“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Ryun (American Politician and Olympic Athlete)
Players need more than just a regular habit of hitting the gym and pushing themselves at practice for muscle growth. It is also important to understand how muscle recovery impacts on overall goals. We share the importance of understanding muscle recovery and what players can do to speed up this process.
Muscle recovery debunked
When we exercise or play sport, we damage the cells in our muscle fibres causing muscle soreness or “stiffness”.
While our bodies have a natural recovery system in place, controlled by proteins and hormones, to ensure that our cells are replaced and recover well enough to handle that activity better, there are a few things you can do to help this process. A combination of rest after practice and healthy eating are key to speeding up the recovery process.
Where you come in…
Plenty of hydration and a nutrient-rich diet are very important when it comes to recovery. However, players should remember that you should first rehydrate after practice before attempting to eat a snack – your body won’t want food straight after exercise.
The idea behind eating for recovery is to replace the nutrients lost in exercise through perspiration and to increase the supply of nutrients that feed the recovery process. Here are the key nutrients needed for a faster recovery that you can incorporate into your pre- and post-workout snacks.
- Protein – an energy source which helps to repair muscle tissue.
- Antioxidants – helps prevent free radical damage to your muscle cells.
- Water – prevents cramps, fatigue and dizziness.
- Potassium – helps prevent muscle cramps.
- Omega 3’s – helps prevent inflammation.
- Carbohydrates – whole grain sources are a good energy source.
Our expert, former Sharks Physiotherapist Ruan Fourie, attends every academy to share his expertise about recovery and nutrition. Be sure to register herefor our upcoming courses this December to get answers to all your nutrition and recovery questions.
Looking for some delicious, healthy, protein-packed meals? Try this Protein-Packed Burgerfor lunch or dinner. It is packed with lean protein and healthy fats as well as a good dose of antioxidants to balance your recovery the healthy way.