Weekly Wellness Series: Blog Post 3 of 12
This week’s topic is RECOVERY [from workouts], and tips to increase rate of recovery. You’ll find an underlying focus on reducing inflammation, reducing stress, improving nutrition, and enhancing you body’s own protective and recuperative abilities.
Train Like an Elite: Quality Workouts AND Quality Recovery
-Who wants to spend more than 90 minutes at the gym? Not me! Even elite-level endurance athletes train for only 8-10 hours per week because they understand that to get the most out of their training, they have to push themselves hard for a shorter period of time with a specific goal in mind (speed, strength, endurance, or flexibility).
-Rest days are JUST as important are workdays. Dedicate at least one-day each week to rest your body, and allow muscles to repair and rebuild.
Pair Macronutrients Like a Pro
-After intense workouts you need to replenish your glycogen stores with quality carbohydrates. Don’t go reaching for the cookie jar! That will just set you in a sugar high, followed by a blood sugar crash. Avoid refined carbohydrates (baked goods, white pastas, white breads), and instead choose whole grains (quinoa, barley, amaranth) and whole grain products (quinoa pasta, sprouted breads).
-Consume your carbohydrates with lean protein sources and healthy fats. This slows the absorption of the sugars in the carbs, and reduces the inflammatory response and blood sugar spikes that carbohydrates cause when eaten alone.
Consume Healthy Fats: Eat more omega-3 fatty acids and less omega-6 fatty acids.
-High concentrations of omega-6 fatty acids are highly inflammatory. You can find omega-6 in vegetable oils, such as canola, soybean or corn.
-Eating more sources of omega-3 has shown to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and decrease risk of heart disease. Quality sources of omega-3 include: mackerel, wild salmon, tuna, shrimp, flaxseeds, walnuts, and Brussels sprouts.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
-Muscles are 80% water, and even a 1% change in body water can impair athletic performance AND recovery.
– Aim to consume 125-150% of estimated fluid loss during the 4-6 hours following your workout session.
– Add electrolytes to your regular beverages, or consume all-natural electrolyte drinks to promote efficient water absorption. Coconut water and NUUN are two electrolyte drink options I use for myself. If I am hydrating throughout the day I dilute the coconut water with 1-part plain water, but if I am using after a workout then I drink at full concentration.
Supplement Wisely: More Is NOT Always Better!
– Remember when I mentioned, “enhancing your body’s own protective and recuperative abilities?” This means assuring a high intake of nutrients and herbal extracts that activate natural survival and performance pathways in the body- including turmeric, milk thistle, green tea, ashwagandha, bacopa, New Zealand pine bark, quercetin, and theanine.
– Activating the Nrf2 pathway (with Protandim) is a built-in way to turn on your body’s own production of antioxidant enzymes and anti-inflammatory proteins. These enzymes are 1 million times more effective than Vitamin C at neutralizing free radicals and reducing cellular stress. A 2014 study shows that Vitamin C and E supplementation hampers cellular adaptation to endurance training in humans, while NRF2 activation through Protandim supplementation promotes cellular adaptation.
-Maintaining mental and physical performance during exercise (with Axio) is my secret weapon to getting into that feel-good “flow” state where energy, mood, and focus are at peak levels. This way I can get the most out of the 60-90 minutes I spend at the gym, and still have enough mental and physical energy to get all things done during the day.