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Optimize athletic recovery

Optimize athletic recovery

Sleep, nutrition, athhletic design and Optimize athletic recovery stressors make up the Anti-angiogenesis mechanism majority of effective recover strategies. We also know Optimize athletic recovery sleep debt impairs performance and reduces motivation to excel. Cameroon XAF Fr. Coupon: Add. How to speed exercise recovery. The Impact of Pre-sleep Protein Ingestion on the Skeletal Muscle Adaptive Response to Exercise in Humans: An Update. Out of all the things you can do to optimize your recovery, proper programming is THE MOST IMPORTANT!!! Optimize athletic recovery

Optimize athletic recovery -

The research on napping however has been somewhat conflicting in regard to the time of day and duration individuals should establish an additional block of sleep.

A paper by Hayashi et al. Research by Tucker et al. showed that naps improve memory which seems to be related to the sleep architecture although how the architecture of naps vs nocturnal sleep differ is still unclear Sleep inertia is a physiological state of impaired cognitive and sensory-motor performance that is present immediately after awakening.

Sleep inertia is generally only an issue with longer duration naps and is influenced by what stage of sleep you are in upon waking. However if the total amount of nocturnal sleep an athlete routinely gets is insufficient, implementation of longer naps would be beneficial by bolstering the total daily sleep duration.

Intelligent scheduling of naps can mitigate most or all of the potential cognitive impairment due to post nap sleep inertia while allowing them to reap the benefits of increased total daily sleep.

Sports nutrition is an ever advancing field of research. When structuring a nutritional approach to optimize athletic performance, energy intake should be the primary focus 52 53 Energy balance is the relationship between energy intake via food and expenditure via metabolism, physical activity etc These energy requirements may change depending on the type of training an athlete is involved in, with higher volumes and intensities requiring a concomitant increase in calories to sustain performance and mitigate fluctuations in bodyweight Self reporting of energy intake is known to have varying degrees of accuracy, with the largest inaccuracies coming from obese adolescents and the smallest inaccuracies observed in lean adults 56 Energy requirements are determined by calculating resting metabolic rate RMR and energy expenditure through daily activity.

This is known as total daily energy expenditure TDEE. There are numerous calculations which can be used to estimate energy intake with a relative degree of accuracy some of which you can find here gain, lose or maintain bodyweight monitoring bodyweight will inform whether the equation overestimated or underestimated their energy intake.

A common recourse is the utilization of technology in the form of diet apps to track tangible data which informs future dietary decisions. The accuracy of such apps are variable as found in a paper by Griffiths et al Although, since any inaccuracy of the app will be more or less constant you can still identify trends over time and get the desired outcome.

As far as apps go, my personal preference is My Fitness Pal which is does a good all around job If you decide not to use an app, and you are uncomfortable using a more complicated equation you can simply multiply your bodyweight in kilograms by For example, if an athlete weighs kg you can just multiply by a number between to yield a caloric total.

I want to reiterate that the number you choose is not overly important because in most cases you will need to adjust your calories anyway based on how your bodyweight responds. Knowing this we can infer that a theoretically optimized program may not actually be optimal for a particular individual in a given circumstance.

This is an important factor that is sometimes neglected in spite of various inter-individual differences in lifestyle, genetics, personal preference etc. Macronutrients are the bodies primary energy sources and are comprised of protein, carbohydrates, fats and alcohol Since alcohol is not entirely relevant to the discussion of recovery it will not be explored further.

Each macronutrient plays an integral role for both health and athletic performance. Carbohydrates are the bodies preferred energy substrate, and are especially relevant in athletic performance 62 63 Carbohydrates serve various purposes including glycogen repletion, ATP production, and is required by the brain for several functions Several studies have demonstrated the significance of carbohydrates in athletic performance specifically with regard to the muscles ability to contract with high force 65 66 Protein turnover in skeletal muscle refers to the rate of protein breakdown in relation to the rate of protein synthesis When the rate of protein synthesis exceeds the rate of protein breakdown the net result is muscle growth.

Conversely, if protein breakdown outpaces the rate of protein synthesis muscle degradation occurs. Sufficient protein intake is critical for maintenance of muscle mass and recovery from strenuous bouts of resistance training.

Recommendations by Helms et al suggest a daily protein intake of 1. So if an athlete weighs kg their optimal daily protein intake would be somewhere between g. The quantity of protein during a single feeding is also relevant. Muscle protein synthesis MPS refers to the rate by which proteins can effectively be synthesized into muscle.

Common recommendations for maximizing the muscle protein synthetic response is 20g 72 There also appears to be a refractory period at which time MPS can not be maximally stimulated Therefore to optimize nutrient partitioning for muscle repair and growth it is recommended that protein feedings consist of 40g servings.

