Authored by Nate Martins
Recovery is a necessity, so why is recovery so often skipped?
Maybe it’s our busy schedules; we’re off to the next thing so fast, often unable to account for the extra half-hour of recovery after workouts. Maybe it’s because we don’t know the best way to recover; with so many muscles and so much information out there, it can be difficult to truly optimize recovery.
Recovery is as crucial as cooling down, eating protein, stretching, and hydrating. Simply put, recovery gives your body an opportunity to build muscle while replenishing and repairing following a workout.
Most athletes share an innate desire to be better and a willingness to push themselves to achieve goals. For many athletes, it’s a combination. Still, we’re humans who share the same basic biology: muscle fibers that need rebuilding, glycogen stores that need replenishing. While workout recovery supplements shouldn’t be solely relied upon, they can absolutely augment the recovery process.
Skipping Recovery is a Mistake
Recovery provides ample time to repair the muscle breakdown that happens with a regular workout and should be part of every training plan. It’s a process that synthesizes protein, rebuilds muscle fibers, restores lost fluids and allows the body to metabolically remove waste products. In addition to rest, supplements can also be introduced to help make the most out of the down time and reduce muscle soreness.
To put the body in the best position to again break itself down with another workout, recovery is key to progress and even safety, as worn-down muscles are more likely to be injured. Recovery isn’t just important after things like overload training.
“In order to benefit from even regular training, it’s necessary to first have a simple recovery process in mind and then add new methods (like supplements). The foundations are things you’ve probably heard coaches and trainers lamenting for years.”
As our muscles are 75% water, hydration is a factor to consider that is of utmost importance to recovery. Maintaining fluid balance has been shown to play a role in improving endurance performance. Protein resynthesis also requires hydrated muscles.
Diet can also play a significant roll.
Since exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein, it’s beneficial to consume some protein after a workout. Rebuilding and repairing muscles need amino acids to promote the development of new muscle tissue. Carbohydrates play a similarly important role in restoration, as they replenish glycogen stores depleted during workouts. But, no need to go too crazy: consuming even 0.5 – 0.7 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight within 30 minutes of training can lead to adequate glycogen resynthesis.
Consumed together, protein and carbs can stimulate insulin secretion and promoting glycogen synthesis.
Hydration and diet are the traditional ways to enhance recovery. However, these supplements can supercharge the process, helping put the body in the best position go harder during its next workout.
In our next Blog post we will examine Recovery Supplements to Boost your performance.