When you don’t let your muscles recover fully after exercise, you put yourself at risk of getting injured. If you’ve stopped seeing improvements in your fitness level, or if your muscles constantly feel inflamed and sore, you may need to spend more time recovering from your workouts.
Two recovery strategies that we can all do are eating a balanced diet and getting a good night's sleep:
1. BALANCED DIET
Eating a balanced, healthy diet can ensure that you don’t develop any nutrient deficiencies that may impair your body's ability to recover from exercise. As a general rule, this means:
- Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables - eat the rainbow.
- Get at least 10% to 35% of your calories from protein.
- Minimising your consumption of ultra-processed foods
- Avoid alcohol, as it impairs protein synthesis in your muscles.
Although your overall diet is what matters the most… you may find that adding particular foods and drinks to your diet, including tart cherry juice, collagen, and whey protein, may speed up muscle recovery and reduce exercise-related soreness.
Sleep has been reported to be the single most efficacious recovery strategy, and gives your body time to recover from exercise. People who exercise intensely need even more rest than the average person. Some professional athletes often sleep 10 hours or more per night.
Poor sleep quality, particularly during high training loads and competition periods, has been identified as a marker of ‘under recovery’ and an early sign of overreaching. Reductions in cognitive and motor performance, reaction times, and mood state/emotional stability are often observed in sleep-deprived athletes.
Sleep hygiene strategies should be incorporated into the athlete's sleep routine and used every night before bed in an attempt to promote optimal sleep conditions.
Other recovery strategies that have sound science behind them include:
3. PROTEIN POST-WORKOUT
Dietary protein should be ingested during and/or immediately after exercise to allow muscle protein synthesis rates to reach maximal levels.
Whey protein seems to be most effective to increase post-exercise muscle protein synthesis rates. This is likely because of its rapid digestion and absorption rate and specific amino acid composition. Taking approximately 20-25 g of protein during and/or immediately after exercise is sufficient to maximise post-exercise muscle protein synthesis.
4. CARBOHYDRATES POST-WORKOUT
Consuming carbohydrate immediately after exercise increases the rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis and also results in greater endurance capacity during subsequent exercise.
The general recommendation for carbohydrate intake post exercise is to consume 1.2g/kg BW/hr for the first four hours, and then resume normal carbohydrate intake, based on an individual’s identified carbohydrate needs for that day.
5. STAY HYDRATED
It is not uncommon to finish a training session or event with a fluid deficit. The general recommendations for fluid replacement are to replace 120-150% fluid deficit over the next 4-6 hours. Consuming electrolyte-containing fluids may also assist in effectively replacing fluids by assisting the retention of fluids ingested.
It is imperative that athletes are not fluid loading unnecessarily or at risk of disrupted sleep due to ingesting large amounts of fluid before bed to meet fluid targets (as sleep interrupted by multiple bathroom stops is not conducive to recovery).
6. TART CHERRY JUICE
Tart cherry juice has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenol compounds. Tart cherry lessens pain and accelerates strength recovery after exercise and decreases blood markers of inflammation/oxidative stress. These improvements occur in both strength and endurance exercise.
Tart cherry juice supplementation may not be optimal during the adaptation/build stage of training. However, where recovery (not adaptation) is the priority, tart cherry juice may be beneficial… something to consider during your competition season, to optimise race day recovery.
Lewis Maharam, MD, president of the New York Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine - “A 1994 study showed that massage had no effect on recovery immediately after exercise," says Maharam. “But when administered two to six hours later, a 30-minute massage reduced delayed muscle soreness significantly."
Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) describes muscle pain and tenderness that typically develop several hours postexercise and consist of predominantly eccentric muscle actions, especially if the exercise is unfamiliar.
While massage has been shown to be effective in alleviating DOMS and reducing swelling, it has no effects on muscle function… so use it as part of a recovery strategy.
The same can be said for compression garments… an area that needs far more research.
Tendon disorders are a major concern in most sports. Tendons have the highest tensile strength of all connective tissue because of a high proportion of collagen in the fibres and their closely packed parallel arrangement in the direction of force. But they are still susceptible to overuse and injury.
Active Collagen is ‘Your Proven Advantage’ when it comes to strengthening & repairing ligaments & tendons… but don’t just take our word for it. Why does science suggest you should take Active Collagen as part of your exercise recovery & injury prevention nutritional strategy?
