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5 ways to recover like a BOSS


"You will win the tour in bed", you may know this statement by Joop Zoetemelk. This does not only apply to the tour, but probably for every sport. A good recovery is at least as important as the training itself. With these 5 actions on your to do list you will recover like a BOSS!

1. Eat!

After your workout, your body screams for nutrients. Your muscles are slightly damaged by the effort and need building materials. Proteins contain these building materials and the intake of it is therefore important after training, to support the maintenance and growth of your muscles. But wait ... do not forget the carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are of great importance to replenish your energy supply, which will enhance your recovery. This way you can start your next training full with energy!

PS: Did you know that research shows that a combination of proteins and carbohydrates ensures the best recovery? So do not just consume proteins OR carbohydrates, but preferably consume them together! A protein shake and a banana, a protein bar with the right amount of sugar or a well-filled fruit smoothie with yogurt are nutritious recovery options.


2. Drink even more

Actually the most important factor for recovery: drinking. The fact that you need to replenish your loss of fluid after exercise, when you are sitting on the couch like a wrung washcloth, may sound logical. But do you know why? Sufficient fluid in your body is important to get your body temperature back on the right level. In addition, it ensures the replenishment of important minerals (when consuming a drink with added minerals) and the transport of nutrients to the right places in the body. There is no completed step 1, without step 2!


3. A nice hot shower, or cold?

Whether a hot or cold shower really has an effect on the best recovery? Well, there is still some discussion about it. But it will most probably do no harm. A nice hot shower could improve blood circulation, which could promote the removal of waste products. But also a cold shower after exercise could do well. Research shows that a cold shower could reduce muscle damage immediately after exercise. My opinion? Start cold, finish with a hot one!


4. Relax

Oh so important after your training: relax! This can be done in the form of active recovery, think of a swim or walk, but also total rest is of great importance (there it is: the bed!). Relaxation is important on both a physical and mental level. Physically, your body gets the time to repair the affected (muscle) cells, relax all kinds of active hormones and dispose of waste products. Mental relaxation can also lead to a reduction in cortisol (stress hormone). This may allow nutrients to be absorbed better, which can contribute to a better recovery.


5. Massaging and stretching, with care.

Stretching and/or massaging after exercise, what is good or not? To be honest: there is still a lot of discussion about that. Massage seems to have a positive effect on reducing muscle soreness, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about the effect of stretching. My advice? Do that what feels best for you, but with care! After training, muscle cells have been slightly destroyed and too intensive a massage or firm stretching exercises could possibly exacerbate this. Therefore, choose a relaxing massage or light stretching exercises after your workout. Use it as a way to relax, instead of using it as an effective recovery tool.



Date: 10/10/2018
Author: Monique van de Velde, on behalf of Vifit Sport

References:
Moore DR, Camera DM, Areta JL, Hawley JA. Beyond muscle hypertrophy: why dietary protein is important for endurance athletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Sep;39(9):987–97.
Moore DR. Nutrition to Support Recovery from Endurance Exercise. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2015;14(4):294–300.
Beelen M, Burke LM, Gibala MJ, Van Loon LJC. Nutritional strategies to promote postexercise recovery. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010;20(6):515–32.
Shirreffs SM, Sawka MN. Fluid and electrolyte needs for training, competition, and recovery. J Sports Sci. 2011;29(SUPPL. 1):37–41. 
Dupuy O, Douzi W, Theurot D, Bosquet L, Dugue B. An Evidence-Based Approach for Choosing Post-exercise Recovery Techniques to Reduce Markers of Muscle Damage, Soreness, Fatigue, and Inflammation: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Front Physiol. 2018;9:403.
Bailey, D. M., Erith, S. J., Griffin, P. J., Dowson, A., Brewer, D. S., Gant, N., & Williams, C. (2007). Influence of cold-water immersion on indices of muscle damage following prolonged intermittent shuttle running. Journal of sports sciences25(11), 1163-1170.

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