An easy way to boost up your recovery

An easy way to boost up your recovery

22. 2. 2019

As a student at the faculty of sport, my path began with the interest of optimal functioning of the body and its movements. Through my fax machine, my focus was increasingly concerned with optimal regeneration from the point of view of diet and other techniques. In particular, I was interested in, and still, how to use natural techniques to optimize regeneration or prepare the body to ensure that it only provides better regeneration.

What regeneration actually is?

Regeneration after exercise is a process by which the organism, after transient fatigue resulting from the internal equilibrium, restores the balance that was typical for the pre-workout period (Halson and Jeukendrup, 2004; Barnett, 2006). Jeffreys (2005) divided the reconstruction into four sub-phases: normalizing physiological abilities (blood pressure, heart rate); return to homeostasis (inactive cell environment), recovery of energy supplies (blood glucose, glycogen stores); and the recovery of cell enzymes (e.g., phosphofructokinase – a key sugar degradation enzyme).

The body adapts to certain loads and better tolerates the next. The speeding up of regeneration can be addressed in several ways, with diet, therapies, supplements, massage, stretching, etc. The purpose is to limit the intensity of body exhaustion and/or accelerate the regeneration of the inner environment. The exhaustion is the result of a physical overload of systems and is a response to the intensity of the effort, which dictates how long the restoration will last (Baker and Kovacs, 2014).

With the correct recovery process, the body can be prepared more readily to be able to transmit new efforts.

Potentially effective techniques to accelerate regeneration

1. Self-massage with a cylinder

Research on self-massage with a cylinder in various ways (both time-consuming and applied techniques) has shown a positive effect on body renewal following DOMS, an increased threshold of pain, which can contribute to more intense VIV exercises and the flushing of excess metabolic products in muscles immediately after effort (lactic acid).

2. Sauna

The heat stress caused by the sauna on the body also provokes the metabolic processes of the body. There is little research on this subject, and therefore we can not definitively confirm or reject the thesis that sauna helps the athletes. It is worth mentioning, however, that the results are currently leaning towards this direction. In particular, they show a rise in growth hormone levels, regulation of the ratio of oxidizing agents to antioxidants, and positive effects on muscle metabolism due to the expansion of veins and increased cardiovascular system functioning. Above all, they show that the best introduction of the sauna is with some process of system renewal.

3. Cryotherapy

Another of the newer techniques that need additional research is cryotherapy. The examined studies cover mainly two forms of this technique, cellular cryotherapy or lower limb cryotherapy. Studies have shown a positive effect on both highly-trained athletes and physically active populations. Improvements are shown in particular in terms of lowering inflammatory markers (creatine kinase, level of cortisol …), lowering the subjective feeling of pain, faster recovery of the organism. Despite all the positive effects, some studies have shown that cryotherapy has no effect on the faster recovery after the delayed muscle pain. Therefore, more research is needed on this topic.

4. Stretching

There are several different techniques, namely dynamic stretching based on active muscle extensions, ballistic stretching, which is basically active stretching and PNF stretching, which uses reciprocal inhibition for its benefit. Research shows above all that we need to be careful when using stretching. They showed that after a certain type of effort (strength training) within the <6 hours, the effects of stretching can even have a negative impact, especially on the intensity of the DOMS, They negate the effects of power training. The influence of any stretching technique on the perception of test subjects on pain is also highlighted. We can conclude that due to the increased threshold of pain in the further training process, the increased intensity of effort is also followed. Stretching on research also helps to reduce the intensity of DOMS, which can help primarily athletes in team sports during the season when they also have 2-3 matches a week.

5. Sleeping 

I already spoke about the importance of sleep in my articles. It is therefore important that I also mention it here.

In spite of all the examined research, sleeping is one of the last things on which (especially) athletes focus on improving the performance, although most studies show positive characteristics of the performance. As can be seen from the studies, sleep affects the ratio of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system involvement, insulin secretion, glucose metabolism, and hormonal action. This means that it affects all aspects of reconstruction or faster restoration of the organism, establishment of homeostasis and, consequently, super-compensation. It has been shown that sleeping hygiene itself has had a major contribution to improving sleep, as well as anyone who overcrowded overnight, recommend short sessions throughout the day, which compensates for lost minutes overnight.


My way of boosting recovery every day

I personally try to focus primarily on everyday accessible techniques, with studies supported and simple. All of them are based primarily on the regulation of the functioning of the parasympathetic (rest) and sympathetic (action) system, as they are responsible for the hormonal functioning of our system, which can help to regenerate or worsen it.

1. Omega-3 + CBD

You can see everything about CBD in my previous article on the link – As for omega-3 fatty acids, it is. In particular, it is against the inflammatory effect on the system and thus on the parasympathetic system. It also has a positive effect on reducing the number of free radicals in the body and also affects the ratio of omega-3 and 6, which is too large in favor of omega-6.

2. D3 vitamin 5000 UI

Very good infographics showing what vitamin D3 is all about –

3. Hot bath

It causes vasodilation to increase blood flow through the muscles. It also has a beneficial effect on the rest and digest system, which in turn deepens regeneration.

4. Meditation + diffuser

Meditation is “proven” not only with anecdotes but also with serious studies. It helps to switch off the sympathetic nervous system and the inclusion of the parasympathetic, relaxing muscle tissue, and above all the relaxation and calming of the mind, which can be very problematic before bedtime. Essential oils are used as desired. I myself use chamomile and lavender, as it is proven to increase production melatonin in the body (mainly lavender).


AUTHOR: Anže Jert

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