Recovery is the key step that occurs after a sporting effort, often neglected or even forgotten. However, it is an essential part of training and allows athletes to regain their abilities more quickly in order to progress. Indeed, it is when the body is at rest that it makes the most progress and not during training. Training is tiring and weakens the body. During recovery, muscles regenerate and adapt to be more resistant to future efforts. It is according to this principle of adaptation that the body is a little stronger after each new training session.
First of all, it is necessary to know that there are two types of recovery. The first is total recovery, which is the time required to completely eliminate fatigue.
The second is sufficient recovery, which represents the minimum time to be taken before continuing on a new effort. It will not be total but the level of fatigue will have decreased enough for the next training to be beneficial.
There are then many methods to make this recovery optimal and thus progress faster. Here are some of them.
A balanced diet:
A well-balanced diet speeds up recovery. After making an effort, the body’s reserves are drained. It is important to reconstitute them within 30 minutes of the session, with at least one liquid or solid snack. It is also important to prioritize nutrients that contribute to the body’s proper functioning. For example, high-carbohydrate foods such as bananas, dates, figs or oatmeal are essential to replenish sugar stocks in the liver and muscles. The proteins present in eggs, ham, cottage cheese, almonds or quinoa will help repair muscle tissue damaged during the session. Finally, even if your vitamin needs are lower, it is necessary to eat fruits, vegetables or oilseeds such as nuts and almonds to help your body fight stress and infections.
If you follow these nutrition tips, your body will thank you!
To be hydrated:
Water is the key element of recovery. Proper hydration helps to fill in the losses related to perspiration and evacuate the waste produced during training. It is recommended to drink 1.5L of water per day to continuously replenish your water supply. This can be much more during an intense effort, or if it is hot. You can add a pinch of baking soda to your usual water to get a sufficient mineral dose. When in doubt, always carry a bottle of water with you!
It is important to get enough sleep to optimize the effectiveness of your workouts. Indeed, the body will undergo an adaptation phase and only during sleep. More precisely during the end of the night, which is synonymous with complete rest. A minimum of about seven hours of sleep per night is recommended but this may vary depending on each individual. If you feel rested when you wake up, it is a sign that your body has recovered enough.
Warm up before and after a session:
Warming up goes hand in hand with recovery. Indeed, it will allow the body to start gradually and prepare the muscles for the effort that awaits them. To do this, there is nothing like a 15-minute jog or a few successive accelerations.
It is also proven that doing a slow paced activity after training is beneficial for the body’s recovery. For example, slow jogging of a few minutes or a short cycling session. Indeed, the waste generated by the session will be rejected and the blood will circulate faster than at rest, without damaging the body again.
Some techniques to recover faster:
Lying on your couch, legs up at right angles to the wall for 10 minutes, you will help your body evacuate used blood. When you return to a seated position, wiggle your toes to get the blood flowing again. With this technique, the blood in your legs will be renewed and your recovery speed will be increased.
The second technique is cold recovery or cryotherapy. This consists of running cold water on your calves after intense training. For example, at the end of your shower, about 15 seconds on each calf. The blood vessels will contract, the blood will then be expelled from the muscle and the circulation will be slowed down sharply. Once the cold subsides, fresh blood circulates in the muscle and recovery is faster.
Here are the most effective techniques and tips to help your body recover quickly after a workout. You are not obligated to follow them to the letter, for each training session, but at least for the most intense ones. If you know of any others, let us know the comments!