Our 5 Step Post-Training Recovery Blueprint!
Another key factor for continuous progress and the very thing which underpins your ability to avoid becoming stagnant is recovery.
Without appropriate levels of recovery, progress is never going to be achievable.
Today, we have documented a proven 5 step strategy for post-training, to supercharge your recovery!
Step 1: Hydration
Although you should absolutely be hydrating yourself before intense periods of work and during, the need for extra fluid in the post-training environment still exists. Your body will lose substantial amounts of water during training and will continue to do so, while you cool down.
Along with water, it will also lose electrolytes rapidly!
You must aim to drink approximately 1 litre of water within 20 minutes of your training being done, and we strongly encourage you to add Electrolytes as well, to help reinstate hydration rapidly.
Step 2: Rapid Nutrition
With hydration taken care of and your gut having had a short period of time to acclimatise after training, now is the time to get a fast-acting protein source in.
There are many forms of protein powders but the most common are Whey, Whey Isolate and plant-based forms like Pea or Egg White protein.
Within the first 20-40 minutes post-training, your gut is not going to want to process a lot of solid food because cortisol levels will be high, leading to compromised digestion capabilities.
However, your body does really need a rapid supply of nutrition to trigger the recovery process.
Protein powders do this with extremely easily digestible nutrient profiles, so you can quickly take in:
- 30g+ high quality protein to replenish depleted amino acid pools
- 30g+ of recovery boosting carbohydrates
- Creatine monohydrate to support ATP regeneration
- Glutamine to support muscle recovery and immune function
- 3g+ of Leucine to support muscle protein synthesis (which makes you anabolic!)
The elevation in insulin from protein powders will help bring cortisol levels back down, which aids the recovery process and helps with digestion as you come to consume whole foods in the post-training window.
Step 3: Whole Food
Within approximately 60 minutes of finishing your intense work, you want to consume a whole food meal.
Given that the protein powder has already been consumed, the need for fast absorbing nutrients here isn't quite as urgent, but quality is essential!
In this meal we are looking for:
- High quality animal protein (think lean steak or a mixture of eggs and egg whites)
- Nutritious sources of carbohydrates (think sweet potato)
- Some green vegetables for digestion and micronutrition (think kale)
We would also suggest using some light seasoning with Celtic sea salt, for the electrolyte content.
Step 4: Immune Function Support
Part of the post-workout protocol is to help your immune system remain strong!
Training hard hammers the immune system, by putting your body under stress. Therefore, to sustain a strong immune system you must support it in the post-workout window, where stress levels are high.
By hydrating, consuming protein powders and whole food meals, you have ticked a lot of boxes.
To go one step further, consider having some fruit after your whole food meal, for the Vitamin C and antioxidant profiles. Berries are always an amazing option here, while Pineapple and Mango are also very good for immune function!
Step 5: Central Nervous System Care
Your central nervous system deals with a lot of stress during intense training which is why it must be something you are considerate of with your recovery process. The steps above are definitely going to help, but you can take things further by soaking in a warm bath with magnesium salts. This just helps encourage central nervous system recovery for the following day (and a good night's sleep!).
There is a lot to take on board here but doing so will help you recover so much better, which unlocks new levels of potential for you as an athlete!