Easy Steps to a Better Recovery
In many sporting situations the athlete that recovers better wins!
Just this weekend, Novak Djokovic had only a very short period of time to recover from his semi-final battle with Rafael Nadal before claiming victory over Kevin Anderson in the men’s final at Wimbledon.
To continue to perform at your peak, you need to focus on what happens once the training session or event is over. An under-recovered athlete is at risk of injury, illness, burnout and poor performance.
We have put together some tips below to help you recover like Djokovic and keep performing at your peak.
Have an active recovery after training or competition
An active recovery is a low-intensity activity completed almost immediately after heavy or long exercise. This gentle activity assists by clearing the by-products of exercise that have been thought to contribute to reduced soreness and further fatigue. An Example of this would be a 5-10 min gentle walk after completing a 10km run.
Complete a full stretching routine
Stretching the affected areas has been shown to improve muscle stiffness. This may be linked to normalising muscle tone and enhancing quality of movement. Ensure that stretches are held for a minimum of This is due to the neuromuscular system only relaxing after 15 seconds therefore you are only getting the benefits after this point. Repeat these .
Massage is a useful tool after completing a large training session or competition. Massage has been attributed to assist blood flow which reduces the inflammatory process, muscle mechanics and reduce pain. Another major benefit of massage includes it has been shown to reduce delayed onset of muscle soreness which may start 1 or 2 days after the event.
Eat and drink to replace lost fluids and fuel stores.
Nutrition is essential for complete recovery. Recovery eating and drinking should look to replace lost fluid and energy stores after training or competition.
Fluids should also include sodium which helps your body retain fluids. This may include a rehydration drink. Fluid can also be consumed with salt rich foods. Start fluid intake on the finish line then aim to consume gradually over next 2-4 hours. Spreading fluid intake out increases retention. Milk may be a better sports rehydration drink than many commercial products due to its sodium content, fat content and protein content which also aid in fluid retention.
The fuel store used in most events is carbohydrates, refuelling takes adequate intake and time. Approximately you should be aiming for 1g/Kg/hour for a person’s body mass for the first 4 hours’ post exercise. Meals and snacks are chosen from personal preference, some carb rich foods include (50g carb portions) 700-800mL of sports drink, 500mL fruit juice, 100g pancakes, 2 slices of toast with jam or honey and 1 large muffin.
Optimal sleep is the single most important strategy for recovery. Without a good night’s sleep, you interfere with your body natural recovery process. Without this recovery, your body cannot adapt to the increased stresses of exercise.
Our dietitian Amie Cox offers expert post exercise nutrition advice tailored to your specific exercise demands. We offer remedial massage and physiotherapy services that can help sore muscles to recover quicker so if you are no bouncing back from your training sessions or tough events like you would like to then we are here to help