BY LOREN MASON-GERE
Training doesn't make you faster. Training makes you tired. Recovery makes you faster.
With the summer season in full swing, it's easy to get behind the curve. But this is the most important time to focus on optimizing recovery. Do it right, and you'll finish out the most productive and fun summer in memory; blow it, and risk burnout, injury, and watching the dog days of summer pass you by on the couch.
But fear not! Use these tips to nail your recovery every time. You'll feel your best, perform your best, and have fun!
1) Get the macronutrients you need: The first step is refilling the tank. Recoverite makes it easy. Drop 2-4 scoops (depending on workout length and intensity) in cold water, shake, and consume. Your muscles will soak up those complex carbs and rapidly absorbable whey protein isolate in mere moments due to the optimal 3:1 ratio. The addition of electrolytes and the recovery-boosting amino acid glutamine rounds out the equation perfectly.
2) Support your hormonal and adrenal systems: Your body registers all stress the same way - including workouts. The adrenal system shifts into fight or flight. While that's important for performing well, maximizing recovery is all about getting into a restful, anabolic state as quickly as possible. The following minerals support this process.
Chromemate - This inexpensive yet powerful mineral enhances carbohydrate storage and metabolism. Chromium is the master blood sugar regulating mineral and supports proper insulin response - one of the most important anabolic drivers in your body. As an added benefit, it will help keep your energy and hunger levels balanced all day.
Magnesium - Arguably the most important mineral in the human body (and unfortunately one of the most common deficiencies in the US), magnesium works synergistically with Chromemate to drive insulin function.
Additionally, magnesium plays important roles in adrenal health, promoting relaxation and calm, and helping the body move out of fight and flight and into rest and digest. The role it plays in muscle relaxation and the alleviation of cramps is also essential for recovery, as is its help in promoting restful sleep.
Boron - This little-known nutrient is all but vacant from industrial farmed soils (and thus our food), but is essential for restoring exercise-depleted hormone levels. High volume athletes should take 5-15 mg daily, and everyone should take it after their hardest sessions.
3) Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals: Neutralize free radicals and resupply the vitamins and minerals your body used during exercise with Premium Insurance Caps. Take 2-4 capsules every day, and an additional 2-4 following a workout. You'll protect your immune system, reduce soreness, and increase energy levels. Mito Caps, Super Antioxidant, and AO Booster offer additional antioxidant support
4) Quench inflammation: Exercise creates inflammation. Tissue Rejuvenator quenches it, while also providing the raw materials needed for joint and connective tissue to repair. Take 2-4 capsules with your Recoverite following workouts, and another 2 capsules later in the day. Anyone with osteoarthritis or joint health issues, or who is recovering from an injury, should take 4-8 capsules daily.
Boost Tissue Rejuvenator's impact with EndurOmega, Hammer's omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Take 4 capsules each day, at least two of them following your workout.
5) Nighttime rebuild: Maximize muscle repair and naturally increase human growth hormone while you sleep by mixing 1 scoop of Hammer Whey in 6-8 ounces of water and drinking it just before bed. This also provides the body with the amino acids it needs to rebuild and strengthen your muscles during your period of greatest recovery - sleep.
Of course, none of these tools can stand in for proper rest or a diet rich in whole foods. But combine these tips with a healthful lifestyle and regular rest, and you'll be on track for performances and adventures you'd previously only dreamed of.