4 Tips For Recovery After Weekend Competition

Sydney West Sports Medicine are the Official Health Partner of the Academy and are always open to answering questions from our athletes. If you have a question for Sydney West Sports Medicine you can email it to tiarnna@wsas.com.au.

QUESTION

I am often tired and sore after I compete on weekends. I am finding that this can sometimes interfere with my Monday training sessions. I am told that ice baths may help my recovery, although this is just hard to get access to all the time. Are there any other important recovery options that I should consider?

ANSWER

Every time we exercise, the body tries to adapt to the stimulus we give it by becoming stronger, faster or more agile. As the body changes, we feel body fatigue and muscle soreness which ultimately reduces performance. Figuring out what recovery is, when to do it and how much can be a daunting task.

There are many ways in which you can help your body reduce the effect of exercise on your body.

  1. Sleep – Getting adequate sleep is the most important factor of recovery – there is no argument! It helps to repair, nourish and regenerate our tissues and our central nervous system. Here are 3 tips to help you maximise your sleep: A) Limit the use of electronics one (1) hour before bed; B) Avoid excessive caffeine consumption; C) Sleep in a cool dark room with minimal light.
  2. Water Recovery – Have you ever seen your local footy team at the beach in the cold water following a big game? Immersing yourself in cold water around 14-16 degrees for up to 3-6 minutes helps to reduce any inflammation, remove excessive waste products and reduce muscle soreness. TIP: Try this in your bath.
  3. Hydration – The body keeps cool during exercise by sweating. This loss of fluid leads to dehydration and can cause a decrease in performance, muscle cramping and delayed recovery. The easiest way to track the amount of fluid needed after a training session is to weigh yourself before and after training. Multiply the difference by 1.5 to give you an estimate of fluid required to replenish the lost fluid. TIP: Drink fluid regularly before, during and after exercise to minimise dehydration.
  4. Nutrition – Food is energy, and the body requires energy to perform. After training or exercise it is important to follow the 3 R’s – Refuel, Rebuild and Rehydrate. Refuel and rebuild your body within 15-60 minutes after training with a serving of protein and carbohydrate.

Try this recovery smoothie! Contains approximately 390 calories, 22 grams of protein, 55 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of fat.

Tropical Smoothie

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (canned in own juice)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 tsp Berry Burst Metamucil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

Answered by Nadine George – Physiotherapist

Posted: 1 September 2017