17 November 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Nutrition: Top Tips for Recovery

October 17, 2016
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Our bodies require energy for everything we do. From metabolising food to adapting from training load. When we look at recovery from a sporting context, it is the restoration of the capacity to perform work at the athletes maximal work capacity. Although maybe we should look at recovery to benefit training adaptation and elicit the changes that we wish to occur. After all, we train and exercise to get fitter right?

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Hydration

You should aim to start exercise hydrated. A good figure to aim for is 25-28ml x bodyweight in grams. So if you were an individual who weighed 70kg then you would aim to drink 1.750 – 2 L per day. Ensuring the water contains minerals is key for its absorption, otherwise you will have to drink about 1.7 x the amount of water! A HIGH5 ZERO tablet will ensure you get all the minerals you need.

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Protein & Carbohydrates
Protein is an essential macronutrient for recovery. Protein provides amino acids and these are the building blocks for growth and repair. We should all aim to eat a source of protein at every meal to keep protein synthesis ticking over. This will help to keep us in an anabolic (growth & repair) state rather than catabolic (damage & loss).

Immediately after exercise you should aim to consume 0.4g per kilogram of bodyweight in protein. Therefore, if you weighed 70kg then you would need 28g of protein.

Carbohydrates are essential to replace following high intensity or long duration exercise as we will have burnt through our stores. Immediately after exercise, high GI (Glycaemic Index) carbohydrates are preferable. These raise insulin levels which allows the body to get carbohydrates and other nutrients into the muscle quicker.

There are a lot of products and food out there which combine the two together for you such as HIGH5 Protein Recovery which contains Whey Protein Isolate and Carbohydrates in an ideal ratio to stimulate protein synthesis following exercise. A berry smoothie using low fat milk, whey protein (or alternative), handful of berries and a banana will work well too.

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Sleep
Sleep is the bodies time to relax and recover without all the other stresses of everyday life intervening. Here are some tips to improve your sleep:

  • Aim for around 8-8.5 hours of sleep per night, especially if you are  training lots.
  • Sleep in a pitch black room. Use curtains if there is light pollution where you live. If not, wake up with the sunrise (when possible)!
  • Try to keep your room temperature nice and cool
  • Buy a high quality bed that you love to be in. The more you love to be in it, the better the quality of sleep.
  • Wear ear plugs if its noisy and an eye mask if you are in a light polluted room.
  • If you power nap, do so for 20 minutes or over an hour, otherwise you will drop in to deep sleep and wake up groggy (which kind of defeats the point).

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Stress
Here is what the International Stress Management Association says about stress: “Stress manifests itself as a physical, psychological or social dysfunction resulting in individuals feeling unable to bridge the gap with the requirements or expectations placed upon them.”

Stress has lots of impacts upon our bodies such as poor sleep quality, muscle tension, elevated heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. None of which are ideal when we are trying to recover from training or exercise. Here are some tips to reduce stress:

  • Find out what is making you stressed and asses how it is affecting your health, then make a plan to reduce your stress.
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of rest (refer to the advice on sleep!)
  • Eating healthily will give your body the best chance of fighting the symptoms of stress

So there you have it, some top tips on recovery to help you on your way to reducing those aches and pains, and help you in getting those training adaptations you desire.

For more information on HIGH5 products and advice, visit www.highfive.co.uk

Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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