Eat better to improve recovery? To boost energy? To cut soreness? To improve strength? To reduce inflammation? To reinforce immune protection? You bet!
In this article, Kurtis Frank (one of the brilliant minds behind Examine.com – the web’s most impressive compendium of independent research on supplements and nutrition) helps troubleshoot the most common recovery problems.
Think back to the last time you felt at the top of your game – physically and mentally at your very best, enjoying peak performance.
If you imagined your eighth grade field day, your recovery strategy might need some help. (For more about recovery, see All About Recovery.)
The training – recovery cycle
If we want to get fitter and stronger, we need to train hard enough to get our body’s attention — to temporarily and slightly exceed our body’s capacity. Only with intense training does the body grow stronger.
But training itself doesn’t make the magic. The rest between training periods is what actually improves our fitness.
Only while we rest can our body adapt to compensate for the stress we’ve put on it. In other words, recover.
Recovery is what enables fitness and strength.
Thus, training and rest-recovery periods are complementary. You need both.
The better your recovery, the more frequently and more intensely you can train.
Your body’s bank account
Think of training like making withdrawals from a “body bank account”. The more intense the training, the bigger the withdrawal.
Training stress can also combine with other life stressors — such as work, relationships, family, financial or other demands.
Rest and recovery is a deposit into that bank account. And hopefully, you’re putting in a good — and regular — salary of purposeful rest and recovery protocols.
Otherwise, you risk overtraining and over-reaching, i.e. “deficit spending”.