Exercise recovery STARTS the minute you stop working out. When it STOPS, should be about 1 1/2 hours before your next workout, in the form of a pre-workout meal, and hydration.
Your strength, muscle size, endurance, and fatigue levels are completely influenced by what you do in your recovery period. Here are some tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your efforts, and not negating any time spent on training.
1. Meals. Always 5-6 daily. You should be eating for what you will be doing in the next 3-4 hours. More carbs than protein before and after training. Higher protein for all 4 other meals. Approximately 1 to 2 grams of protein, per lean lb. of body weight if training hard, and often.
Water. Can’t emphasize this one enough! It keeps everything working. Keeps performance at peak levels, core temps. rise when body is not cooled properly by hydration. Studies show that when water losses reach up to 4% of your body weight, reduction in physical performance will occur.
Sports drinks that have electrolytes, and or simple sugars are great for long, intense workouts, and workouts in extreme heat.
Besides the obvious part of not having energy to perform, the only time your muscles grow is when you are NOT lifting, or using them. 7- 8 hours is mandatory for peak recovery. If you don’t think you need that much, you are not letting your body live up to it’s full potential. Get good sleep, regularly! You will see a difference.
Even if you eat 5-6 meals daily, there are some things that you will not get enough of in food. Some supplements are designed specifically with athletes in mind. Preventing injuries, and the recovery of old injuries is usually a big part of a strength trainers regimen. Here are what I consider to be what anyone training hard, 3-5 times weekly, can’t do without.
Glucosamine- All connective tissue is made up of collagen, the most common protein in the body. Glucosamine is the single most important supplement in forming connective tissue. 95% is absorbed in the gut. 30% is stored for later, to make more connective tissue. (something all athletes need).
Vitamins A, C, and E.( Free Radical Scavengers.) When you work out, you put your body through more oxidative stress since you breathe in more oxygen, this creates free radicals that weaken the body. Free radical scavengers get rid of these.
B-Complex- Important in energy metabolism, and nerve function.
Selenium. This is found in many anti-aging products, as it has been shown to prevent tissue damage.
Glutamine- Supports anabolism (muscle growth) and immune function.
BCAA’s. These support muscle tissue, and prevent it from being broken down for energy during intense workouts.
You can find many products that mix BCAA’s with Glutamine for prevention of muscle breakdown, and recovery. These formulations mix well with water, and can be added to pre-workout drinks.
Omega 3’s. (Fish Oils, preferably free of mercury, and purified, I prefer Nordic Naturals).These supplements are a goldmine!! Everyone should be taking an Omega 3 supplement 2-3 times daily. This is for heart health, and inflammation. Inflammation is pain, injury, oxidation. All negative. Get rid of it all with Omega 3’s.
This is my personal, tried and true, studied for many years, by many sources list. There are many more supplements that I personally take, and will share with you soon.
However, these tips are at the top of the list, and they should be on yours!
This is not to be used in place of medical advice, or doctors care. If you are starting a new dietary, or physical plan, get your medical advisors ok.
Get serious about your recovery. Make it as important as your training plan, and see the amazing machine your body was meant to be!