Bicycle races are exciting events that increase stamina and help people stay in shape. However, they can also cause soreness afterward. Use the following tips to help you recover from the effects of this exercise.

Cool Down
Recovering from a cycling race starts right at the end of the event. Since blood vessels expand during a hard ride, you need to let them decrease slowly. That’s why you peddle easily for a few minutes after the run. If you don’t, it can cause lightheaded feelings and reduce the availability of oxygenized and nutrient-rich blood.

Bring a foam roller or massage stick to races and massage the legs after the race. This helps the inflow of fresh blood and pushes out fluid waste products. It also breaks up any knots so that the muscles can work better in the future.

Replenish Fluids
Since dehydration delays recovery, it’s essential to avoid it by drinking fluids after a race. Ideally, you should drink water, but you can also use milk, herbal tea or sports drinks. If you want to drink beer or caffeine, wait at least a few hours.

Compression Socks
After the race, put on a pair of compression socks. These will accelerate the restorative process of the calf muscles. Studies have shown that compression socks help improve muscle soreness, reduce swelling and alleviate fatigue.

Eat Carbohydrates
Any hard exercise burns carbohydrates and depletes the body’s storage of this nutrient. Since your body is most apt to restore these organic compounds within a half hour of dynamic workouts, eat a snack that’s loaded with carbs. Greek yogurt, fruit and nut butter sandwiches make ideal options for snacks within this important 30-minute window.

Eat Protein
While it’s best to have a post-race snack that combines carbohydrates with protein, you should also eat protein-rich foods on the days after a race. That’s because protein contains branched-chain amino acids. These promote muscle repair and reduce muscle damage. Fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, chicken and beef all make good choices for getting these important compounds.

Rest is the best medicine in most situations. Even a half-hour nap can promote recovery and lower the levels of stress hormones. Getting about eight hours of sleep is important because that’s when muscle-building hormones do their job.