Welcome back to our weekly article drop! If you’re new to Unbreakable, James and I are stoked to have you reading our work. This week we are focusing on the art of recovery and want to stress how important it is for our bodies to recover from our sports and exercises.

We’ll start by saying that recovery plays a giant role in the psychological and physical performances of individuals. Without proper understanding of the benefits and necessity of recovery we automatically put ourselves at risk of overtraining and worst case scenario – injury. Recovery is often perceived as complicated and confusing and throughout this article we will run you through some of our methods to best help of recovery.

Nutrition

Nutrition is something we so easily forget to consider when it comes to recovery for our bodies. Generally people think about things like stretching and other physical activity however, nutrition is one of those undermined aspects that we don’t generally affiliate with the topic of recovery because we’re usually so hungry after burning those calories anyway.  The effects that protein has on muscle strength are pretty significant.  Research shows that protein timing isn’t really essential for the adaption and recovery from muscle growth training but it is important for protein intake, we recommend 1.8-2.4 grams of protein per kg of lean body mass. There is no real benefit of going over 2.4 g of protein per kg of lean body mass. Do not overthink it guys! If you struggle to consume enough protein within your daily intake then feel free to use the aid of a protein shake. However, to say that you must consume protein shakes to put on lean muscle mass is simply incorrect. There are also so many delicious options for protein out there too catering to those who consume meat and those who live and lead a more plant based diet, like me (Lia).

As well as protein being a pretty big part of nutritional recovery, carbohydrates also play an essential part for recovery and you must understand the important role muscle glycogen plays in allowing our body to adapt. Without the correct amounts of these essential macros we are setting ourselves up for unnecessary and avoidable failure.

Sleep

It is no secret that getting plenty of sleep and rest will play a huge part in your recovery. It is not just down to the quantity of time you spend in your bed but our bodies rely heavily on the actual quality of the sleep it-self. So invest in those good mattresses, pillows, fresh linen and dark curtains team.

75% of HGH is released during deep sleep, which shows the role that good quality sleep plays within body recovery.  Sleep has been widely used as a way to assess overtraining amongst athletes and the general population. Our central nervous system is very sensitive to external stressors such as training. 

Recoverable Volume

Applying a stimulus to the body is essential for training and is the underlying factor to why our body changes and adapts. However, it’s important to understand the concept of over training and trust me when I say more is not more!

Your body is a tough, yet gentle object made up of many systems working together to maintain its homeostasis. There are many signs of overtraining which include increased muscle soreness, illness, loss of appetite, reduced quality of sleep, worsening mental health and increased feeling of fatigue. It’s important we listen to the body and make sure we have rest. We amongst many others in the fitness industry always advise that an individual has 24 hours of rest between training sessions. You can use apps to help keep track of this such as Wattson Blue, which can be found on the app store and is a great way to track training and wellness.

Active recovery – don’t get to hung up on this topic – Nail the big three which are nutrition, sleep, recoverable volume.  Science is still all over the place with these areas such as massage, cold-water immersion, cupping and foam rolling. If you already use them and feel like you benefit from these methods, then feel free to keep utilizing them. However, it’s important to understand that if you aren’t nailing the big three then your just throwing money down the drain.

Get out and keep active – social environments!! There are many options out there as well and it really depends on what works for you. Yoga is a great one for breath work and mindfulness and will help you stretch out your sore body as well as LISTEN to your body. Saunas, spas and other relaxing methods that are out there are all worth a shot. Figure out what works for you as well as staying mindful about our three crucial recommendations when it comes to mastering the Art of Recovery!

Lia and James.