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Asked by 849sprg29 to Stephanie, LauraAnne, Katy, Helen, Emilia, Dan, Andrew on 11 Nov 2016.
The secret to recovery is keeping blood flowing to the exercised muscles. SO when you need to recover keep active, heart rate should be around 140 bpm, and you should exercise for a round 6min. We know that this has a positive effect on the removal of lactate from the muscle which is associated with fatigue. Also ensure that you get fluid in and especially carbohydrate within 60min if stopping. If left longer rather than 24 h to recover it could take up to 72 h to recover.
Protein is essential for repairing muscle damage and helping your muscles get back to normal (and then get stronger or bigger) as quickly as possible. Meat and eggs are a great source of protein so the first thing usually recommended is to make sure you get a proper meal which includes meat (or if you are vegetarian, another high protein source like eggs) within 1-2 hours after finishing exercise. Something like chocolate milk which has some protein and some sugar is a good recovery drink straight after exercise, but eating proper meals is very important in recovery. Getting enough sleep is also a very important part of recovery, getting a good night’s sleep is so important for top athletes that they will often travel with their own pillows for example. Most importantly however, is to allow your body time to recover and to not do very heavy exercise using the same muscles for two or three days in a row, as the muscles will never get a chance to heal then.
Things like ice baths, foam rolling, and compression garments are reported by those selling them to improve recovery, but at the moment there is little scientific evidence to support use of any of them. What we do know is that there is little evidence showing that they slow down recovery or can hurt you more, so if an athlete tries one and thinks it works, then we usually let them keep doing it as your mind can be a very powerful thing.
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