It should be mentioned however that protein intakes as high as 70g per serving have shown to be beneficial, not because it further increases MPS but because it impedes muscle protein breakdown MPB Certain populations such as the elderly require higher protein intakes 1.

A paper by Schoenfeld and colleagues found that protein intake per serving should be roughly 0. This would ensure you meet the minimum recommended target of 1.

Meals should be spaced no less than three hours apart to minimize protein consumption during the refractory period after MPS stimulation The post workout anabolic window is a period post resistance exercise where the MPS response is far more sensitive.

Subsequent discussion about the duration and effect size of this window has been conflicting. A paper by Schoenfeld an colleagues explored this topic and determined that the window is not limited to 30 minutes as is commonly believed. Rather the benefits of increased sensitivity appear to remain 24 hours post workout This increase is not a fixed rate and diminishes in strength over time, therefore consumption of protein should occur roughly within hours post workout.

Although if it is available to you, there is no downside to earlier consumption of protein following a bout of resistance training. It should also be mentioned that although the post workout window does appear to have benefits, total daily protein intake is by far the most important factor So prioritizing nutrient timing at the expense of 24hr protein consumption is a poor trade off.

Additionally, if an individual struggles to meet their daily protein requirements through food alone a protein supplement is a viable alternative with the most bioavailable source being whey protein.

Fats are essential nutrients for health and play an important role in various metabolic functions. However with regard to athletic performance their utility is more contentious with research showing conflicting results 82 Impeded sprint performance has been recorded following a low carbohydrate high fat diet LCHF Cycling performance was preserved better through high carbohydrate intervention than the low carbohydrate control When looking at the entire body of literature on LCHF diets and athletic performance the results do not appear promising.

While in some circumstances performance outcomes are comparable to high carbohydrate controls, other research reports performance degradation. Which is why in my opinion it seems counterintuitive to pursue a dietary approach that at best may yield similar results and at worst, impede performance.

Therefore recommendations on fat intake as laid out by the American College of Sports Medicine are approximately 0.

Stress is a critical factor to address when an athlete is attempting to optimize their recovery. The stress response system is a complex network of central neural and peripheral neuroendocrine responses, the purpose of which is to prime an organism to effectively manage fight or flight responses when a threat is perceived There is significant inter-individual variability in stress response that are mediated by various psychological, environmental and genetic factors.

The genetic influence on stress is significant. One such influence is phenotypic plasticity. A phenotype is the composition of an individuals observable characteristics such as their appearance, development and behaviour, and is determined by genetics and environmental influences on these genes Perceived environmental threats to survival or well being trigger a cascade of complex reactions that alter various physiological functions.

There is significant inter-individual variation with regard to their response to stress. While some athletes may be hyper-reactive others may have a hypo-reactive response.

Therefore if two individuals are exposed to an identical stress high stress work environment, loss of sleep, strenuous physical activity etc. the neurophysiological response may vary significantly. Where one individual may have only a mild or even no response, the next may experience a very robust stress response.

Therefore, an accurate evaluation of an athletes existing stressors and the associated impact is important in effective stress management for optimized recovery. Interestingly enough, research has found an increased resiliency to stress in athletes not present in un-athletic populations However recent research has demonstrated that there may in fact be an independent conditioning process related to exercise.

These findings also suggest that the increased stress tolerance adaptation to exercise is not limited to athletic endeavours and likely impacts general stressors as well ie.

life, work, financial etc. Therefore, addressing lifestyle stress is not based on a single assessment but rather an ongoing conversation that influences decisions on program design and lifestyle management. This brings us to the subject of adherence.

Since the success of any athletic or dietary intervention is predicated on the adherence rate of the athlete, the athletes lifestyle must be considered prior to program development.

This bottom up approach to training may offer some additional insights to the athletes level of physical preparedness. For instance it has been observed that athletic performance declines when under psychological stress Thus if an athlete is entering a period of important examinations at school, it may be necessary to temporarily decrease intensity or workload.

In this case theoretical optimization may be trumped by a reactive approach to training which can account for such lifestyle adjustments and thus manage stress effectively to preserve performance. T others program design is the last place I look when addressing an athletes inability to recover.

The rationale for this approach however is simple, I want to identify the causal factor s of their inability to recover. In most cases I have found lifestyle to be the primary causes. And once addressed, their recovery is sufficient to continue progressing without altering the program.

However, if an athlete is not recovering due to lifestyle factors their adaptive threshold has not changed. For example, hypothetically speaking if an athlete requires 12 sets of squats per week in order to create a sufficient stimulus for progression, reducing volume will reduce fatigue but they will see no positive adaptations from the change.

However, if we improve the lifestyle factors that are impeding their recovery we can maintain the 12 weekly set volume while allowing the athlete to recover for subsequent training sessions. General Adaptation Syndrome GAS is a principle that provides a framework for understanding the relationship between stress, adaptation and fatigue It has had a large influence on the concept of periodization in general and has been depicted in various ways.

