Whether you’re following an intense training schedule or have an event on the horizon, performance is on your mind. You train day after day, whether your body is ready to roll, or fatigue is knocking on the door. Let’s face it: some training days, your get-up-and-go has got up and left.
These days can affect your physical, mental and emotional health, and, if they occur frequently, can contribute to overtraining syndrome and put personal bests out of reach. The key to keeping your training fresh, invigorating and effective is to invest in your recovery.
For many athletes, ‘recovery’ refers to rest and nutritional support after training and competition, but real recovery involves key strategies before, during and after exercise, as well as throughout the day. Essentially, athletes need to be in ‘recovery mode’ at all times.
It’s important to start your recovery immediately after intense training and competition. During this timeframe, there’s a high amount of blood flow to the muscles, and channels funnelling glucose and amino acids into muscles are wide open. With every minute that passes, these channels begin closing and blood flow to recently worked muscles slows.
If you wait too long to refuel your body, you’ll experience suboptimal glycogen repletion and compromised muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Glycogen plays a vital role in supporting the energy demands of your skeletal muscles during high intensity exercise.
So, prolonged bouts of intense exercise can lead to the depletion of your glycogen levels, also caused by lack of carbohydrate in your diet. This effect is particularly noticeable when there are fewer than eight hours between training sessions. It can lead to reduced strength, chronic fatigue, poor endurance and an overall decline in your athletic performance.
How to be deliberate with your recovery:
Consume carbohydrates and protein in a 4:1 ratio as soon as possible after training and competition and continue fuelling up until the two-hour mark. The International Society of Sports Nutrition found nutrient timing to be a critical component to recovery. An adequate mix of carbohydrates and protein immediately after a workout creates an anabolic environment that supports glycogen repletion and MPS, increasing MPS up to three times.
Klean Recovery, a carbohydrate-protein supplement, delivers the rapidly absorbed 4:1 macronutrient ratio that is essential for muscle building and promotion of a positive nitrogen balance. If you have fewer than eight hours between training sessions, choose a more nutrient-dense liquid, such as milk, to blend with Klean Recovery to ensure you receive 1.0-1.2 grams of carbohydrate and 0.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per hour. Water is the perfect mixer when you have more time between training sessions or competition, since expedited repletion is not required.