How do you cover your Recovery?
With most ambitious fitness enthusiasts, people want physical results fast. You will sacrifice many things in order to increase your Clean 1RM, improve your “Fran” time, or complete the workouts “Rx”. Whether you have to come in to the gym 5-6 days/week or sacrifice your technique, people want results as quickly as possible.
While putting your body through all these outside physical and mental stressors, do you take as much or even half the time to let your body recover appropriately? This is where we need to look a bit deeper.
Think of your body as your bank account. In order to have a high yielding account, you need to be making Benjamins and depositing into your account to stay in the green. If you are constantly buying new toys, clothes, and withdrawing, you will see your balance fall into the red.
Now, picture your account as your body. If you are making lots of withdrawals (working out 4-6x/week, eating/sleeping poorly) and not depositing (soft tissue work, flexibility/stability work, sleep, proper energy intake) you will find yourself in the red or acquire a physical injury/ailment.
Simply, be aware of your body and the methods you use to improve your abilities while staying within your overall holistic state of well-being. Here are a few tips to help make the right deposits into your body’s bank account.
- Sleep 7-8 hours/night
- Fuel your body within 30mins post-workout w/a 3::2 Carb to Protein ratio supplement. This could be with food or liquid form. Discounts @strength.com/kendallsquare
- Take 10-15 mins 3-5x/week to work on soft tissue release and flexibility/mobility
When I was in Grad School, my final project was a Grant Proposal and mock research study on recovery drinks. We chose three common beverages; whey protein mixed with water, chocolate milk, and tart cherry juice, along with water as the “control”. Spoiler alert, the whey protein and chocolate milk came out on top.
We all know that the best components for a post-workout recovery drink or meal is a mix of protein and carbs in order to replenish what was lost and broken down during our workout. Ironically, this concoction sounds a lot like another popular drink on the market.
Beer has made its debut over the last few years as a choice in the post-exercise recovery beverage line up. Most heavier beers contain a solid amount of carbohydrates, measureable amount of protein, and it’s made with water, right? Not to mention, there is a hint of electrolytes and some plant-based nutrients coming from the hops, yeast, and barley. All components we want after a workout.
Not so fast, most beer contains only about 14 grams of carbohydrates in one drink which is not sufficient for recovery. It is also missing out on lots of significant vitamins and hydrating electrolytes, also important for our recovery. The effect of alcohol on your body may also be a major disadvantage.
It’s not all bad! Beer may not be a sufficient drink post-recovery on its own but it’s not a bad addition to your post-exercise meal. Make sure to eat a balanced meal with the beer providing a sufficient amount of protein for your muscles and to buffer the effects of the alcohol.
So next time you go out for a recovery meal, don’t hesitate to grab a beer along with but remember moderation is key!