One such way is the Stimulus Recovery Adaptation curve SRA as depicted below. The above diagram offers a visual representation of the general process of adaptation to training. The athlete introduces a stimulus training session which generates fatigue, and temporarily masks their physical fitness.

Then as the athlete recovers their athletic ability exceeds their previous capabilities. However, if the athlete does not introduce a stimulus often enough ie. working out once per month we see degradation and eventually a return to baseline or below.

Conversely if the stimulus is too large or too frequent it may not allow for sufficient recovery in time for the next training session stimulus Therefore if this trend were to continue unchecked it may lead to overreaching.

This is a simplistic overview of how training stress impacts recovery and subsequent performance. The primary drivers of adaptation and simultaneously fatigue are volume and intensity, and the intentional manipulation of these variables is necessary to maintain a balance between fatigue and fitness This is the primary reason coaches use deloads in their program design.

During a deload a reduction of volume or intensity or both is implemented to decay fatigue and allow for maximal expression of strength. This period may be programmed, or it can be implemented reactively based on the athletes response to training.

The relationship between volume and intensity is also vitally important, since too much of either or both can lead to performance degradation and possible injury.

Volume and intensity have an inverse relationship and is depicted in the image below. As intensity increases, volume must be down regulated or eventually the athletes recovery capacity will be exceeded.

The challenging issue with regard to practical recommendations for program design are the significant inter-individual differences present. Volume, intensity, variation, time to peak, lifestyle etc all impact the structure and progression of the program.

However, one piece of advice that comes from my own approach to training is determining the length of each training block. My approach to coaching is simplistic and has a relative amount of overlap with the reactive training systems approach of Mike Tuscher.

I design a single week of training and then repeat it with weekly predetermined load progressions until my progress stalls.

The time point where performance drops determines the length of a training cycle. So if I get a decrease in performance on week six, my training blocks will run five weeks long and on the sixth week I will deload.

But regardless of which training approach you use, the implementation of deloads or periods of reduced volume and intensity are critical for long term athletic development and injury prevention.

One of the common themes in strength training is selecting volumes and intensities that are well beyond the capability of the athletes.

In some cases this is seen in training to muscular failure. Although this method has a valuable place in bodybuilding, its utility in strength training is questionable.

The reason is due to the fatigue cost associated true failure training. A meta analysis found a dose response relationship between volume, intensity and strength progression by which a spectrum of possible intensities and volumes exist to progress in strength.

Anecdotally it is very rare to hear of top tier athletes training to muscular failure. Since one of the mechanisms of injury is loading a tissue beyond its functional capacity, the implementation of failure training for strength development unnecessarily risk the athletes health Additionally the high neurophysiological cost of training to failure with heavy loads substantially increases the fatigue cost which may overshadow any potential benefits.

Therefore as a regular strategy, failure training is not recommended if maximizing strength is the goal. NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.

Some examples of which are aspirin, ibuprofen, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren-XR, Zipsor, Zorvolex etc. They are often used in athletic performance for analgesic or recovery purposes. However, the research demonstrating these benefits is scant and often conflicting. This system plays a role in mediating inflammation and researchers have observed in both animal and human models that NSAID consumption blunts protein metabolism 99 This could at least in part be due to a lack of standardization of dosages across studies lactate and associated hydrogen ions etc , and improved subjective sense of recovery.

However, recently many of the purported benefits have been called into question. In spite of this, many individuals still seek out massage therapists to support their athletic recovery. A paper examined the effects of sports massage on various metrics of athletic performance and recovery.

The researchers found elevated blood lactate concentrations in the massage group, with no observable differences between the passive rest condition on blood glucose and heart rate This runs contrary to the common attribution of increased clearing of metabolic byproducts resulting from massage.

However several studies have shown massage does not in fact affect either arterial or venus blood flow And while some papers have found reductions in lactate concentration post massage, a simple active cool down has been shown to outperform massage in this regard This same study measured punching force of boxers and found during subsequent rounds punching force decreased in both groups demonstrating the massage intervention was unsuccessful at preventing performance decrements during repeated bouts of training This is not a stand alone finding either with other research demonstrating reductions in muscular strength following a pre-workout massage It should be mentioned that reductions in strength are transient and may result from close proximity prior to training.

However, outside of this specific circumstance massage would yield no detrimental effects on force output but would also have no positive impact. While some research shows marked improvements, others show no change at all The very act of seeing a therapist and receiving treatment can trigger a cascade of psychophysiological effects including an up regulation of parasympathetic activity following treatment Cupping is another therapeutic technique that is often treated as a primary rather than an adjunctive therapy.

However the research on cupping and various other eastern therapeutic practices are highly questionable. Four of the seven included trials [7—9, 13] had a high risk of bias. Low-quality trials are more likely to overestimate the effect size [14].

