Training Recovery Tips

This article is a re-post of my original 27.02.2013

I was researching on my fav sites for some meaty reading about the importance of taking active recovery and rest days.

I wanted to post on this subject because it’s pretty common for folk who’ve caught the active lifestyle bug, particularly CrossFitters full of passion and enthusiasm, to naturally want to train everyday. As you love working out so much, you often fail to realise your nervous system is fried, your muscle glycogen is depleted, and the muscle soreness is still lingering from the workout you did 4 days ago. Sometimes these factors show up in obvious ways, for example you can’t squat a fraction of your regular weight or other times the body sends more subtle messages like not being able to smoothly co-ordinate your Snatch, or OHS … things just feel a little off.

I was looking for words of wisdom to share with you, and came across these improving recovery tips. Read on… and don’t forget to incorporate an active recovery day into your week, and definitely enjoy a day of rest and recreation on Sunday!


Lose Fat By Improving Recovery From Exercise

by Poliquin Editorial Staff
Research shows there are a number of ways to speed the physical recovery process and produce a better hormonal environment for fat loss and protein synthesis. The effect is not only better body composition results from training but more strength, less soreness, and better sports performance. You might find you sleep better too.
First, you need to aid the body to remove waste products produced by intense exercise, whether it is weight training, sprinting, or endurance exercise. Do this by getting antioxidants from food sources such as blueberries and tart cherries. Both these fruits have shown to accelerate recovery from very intense training because they help remove the waste products or “garbage” caused by muscle damage. Next, you want to aid in the muscle repair process by taking amino acids and protein. Branched-chain amino acids—well known as BCAAs—will help improve tissue repair, as will a high-quality whey protein supplement taken immediately after training—try 20 grams of whey. Eat your antioxidants like blueberries separately from the protein supplement because there’s evidence that the nutrients in blueberries can inhibit maximal protein synthesis.

Improve the clearance of the stress hormone cortisol by taking at least 2 grams of vitamin C right after your workout. Getting rid of cortisol is one of the most important things you can do to speed recovery because the chronic overactivation of the body’s stress system causes a number of negative effects including low blood pH, irregular muscular activation, and a tissue degrading state.

Additional tips to speed clearance of cortisol include the following:

  • Avoid sugar and high-glycemic carbs—the one exception is immediately post workout if you have done endurance training (at least an hour at a high intensity) or trained very hard and have depleted the muscle glycogen stores. Most recreational trainees have not done this during regular weight training.
  • Avoid caffeine after training because it will get in the way of cortisol clearance.
    Take the supplement phosphatidyl serine—about 400 mg—to clear cortisol and improve brain function.
  • Take glutamine to aid in the removal of waste products and boost the immune system.


© 2013 Poliquin

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