Training starts outside your comfort zone, everyone knows that. But the harder the training, the sooner and longer the body, muscles and tendons scream for regeneration. Some ideas and information on the right way to train and recover have already been collected in the article on supercompensation.
Here I would like to start with some tips to help accelerate the recovery phase that the body needs.
Table of contents:
- 1. Protein: High-protein food
- 2. Sufficient carbohydrates
- 3. Stress-free time / rest
- 4. Lots of sleep
- 5. Micronutrients, vitamins and supplements
- 6. Water, water and more water!
- 7. Sun and fresh air
1. Protein: High-protein food
Protein is one of the main nutrients along with carbohydrates and fats. Especially competitive athletes, but also hobby athletes have an increased protein requirement, in contrast to non-athletes. A list of appropriate foods (including egg, quark, salmon, almonds, tofu...) and information on protein content can be found in the article Nutrition and Protein.
2. Sufficient carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are enormously important for the body's muscles, especially during intensive exercise. The body cannot manage completely without the energy source sugar. As the body's glycogen stores are limited, it is recommended to replenish carbohydrates even during endurance exertion of more than 60-90 minutes during sport. This can be in the form of bananas, for example. Bananas contain a lot of magnesium and potassium as well as up to 24g carbohydrates.
3. Stress-free time / rest
Stress is never good, especially not for the body and the immune system. During hard training sessions the body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn has a negative effect on the immune system. Therefore, rest phases are extremely important, especially after training. Not only physically, but also mentally! Meditation, some yoga or Taiji or Qigong (Chi Gong) exercises bring mind and body back into harmony.
After training or the day after, you can also treat yourself to a sauna, wellness and relaxation. Saunas and massages loosen muscles, stimulate the blood circulation and get tired muscles going again. If you don't want to do without sports and exercise during the regeneration phase, you can also consider a light, easy swimming.
4. Lots of sleep
Sleeping works wonders! Not only because the body fills up the micro-cracks in the muscles during sleep, but also because only a rested mind is a healthy mind. Eight hours of sleep are good, after hard sessions it may be a little more. If you feel unrested, you should also lie down for 30-60 minutes at lunchtime. A so-called power napping increases the well-being and supports regeneration.
5. Micronutrients, vitamins and supplements
Vitamins and other important nutrients should ideally be taken in the form of lots of fruit and vegetables! Among other things, vitamin C is useful in high doses to promote regeneration. Practical in use here are also e.g. effervescent tablets (1 in the morning, 1 in the evening).
Magnensium and potassium (contained in avocados, spinach, almonds, bananas, etc.) prevent muscle cramps. Omega-3 fatty acids also accelerate regeneration, and are contained in larger quantities in fish (e.g. salmon, tuna), among other things.
Especially in competitive sports it makes sense to use additional food supplements to cover the needs of the body. Examples of this are e.g: Creatine provides more energy. Amino acids (glutamine, BCAA, GABA, ...) prevent deficiency symptoms.
Magic ingredient: fresh ginger! Ginger is not only a tasty addition to e.g. Sushi! Ginger promotes blood circulation and lactate breakdown in muscle tissue. So you will be fit again for the next training session more quickly. You can also drink the ginger by cutting a few thin slices from the tuber and then pour hot water over them in a cup.
6. Water, water and more water!
As you sweat a lot during training, the body loses a lot of water, which should be returned to it as soon as possible. As a rule of thumb, drink approx. 0.5 l of water directly after exercise and plenty of water throughout the day afterwards. 2-3 L per day is already allowed. (Article: Food and drink before and after training)
An indicator that the water content in the body is correct is when the urine is almost clear. The darker the color, the worse, so always drink water diligently. Ideally with little to no carbonic acid, because it is more digestible for the stomach and you don't have to burp all the time. 😉 Furthermore, you should of course avoid flavour enhancers and sweetened drinks. Cola does contain water, but also a lot of useless sugar stuff.
7. Sun and fresh air
A few rays of sunshine on the face stimulate the body to produce the vital vitamin D. Vitamin D is formed by the skin to approx. 90%, but only under sunlight (sunlight of course only in moderation!). Vitamin D is not only supposed to prevent colds, cancer and heart attacks, but is also responsible for several regulatory processes in the human body cells and is therefore extremely important for a healthy body. So get out into the fresh air more often. Relaxed 20-30 minute walks have an extremely positive effect on regeneration and well-being, and also reduce the stress hormone cortisol.
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