Three trials employed allocation concealment [10—12]…. None of the studies used a power calculation, and sample sizes were usually small. In addition, four of the RCTs [7—9, 13] failed to report details about ethical approval. Details of drop-outs and withdrawals were described in two trials [10, 11] and the other RCTs did not report this information which can lead to exclusion or attrition bias.

Interestingly enough a substantial portion of the research supporting the efficacy of cupping and acupuncture come from Russia and China. Additionally no trial published in China or Russia has ever found a treatment to be ineffective The sheer statistical improbability of such uniform findings for a therapeutic modality in which the potential mechanisms of benefit are not even well understood is staggering.

Several studies have been found to create design features that are highly likely to generate false positives in their outcomes Much like massage, foam rolling or self myofascial release techniques SMR are widespread.

Due to their low cost and relative ease of access several athletes and coaches implement their use for various intended purposes.

The majority of the research has found that extended periods of foam rolling pre-exercise may inhibit certain athletic qualities such as maximal strength and jump performance five minutes or more While improvements in sprint performance have been documented results were shown to be at the lowest level of significance and remain questionable Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount for optimal recovery and performance.

This includes managing stress, staying hydrated, and avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Athletes should prioritize their overall well-being to support their training and recovery efforts.

Cold water immersion, also known as ice baths, involves submerging the body in cold water for a short period to reduce inflammation, muscle soreness, and fatigue.

This technique can be particularly beneficial after high-intensity workouts or competitions. Athletes can utilize cold water immersion as needed, but should consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate duration and frequency for their specific needs.

Heat therapy involves applying heat to muscles, either through a warm bath, sauna, or heating pad. This technique helps improve blood flow, relax tight muscles, and alleviate soreness.

Heat therapy sessions can be scheduled as needed, depending on individual preferences and recovery requirements. Proper hydration is essential for supporting athletic performance and recovery.

Water is vital for maintaining body temperature, transporting nutrients, and facilitating waste removal. Athletes should monitor their hydration levels and consume water consistently throughout the day to ensure they are adequately hydrated.

Hydrotherapy involves using water in various forms, such as hot tubs, whirlpools, or contrast baths, to promote recovery and well-being. This technique can help improve circulation, reduce muscle soreness, and promote relaxation.

Athletes can incorporate hydrotherapy into their recovery routine as needed, based on individual preferences and recovery goals. Recovery techniques support sports performance by allowing the body to heal and adapt to the physical demands of training. Proper recovery ensures that athletes can maintain optimal performance levels, reduce the risk of injury, and achieve their full potential in their chosen sport.

While recovery is often associated with physical well being, there are other components of recovery such as mental and spiritual recovery. All of which can be achieved through various recovery techniques, leading to better overall sports performance.

The frequency of utilizing recovery techniques depends on the individual athlete, their training intensity, and their specific recovery needs. Some techniques may be employed daily, such as stretching and hydration, while others may be used less frequently, like massage or cold water immersion.

Athletes should consult with coaches or healthcare professionals to determine the appropriate frequency of recovery techniques for their unique circumstances. Recovery techniques specifically targeted at muscle recovery include massage, stretching, foam rolling, and heat therapy.

These methods help alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue repair, ultimately supporting athletic performance and preventing injury. Many recovery techniques can be easily performed at home, including stretching, foam rolling, heat therapy, and hydration. Athletes can also practice yoga, meditation, and active recovery exercises to support their recovery efforts from the comfort of their own homes.

Recovery techniques for injuries vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Some common techniques include rest, ice, compression, elevation RICE , physical therapy, and controlled exercise.

Injured athletes should consult with healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate recovery techniques for their specific injuries and receive guidance on rehabilitation and return-to-play protocols.

Proper recovery allows the body to heal and adapt to the demands of training, reducing the risk of overuse injuries and optimizing performance. Techniques such as stretching, strength training, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can contribute to injury prevention efforts.

Utilizing a combination of recovery techniques can offer various benefits for athletes, including enhanced muscle repair and growth, reduced inflammation and muscle soreness, improved flexibility and mobility, faster recovery time between training sessions, improved overall well-being and mental focus.

Recovery in sports refers to the process of allowing the body to heal, repair, and adapt to the physical and mental demands of training and competition.

Adequate recovery is essential for preventing overtraining, reducing the risk of injury, and supporting overall physical and mental well-being. By prioritizing recovery, athletes can enhance their performance and longevity in their chosen sport. ABOUT THE AUTHORS.

The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline s of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications.

These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer NASM-CPT , American College of Sports Medicine ACSM , National Strength and Conditioning Association NSCA-CPT , National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach NASM-CNC , International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.

Athletic Insight Sports Psychology and Exercise Organization was established in , serving as a hub for sports psychology, exercise, and dieting. Contact Us.

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