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5 Keys to Maximizing Recovery

These essential steps will bring you closer to your new personal best

By Steve Born

Hammer Peak Performance Tip: Improving athletic performance is something every athlete desires. And while there are numerous steps you can take to accomplish this, one of the most important ways - one that provides noticeable and rapid results - is post-exercise recovery. Hammer Nutrition's Recoverite, ChromeMate, Endurolytes, and antioxidants including Super Antioxidant and AO Booster are scientifically formulated to maximize post-exercise recovery. Read on to learn more.

If you expect to reap the benefits of hard training, perform better in your racing, and stay healthy, you must pay as much attention to recovery as you do to active exercise. Remember, how well you recover today greatly determines how well you'll perform tomorrow, so apply these five recommendations and watch how wonderfully your body responds:

1) "Refill the tank" ASAP with high quality carbohydrates and protein. Refuel your body within the first 60 minutes after workouts and races (the sooner the better) to take advantage of the glycogen synthase enzyme when it's most active. This allows your body to replenish and increase its stores of glycogen, while also providing the raw materials (the amino acids from protein) to help rebuild muscle tissue and support the immune system. Depending on the duration and intensity of your workout session or race, aim for 30-60 grams of carbohydrates plus 10-30 grams of protein. Recoverite, or a Hammer Whey + carbohydrate combination, fulfills this crucial aspect of recovery perfectly.

2) Take 200 mcg of ChromeMate® brand chromium with your post-exercise fuel. Here's an inexpensive, yet powerful way to enhance glycogen synthesis and storage capabilities. Paraphrasing Dr. Bill Misner, "The anabolic response for converting carbohydrates to muscle glycogen will not completely take place in the absence of GTF chromium (ChromeMate). If only a minute amount of GTF chromium is available, only a third of the amount of muscle cell refueling will occur. Consuming a sufficient amount of carbohydrates along with ChromeMate will result in a 300% increase in the rate of glycogen synthesis compared to no supplementation."

3) Take Endurolytes after your workout. You've consistently replenished electrolytes during your training session or race, and you'll want to take one more dose afterward as well. Why? Because cramping after your workout or race is completed - sometimes hours after it's over - is a truly painful nuisance that can ruin the rest of your day or night. Fortunately, you can avoid this issue simply by taking Endurolytes with your post-exercise fuel.

4) Drink sufficient amounts of fluid. To maintain optimal hydration status, aim to drink 0.5 - 0.6 fluid ounces per pound of body weight daily - in addition to what you consumed during your workout or race. This will more completely satisfy your hydration requirements than the "eight glasses a day" commonly recommended. The fluid in your mixed Recoverite drink counts, so make sure you include that in your tally. If you're having solid food, make sure you're also drinking ample amounts of pure, clean water.

5) "Arm" yourself with an "arsenal" of antioxidant nutrients. Dr. Misner illustrates the negative effects of excess free radicals: "The conversion of blood sugar, muscle glycogen, and fatty acids occurs by oxidation. During this process, pairs of hydrogen atoms are released like guided missiles, resembling a minute micro-level war, causing devastating destruction to underlying tissues and cells. If free radicals are not neutralized by on-site antioxidant body stores immediately, tissue damage occurs to absolutely every cell membrane touched by these imbalanced molecular wrecking machines." Because the body's antioxidant defenses can be easily overwhelmed by the nearly countless free radicals that have been produced during exercise, consuming antioxidant-rich foods - as well as antioxidant supplements such as Super Antioxidant, AO Booster, and others - helps ensure optimal recovery and immune system functioning.