Muscle Recovery is essential for any fitness enthusiast, that’s why we’ve formulated this guide to help you know the in’s and out’s of recovering your muscles post training…
The old saying of ‘no pain, no gain’ has some merit but pushing yourself to the limit physically in any sport or training modality can have positive and negative physiological effects. Continued training or competition without sufficient rest can lead to overtraining, often evident through symptoms such as reduced muscle recovery, poor sleep, immune system deficiencies and general irritability. In turn this can increase the odds of soft tissue injury and/or serious structural issues.
Nutritional interventions and supplementation can be a key ingredient to maintaining optimal training function and of course muscle recovery on all levels. Adopting simple strategies can help create an ‘anti-inflammatory’ environment & support well-balanced nutrient intake. These interventions should also support good gut function which is essential for immune function.
Increasing Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio has been suggested to create an anti-inflammatory environment, which is ideal for muscle recovery. Generally we eat sufficient amounts of omega 6 so it could help to increase Omega 3. Taking 3g of Omega 3 daily whilst maintaining an intake of oily fish (herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna steaks, salmon). Consumption of white fish is also acceptable for variety and of course wild organic fish (line caught etc) generally has higher nutrient qualities than farmed. Flaxseeds are also high in Omega 3, snack on these nuts between meals but remember that you can have too much of a good thing. This could be added to a Whey Protein shake in the morning (1‐2 dessertspoons would be sufficient).
The use of a high quality multi-vitamins can support a high level of vitamins and minerals in daily intake. Micro nutrients play a vital role in energy production and the protection of the bodies’ tissue from oxidative damage. Juicing vegetables is a simple nutritional intervention that can also assist with immune system function. Specific vegetables that are may support inflammation reduction are broccoli, basil, root ginger, turmeric, garlic, basil and cocoa and that con only play a positive part in muscle recovery.
HMB (beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid) could be applicable to all levels of athlete or trainer and whilst proven to be effective, levels of research are continually progressing into its possible potential into muscle recovery. Specifically supplementing HMB can minimise muscle damage during hard exercise by reducing protein breakdown. Less protein breakdown means improved muscle recovery and cell stability and less membrane damage. This reduction in muscle cell damage (leakage) is measured by a reduction of muscle damage markers such as creatine phosphokinase (CPK) in the blood stream. If HMB decreases protein breakdown at a molecular level caused by hard workouts it can also be linked to improved muscle recovery from injury and minimisation of lean muscle loss.
Muscle Recovery Summary
In summary, specific interventions can add a high value to accelerating muscle recovery from training & injury. But it is vital to get the key principles of training in order first, such as the following:
- Train smart (get good advice or coaching)
- Eat well
- Rest well
- Be consistent in all good practice
Then chase the 1%ers!