Recovery- We all have heard the word, but what does it really mean in the context of an athlete? It seems like it’s everywhere these days. Recovery is a term applied to the refueling and rehydration strategies in the immediate postexercise period to gain training adaptations and prevent fatigue in the next exercise sessions. It takes the time of an entire day – 24 hours – to recover the body from training. With all the information out there, how is an athlete supposed to know how to recover? Lately there seems to be an emphasis on protein. Yes, protein is important, but so are carbohydrates. Carbohydrates often get a bad rep but carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy.
For training days more 90 minutes or more, consuming carbohydrates (1.0-1.5 g per kg body weight) and 10-20g of protein post exercise is crucial.
Proper recovery prevents injury improves muscle building and repairs the muscle after a workout. Proper recovery also prevents possible injury. When I interned with The University of Tulsa, their sports dietitian, myself, and the other interns were in charge of recovery for the football team after their practices and workouts. You often see people chugging down a protein shake postexercise, but is that enough? No! Your body needs some carbs too! Also, if you are eating a meal soon after, it may not be necessary to have a protein shake depending on what your goals are in sport.
Recovery also takes into account some other things besides FOOD!
– Foam rolling
Your strength and conditioning staff would be great to work with on stretching/yoga, foam rolling, or mobility techniques. Strength is great but if your muscles are tight, that can lead to other issues. Meet with someone with the credential RD behind their name for more information on what your specific recovery or nutrition needs would look like. If you are interested contact me on the BSN.
Have a great day!