to peak performance.