Recovering from training isn't just a day off from the gym, the street, the field, or the bike.
It is about mindfully managing your body's systems to maximize your recovery. It is a complicated, connected process that when done correctly leads to faster results:
faster fat loss
faster muscle gain
faster performance improvement
On the flip side, when not done correctly it can lead to over-training and injury.
recovery starts the moment you stop training
Many people think that going to the gym is what makes them stronger and leaner. This is only partly true.
The 1 hour at the gym triggers your body to adapt - to want to change - to want to get stronger and leaner.
It is the other 23 hours outside the gym that the change occurs. All the goals you want (stronger, leaner, better, etc...) happen during your recovery. This is where the real work happens. This is where the REAL discipline is needed.
the science of recovery
At the core of your recovery is the food you eat and the water your drink.
Many of us eat for enjoyment, emotionally eat, and eat out of habit. Additionally, many of us don't really know the basics of nutrition (micro and macro nutrients), don't know how much we should eat, and don't know the target amounts of carbs, proteins, and fats to eat each day.
It's so important to eat right and keep hydrated (drink that water!) so your body can function optimally.
Not getting enough protein in your diet or looking for a little help with recovery?
We actually formulated most of our products to aid in recovery. Having enough protein in your diet, especially after workouts, allows for your muscles to repair and grow. Our Vegan Protein
and Whey Protein
are an easy way to get the protein you need.
Also, we formulated our Rejuvenating Aminos
to help you in the recovery process. Our BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) are vegan, and are the building blocks of muscles. The electrolytes in our formula help to keep your body hydrated.
Want to learn about the benefits of our proteins and aminos?
Lastly, each person is different, so learning what works for you is a process; a process that starts with general guidelines and then experimenting to see what works for you and your situation.
Here are two great blogs we wrote in Healthy Eating:
Active recovery is all about getting the blood flowing. Increased blood flow helps with repairing damaged tissues, getting more nutrients to the muscle for healing, and helps flush out waste products created during exercise.
This means less soreness, faster recovery, and bigger gains.
The best options for active recovery are:
- doing a light workout that gets the blood flowing without over working the recovering muscles
- foam rolling
- and cold therapy
Here are two great articles on the benefits of Cold Therapy & Therapeutic Massage.
PNS (parasympathetic nervous system)
We have all heard of the "fight or flight" response - this is our sympathetic nervous system. It is great for when we need to get things done, workout, work, fight, etc... It is all about action. The tricky thing is, your body can't heal when your sympathetic nervous system is active - when you are STRESSED!
You have to get out of one system and into the other - the parasympathetic nervous system
So how do we turn off our sympathetic nervous system, and activate our parasympathetic nervous system?
We have to turn off the stress. Easier said than done!
A few great ways to calm down and relax are
- deep breathing
- a walk in nature
- a hot shower or bath
- ...really anything that calms you down and relaxes you
And the great this is that it only takes about 10 minutes to get a huge benefit from these methods.
Here is a great article on ways to reduce your stress.
Sleep is when your body does the bulk of its recovery. Your body gets into a relaxed state, shuts down many of the functions needed when you are awake and re-prioritizes the system to focus on recovery of the brain and body.
The key with sleep though is making sure you get enough.
Getting 8 hours of sleep has been shown to help regulate hormones better - Hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin, Insulin (blood sugar regulation), Human Growth Hormone, Cortisol (stress hormone) and others.
Here are two great articles related to the benefits of sleep.
to optimize your recovery, you have to optimize your lifestyle outside of the gym
We all exercise to get specific health and aesthetic benefits, and we get hung up on crushing our workouts, pushing ourselves to the limits of fatigue and exhaustion. And our mindset is that the harder we push, the sweatier we are, the better the benefit and progress to our goals.
This simply isn't the most efficient effort.
Don't get me wrong; keep crushing your workouts; keep leaving sweat puddles on the floor, keep being a bad a$$!
Just realize that to achieve your goals the fastest, you have to optimize your recovery - you have to optimize the other 23 hours of the day!
Check out our other blogs, healthy recipes, and natural supplements:
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