Spotlight On Recovery – What Are The 3 R’s

spotlight-on-recovery-what-are-the-three-rs-748riot

There’s a meme going around…

30% Gym, 70% Diet. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

In fact, there is more than a handful of similar memes which make the point that not paying attention to exercise recovery will not hand you the pay-off you desire. No matter how hard you train, if you don’t input the goods or if you even skip the best post workout supplement once too often, the hard work can be wasted.

Agreed: it’s too easy to forget about recovery…

For the one's who trains in the mornings before work: do you match diet to routine? Do you time your supplements, or meals, or fluids?

Or does the chaos of your day take over any thoughts of exercise recovery?

For the one's focussed more on the shape of your routine and on what exercises it should include: do you match diet to routine? Or do you simply leave the gym with the satisfaction of work done, and then eat whatever you like?

Clearly, bio-research cannot be wrong in its years of estimation of the importance of post workout recovery. Yet so many of us either don’t care or, worse still, don’t want to know.

The truth is, exercise recovery is as important as the warm-up and how you perform exercises, and fluid intake during your session.

Focussing on recovery, treating it as an integral part of the entire session, will aid your body’s functions. Not doing so will point you towards failure.

Poor diet, lack of fluids or simply no recovery intake will take its toll on the body and allow the onset of:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscular atrophy
  • Reduced stamina
  • A proneness to eating unhealthily

Today, we’re going to tell you about workout recovery, and we’ll go deeper than ever before… it isn’t called a “Spotlight on Recovery” for nothing!

Learn the secrets of what to take and when; how long after your exercise session you should be eating, drinking and supplementing. How to avoid the nasties of not doing so, and to what rewards you will be treated if you follow a sensible plan.

We can’t force you. But we can try to educate…

1. Refuel

The post-workout body

Between 1% and 2% of our skeletal muscles are broken down and repaired each day. During a workout your muscle fibres breakdown more quickly to provide energy; such a process is called catabolism. The more catabolic you become the more muscle wastage your body will experience.

While it is thus important to maintain a high-protein diet (and prepare your body for a workout) it is just as important to refuel the post-workout body in order to turn catabolism on its head.

Once you have loaded enough carbohydrate and protein, your body becomes anabolic and your muscles can rebuild.

A typical refuelling consists of the following:

  • Protein: for muscle regrowth (we’ll look at rebuilding in a moment)
  • Carbohydrates: to replenish the body’s granary of energy
  • Fat: to promote muscle synthesis, if the right sort
  • Water: 225-250mm to aid the processes (more on this coming up)

Bringing on board the right nutrients and minerals helps your body to recover faster, enhances your post-workout feel-good sensations and, for those who want to build mass, increases muscle synthesis.

What is fuel?

Like any machine, the body takes in something, uses it and discards what it doesn’t need. What it needs for proper functioning is called fuel. We often think of a body’s fuel as simple: it being food and water, but sticking with this idea will not do.

For any of us who want to see positive results from our visits to the gym it just isn’t that simple.

For a gym-goer, “fuel” means the following:

Pre-workout

Protein: Greek yoghurt, chicken, peanut butter

Complex carbohydrates: Porridge, oatmeal, chicken, Greek yoghurt

Calories: Banana, peanut butter

Supplements: SCI-MX XPLODE HARDCORE

During workout (under one hour)

Fluids: water, you could also add a couple of scoops of our BCAA’s if you’re giving yourself a super sesh!

Post-workout

Protein: Greek yoghurt, chicken, peanut butter

Complex carbohydrates: Porridge, oatmeal, chicken, Greek yoghurt

Fats: Avocado or nuts

Supplements: SCI-MX PRO 2GO® MILKSHAKE

When is the best time to refuel?

For a long time, trainers and sportspersons thought the window of opportunity for refuelling was within an hour of your session finishing. According to more recent research, this window is far more open than previously imagined and perhaps doesn’t even exist.

If we return briefly to the subject of being in a catabolic or anabolic state, we can safely say this: your body will be catabolic for the duration of time it takes for you to replenish it with goodies and return it to an anabolic state.

But why leave yourself catabolic just because of work, or because you’re in a rush to drop off the kids, or because your gym session has been ticked off today’s list?

If you want to maximise the results of the workout you committed to in the gym, it makes sense to close the window as soon as you’re able to.

Best post-workout supplements

SCI-MX 100% Whey Isolate

SCI-MX Ultra whey™ protein

SCI-MX Muscle Meal Leancore™

2. Rebuild

What needs to be rebuilt?

