Saturday, January 7, 2012

10 Post-Training Recovery Methods

What happens after training is as important as what occurs before it. Recovery methods help us ready ourselves for the next session. In the hours leading up to the next strenuous session, what we do can spell the difference between a good or better session.
1)    Hydrate and rehydrate. Water is a key nutrient for recovery. It is one of the six nutrients required for life. Many biochemical reactions in our body rely on water as a medium. Be mindful that you can be dehydrated during long swim sessions.
2)    Within 30-60 minutes of cessation of exercise, consume ample quantities of carbohydrates and protein. Cellular repair and glycogen replenishment begins as soon as you stop all strenuous activity.
3)    Quick-fixes for carbohydrate-protein meals after exercise include chocolate milk, meat-based rice porridge, fruit and yoghurt, or a whey protein shake (like Muscle Milk). Power-gels or a Power-Bar is a good stand-by source of ready-to-eat nutrients. 
4)    Load up on natural sources of antioxidant-laden food like fruit and nuts. Polyphenols, found in fruit juices like pomegranate, concord grape, blueberries and tart cherry can help reduce muscle soreness. Chocolate and red wine also contain these natural chemicals. You can buy these from major supermarkets like Giant and NTUC in the organic, health-food section. 
5)    If you are into popping of pills, then a multi-vitamin and mineral blend helps. Vitamins A, C and E are useful anti-oxidation nutrients that also protect the heart.
6)    Smaller meals comprising carbohydrates and protein are probably more useful than humungous meals that bog you down.
7)    Raise your feet up – against the wall. Gravity delivers the residual lactic acid back to your liver for reprocessing. This was a favourite passive recovery method of competitive cyclist, Greg Lemonde.
8)    Spinning on a stationary-bicycle can be most rewarding as it recycles the lactic acid that dwells in muscles, and flushes impurities and toxins out of fatigued muscles.
9)    Sleep is under-rated. Aim for uninterrupted sleep, in a dark room, with temperature set to cool. The nutrient melatonin may be useful if you still are experiencing a buzz from an evening workout.
10) Stretching, yoga and self-massage may aid recovery. It puts the muscles in a relaxed and less tensed state. Why deny your self of relief from pain and discomfort?

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