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5 tips to optimise sports recovery

Despite the many tips that can be found on various blogs and videos about muscle recovery, it is only by eating the right foods and resting that you will recover after sport. Adopting an overall healthy lifestyle is the most important step you can take to maximise your muscle recovery.

There is no miracle method that will allow you to recover while lacking rest and eating a poor diet. Many people think they need expensive supplements to get results from their workouts. While some supplements have benefits, you're not going to maximise your performance unless you're already taking care of the basics. So here's what you need to do to optimise your sports recovery.

Food

Obviously, the first thing to do when you start your sports program is to adopt a good diet. Here are some tips to optimize your recovery through your diet.

Protein after training

When you exercise, the proteins in your muscle fibers will systematically be damaged. Consuming protein after your workout can help give your body the raw material it needs to repair that muscle damage.

Research has shown that 20 to 40 grams of a reliable source of protein, or about 0.4 to 0.5 g/kg (0.18 to 0.22 g/lb) of body weight, is enough to maximize the muscle growth.

Protein pre-workout

Getting enough protein your body needs before training can help significantly increase muscle protein synthesis. As with post-workout recommendations, Trusted Source research has found 0.4-0.5 g/kg (0.18-0.22 g/lb) of body weight to be the optimal amount.

Carbohydrates after training

Your muscles store carbohydrates as glycogen for energy. During short, intense exercise, your muscles use this glycogen as their primary form of energy.

If you need to quickly restore glycogen levels within four hours, such as when performing back-to-back workouts, the International Society of Sports Nutrition Trusted Source recommends consuming 1.2g/kg body weight per hour with an emphasis on carbohydrates with a glycemic index (GI) greater than 70. White rice, potatoes, and sugar are three examples of carbohydrates in this GI range.

sports recovery carbs

Drinks

In order to optimize your sports recovery, it is necessary to hydrate yourself well. You are especially prone to dehydration if you exercise in hot or humid weather.

Research Trusted Source has found that drinking tart cherry juice after exercise can reduce inflammation, muscle damage, and muscle soreness caused by exercise. More research is needed to fully understand its effects, but many studies published to date show promise.

Nutritional supplements

Creatine monohydrate

Several researches consistently show that creatine can help improve muscle strength when combined with resistance training.

Research Trusted Source has also found that creatine can help athletes recover from intense training by helping to reduce muscle damage and inflammation, as well as replenish your muscles' glycogen stores.< /p>

Protein powder

Protein powder is a convenient way to add more protein to your diet. Several protein powders contain essential amino acids like whey and collagen powder. These are the most popular.

The consumption of protein powder has as many supporters as detractors. However, despite the arguments put forward by opponents of this nutritional element, no serious study has been able to show any disadvantages or deterrents for athletes.

CBD

Since training and competition lead to structural and functional imbalance due to intense exertion, CBD consumption could potentially promote the restoration of physical performance. The physiological mechanisms of action of CBD, combined with other recovery protocols, could help reduce the accumulated fatigue evident during a tournament of consecutive efforts.

The above may depend on the identification of multiple mechanisms to cause global functional recovery in sport. A lot of evidence is needed to support this conclusion, but the evidence offered looks promising.

cbd sports recovery

The way of life

Here are some habits you should adopt to optimize your sports recovery:

Massage

To reduce muscle pain, many athletes resort to massage. They even incorporate it into their training. A 2020 Trusted Source review of studies found that massage has a small but significant effect on improving flexibility and decreasing delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise.

Compression garments

Wearing compression garments has been a common practice among athletes in recent years. There are a limited number of studies examining their effectiveness in accelerating recovery after exercise. But a small 2019 Trusted Source study found they reduced body muscle recovery time in German handball players.

Contrast water therapy

Contrast bath therapy consists of alternating periods of immersion in very hot water and very cold water. This change in temperature causes your blood vessels to contract and expand and alters your heart rate.

Research Trusted Source has found that contrast bath therapy can help reduce post-workout muscle soreness. Results are limited and may only be relevant to athletes.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is the technique of exposing your body to an extremely cold temperature for a few minutes. Studies have shown that this practice reduces pain, muscle fatigue and inflammation after intense activity.

Sleep and rest

Finally, one of the most important aspects of recovery, sleep! You can train as hard as you want at the gym, but without enough sleep you won't see the results you've achieved.

Sleep gives your muscles time to recover from exercise. People who exercise intensely need more rest than average. Some professional athletes reportedly sleep 10 hours or more per night. Research has shown that sleep deprivation can impair muscle recovery by altering the body's inflammatory response and the production of hormones that promote muscle growth.

During quarantine, we learned how important it is to slow down and prioritize recovery. For many of us, it was the reset our minds and bodies desperately needed. Now that fitness studios and gyms are reopening, it's just as important, if not more so, to continue to prioritize rest and recovery as we return to our workouts.

To maximize your results at the gym, prevent injury, get the gains you work so hard for, the best thing you can do is get enough sleep! When you sleep, you give your body the time it needs to recover in order to repair and rebuild your muscles. During your deep sleep cycle, your body releases growth hormone, the hormone needed to repair muscle and growth, build bone, and burn fat.

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