February 12, 2013 16:59

The Importance of Rest and Recovery



  There’s an old training belief that states, “there’s no such thing as overtraining just under resting;” and this couldn’t be more accurate. In the world of exercise, be it professional sports or everyday fitness; rest and recovery are two of the most important yet undermined aspects of effective training.


  During bouts of moderate to intense training the body goes through many processes including tissue damage, acidic build up and general wear and tear. In order to prepare itself for similar future situations the body has to have a period of building and repair; this may include rest days, extra sleep, a slight increase in calories, more efficient caloric timing and supplementation.  Demands on athletes to perform at high levels to overcome competition makes overtraining an easily attained outcome. With athletes beginning their careers at younger ages there is a continued demand to work harder, longer and more often to keep up with the opposition.


  Some clear signs of overtraining can include a weakened immune system, intense soreness, loss of appetite, an increase in junk food cravings, trouble sleeping and even injury. Overtraining may also lead to a decline in performance; increased fat storage, decreased strength and stamina, and even poor cognitive function.  There are a number of effective ways to avoid and reduce the effects of overtraining and to ensure the most out of rest and recovery periods. Some of these methods include:


Sufficient Rest Periods – making sure you have the right amount of rest will not only help the body and mind recover from the extra strain of training but can also increase performance when you return. Dedicate one to two days fully to rest and avoid training completely.


Proper Nutrition – making sure your body is getting the right types of fuel in the right amounts at the right times is as important, if not more as your training regime itself. Be sure to educate yourself on the right kind of nutrition for your goals and consult a nutrition coach who is familiar with your training.


Sufficient Quality of Sleep – besides the obvious benefits from a good night’s rest, our sleep provides several benefits directly related to athletic performance. During periods of rest hormones such as human growth hormone and testosterone are released and assist in muscle growth and repair. In order for these hormones to be released properly a deep sleep and smooth transition between sleep patterns has to occur. Unfortunately during heavy training several aspects impede us from attaining quality sleep including mineral deficiency, overactive central nervous system and more. Some ways to help promote sufficient sleep quality can include avoiding stimulants 4-6 hours before bedtime and also proper supplementation which we will cover below.


Proper Supplementation – heavy training causes our bodies to work harder and require more than the average person. Although proper nutrition will help your body get many important nutrients supplementation is a great way to ensure it gets everything it needs. During intense training our bodies often become deficient in important vitamins, minerals and more. Some of these include:


Fluids – in other words; water. Be sure that every pound you lose during training is replaced by at least 500ml of water. It is very easy to become dehydrated from overtraining and this can lead to injury, headaches and more.


Electrolytes – these include sodium, potassium, chromium and more and are responsible for all of the electrical processes in your body. Without electrolytes your body would simply not work. A proper nutrition plan will ensure electrolyte recovery and products such as coconut water and Pedialyte can also help restore electrolytes lost during training.


Vitamins and Minerals – our bodies need a higher amount of vitamins and minerals when training heavily than is possible from nutrition alone. Be sure to include a balanced multivitamin in your daily intake.


Post-workout Nutrition – your nutrition should also include the right type of post-workout nutrition. After a hard workout our bodies are most responsive to nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein to be used for growth and recovery without running the risk of fat storage. Be sure your post-workout nutrition includes a quick absorbing protein such as Whey Protein and a simple carb such as Dextrose or Wazy Maize. Taking 500-1000mg of vitamin C immediately after a workout will also reduce cortisol levels and aid in recovery.


Specific Recovery Supplements – there are a number of specific supplements designed to assist in recovery but it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. The most important substances to look for in a recovery supplement are zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. This trio is directly responsible for increasing free testosterone absorption, increasing growth hormone peaks and smooth transition between sleep cycles. Other beneficial are Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and L-Tryptophan which when combined increase growth hormone production by up to 200% and also promote a restful sleep.


Hemotropin 2XC– The Recovery Supplement Breadwinner


  There are a number of supplements on the market to assist in recovery and finding the best one can prove to be difficult. An efficient recovery supplement should include zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, GABA and more. Nutrabolics has heard the call and responded with the superhero of recovery supplements: Hemotropin 2XC. This supplement includes a high dosage of all of the above mentioned as well as a slew of others including AstraGin, a powerful nutrient transporter as well a blend of amino acids that will heavily boost anabolic hormones, have you sleeping like a baby and ready for action in no time. 


"The Importance of Rest and Recovery" Written by Nutrabolics Ricky Goodall.