One word: muscle. But in fact, what we really mean is what needs to be repaired and rebuilt, because as we have learned our skeletal muscle fibres deplete with each catabolic session in the gym.

It is the muscle which must be fed the materials in order to flip to the anabolic state.

Once you have ingested the correct nutrients and minerals, the protein, complex carbs and fat in your post-workout recovery, you will have given your muscles everything they need.

And here is where type of food becomes very important to your recovery. Your muscles need protein and carbohydrates to recover but not every food has the right proportions of each.

Your best post-workout proteins are:

  • Greek yoghurt (also provides carbs)
  • Rice and beans (also provides carbs)
  • Eggs
  • Fish, chicken, turkey, lean meat
  • Cereal (also provides carbs)

Your best post-workout carbs are:

  • Potatoes
  • Wholegrain pasta or rice
  • Vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits

Most health and fitness experts will agree that an intake of a combination of both protein and carbohydrates creates an optimum condition for muscle repair and build. (Our range of supplements deliver both of these essential ingredients – we’ll look at the best post workout supplements in a moment.)

What happens if I don’t take care of my diet?

It is not a good idea to be careless with your diet. In so being, and missing out on some nutrient or other. During a period of exercise, the body is stressed (far more than it is normally) and wants more of what it needs. In short, if you don’t use supreme fuel (or for that matter any fuel at all) during exercise recovery, you will not hit your peak and you will fail to reach your targets.

If you eat healthily, you may not worry about a lack of nutrients and vitamins. But if you are, and you’re working out, you will still need to up your intake of protein and carbs. Conversely, if you don’t eat healthily, not only will you make limited gains in the gym but you may struggle day to day.

Getting the maximum rebuild

The body is incredibly resourceful but on occasion it needs a helping hand. If we feed it too much fat and carbs it will slow down and become sluggish and fat; if we don’t feed it enough it will eat itself.

Studies of fitness enthusiasts who follow a low or zero fat regimen show a higher-than-normal susceptibility to fractures, tendonitis and ligament damage. Furthermore, such diets mixed with rigorous exercise routines have been linked to lower immunity.

“Remember that exercise sustains weight loss — but a healthy diet is what drives it.” Jennifer McDaniel, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Best post-workout supplements

When protein and carbohydrates are taken together they promote an environment for muscle repair and rebuild. For this reason, SCI-MX has developed several combined matrices that allow for optimum muscle growth.

RECOVER 2:1 ISOLATE™ is specifically designed as a post-recovery supplement. It combines carbohydrate and protein with amino acids and calories. As such it provides the fuel your body needs. Whey protein is the most popular type of protein supplement because it is quickly absorbed by the body and put to work fast.

3. Rehydrate

Why muscles need water

A moment’s thought now for what is the most abundant substance in the body. Water has a variety of functions, some of which follow:

  • To help protect the spinal cord and act as a lubricant for your joints
  • To help remove wasted products from your system
  • To aid digestion
  • To transport nutrients to your cells
  • To form protein fibres
  • To aid the function of the brain and other organs

What happens if I don’t hydrate after my workout?

During the period of workout recovery, your muscles remain in a catabolic state until they are fed the right ingredients. One of the most important of these is water.

As well as falling foul of dehydration, if you do not take on water after a workout you will fail to switch the state of your muscles, leaving them perpetually catabolic. When this happens your intake of carbs and protein has little or no affect (unless taken with water).

When is the best time to take on water?

Everyone is different but you could try the following for training days.

  • (568ml, or one pint) 2 to 3 hours before exercise
  • (284ml) every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
  • (227ml) within 30 minutes after exercise

We may or may not feel that it is sufficient to hydrate to such an extent, but the guidelines seem plausible. Of course, if you are exercising in intense heat or sweating to the extreme it may even be worth increasing these volumes.

In summary

Workout recovery should be considered equally as important as pre-workout preparations. Recovery being logical and healthy, your exercise sessions will not be in vain if you do so.

Whether you workout before you start your day or in the middle of a hectic schedule you must make time for your body.

Eat cleanly, drink water and supplement your intake to enable your body’s repair and rebuild; for it is not just your gym work that will suffer by not doing so. Dehydration, malnourishment and poor blood sugar regulation can lead to poor performance in and out of the gym.

Know what your body needs and when, by referring back to our “Spotlight on Recovery” the next time you head for the gym.

spotlight-on-recovery-what-are-the-three-rs-748riot

Related Articles
catalog_category_view