The primary role of collagen is to maintain connective tissue health and mechanical properties of the skin (Ricard-Blum 2011). As collagen is the principal component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), it is vital for the strength, regulation, and regeneration of this tissue (Frantz et al. 2010).
Collagen also contributes ~ 65–80% dry weight of tendons, with collagen crosslinks aiding the tendon structure to endure resistance from high-impact stresses and shear forces (Kannus 2000). Thus, collagen plays a vital role in maintaining tendon health and mitigating potential injury-risk in sport (Goes et al. 2020).
Collagen is hydrolysed enzymatically, degrading it into smaller bioactive peptides (the primary supplemental form of collagen) that are easily absorbed within the digestive tract before entering circulation (Iwai et al. 2005).
In addition, collagen synthesis is likely to increase with of the co-ingestion of vitamin C, through its role in the hydroxylation of proline and lysine, both of which are essential in creating the collagen helix formation and intermolecular cross-linking (Paxton et al. 2010).
Active Collagen is a unique blend of two Bioactive Collagen Peptides® and other vitamins & minerals, clinically proven to improve the structural quality of ligaments & tendons… therefore reducing the risk of injury.
Active Collagen has also been clinically proven to speed up recovery.
The Department of Sport Medicine, at the Australian Institute of Sport, conducted a double blind clinical study looking at whether oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides improves symptoms and tendon vascularisation in patients with chronic mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy in combination with structured exercise.
Read the results from the Australian Institute of Sport study.
To help you recover from exercise and improve tendon/ligament strength, we have put together 30, 60 & 90 day subscription offers… These ensure that you have a constant supply of Active Collagen to assist your recovery… while also offering you the best value for money. View our subscription offers here.
Exercise increases muscle protein synthesis rates, allowing skeletal muscle tissue to adapt to the various types of exercise training. Muscle protein synthesis is regulated by two main anabolic stimuli, food intake and physical activity. Food intake, or rather protein ingestion, directly elevates muscle protein synthesis rates.
Physical activity (or exercise) directly stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis, an effect that has been shown to persist for up to 24 hours after cessation of exercise (Burd et al., 2011).
Active Whey & Collagen is ‘Your Proven Advantage’ when it comes to strengthening & repairing muscles... but don’t just take our word for it. Why does science suggest you should take Active Whey & Collagen as part of your injury recovery & injury prevention nutritional strategy?
When protein is ingested following a single bout of exercise, muscle protein synthesis rates are increased to a much higher level and for a more prolonged period of time when compared with a normal post-meal response (Moore et al., 2009b).
Besides the amount and type of protein ingested during postexercise recovery, the timing of protein ingestion has been identified as another key factor modulating post-exercise muscle protein anabolism. Levenhagen et al. (2001) were one of the first to report a more positive net protein balance after consuming a protein (containing) supplement immediately after exercise when compared with the provision of the same supplement 3 hour into post-exercise recovery.
As a consequence, it is now generally advised to ingest 20g of a high-quality dietary protein immediately after the cessation of exercise as a means to optimise post-exercise reconditioning (Moore et al., 2009a).
ACTIVE WHEY & COLLAGEN
Active Whey & Collagen is a unique blend of Bioactive Collagen Peptides® and Whey protein, which in combination have been formulated to support muscle growth, strength & recovery.
Active Whey & Collagen has been clinically proven to improve muscle strength and increase fat-free mass.
The Department of Sports Medicine and Sports Nutrition, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, demonstrated that collagen peptides containing mostly non-essential amino acids increase fat-free mass and strength in sarcopenic men.
In a double-blind, randomised design, subjects consumed either 15g of specific collagen peptides or a non-caloric placebo every day within 60 min after their training session. A full-body hypertrophy workout was completed three times per week and included four exercises using barbells.
The study found training in combination with collagen peptide supplementation results in a more pronounced increase in Body Mass, Fat-Free Mass, and Muscle Strength than training on its own.
Read the results from the Department of Sports Medicine and Sports Nutrition, Ruhr University study.
To help you recover from exercise and improve your muscle strength, we have put together 30, 60 & 90 day subscription offers… These ensure that you have a constant supply of Active Whey & Collagen to assist your exercise recovery… while also offering you the best value for money. View our subscription offers here.