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Muscle Recovery

Published: 27 Jan 2009 - 00:50 by daveamour

Updated: 28 Jan 2009 - 16:25

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I play squash a lot - usually on court 5-10 times a week in addition to swimming and gym work.

I often find my muscles tired - not surprisingly!  Generally my legs are ok but my racket arm suffers the most and is often not at 100% which can be annoying.

So looking for tips on improving muscle recovery.  I already stretch and bathe in soothing muscle soak bubble baths but any other tips greatly appreciated.


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From Good Length - 28 Jan 2009 - 07:05   -   Updated: 28 Jan 2009 - 09:42

Good nutrition is a very important (and often misunderstood) part of training!

And yeah a banana is good. Ideally directly after the exercise you want simple carbs - basically sugar (glucose/dextrose). And ideally in liquid form so it's fast to digest and can start replacing the stored energy in your muscles as soon as possible. Any food is better than nothing but try to avoid fats as they slow the digestion right down. Whereas normally complex slow releasing carbs are best, in this case they take too long as you want to replace the energy as fast as you can.

After the gym for example, I have about 50g of waxy maise starch (which is even faster to digest than dextrose) mixed with a scoop of whey protein. I add water and drink it on the way out after getting changed. I can actually feel the strength return to my muscles by the time I get to my car - like a sugar rush.

Then ideally you would then eat a normal (healthy) meal an hour of so after the exercise anyway. but this isn't always possible. In which case it's even more important that you had a 'snack' after the exercise.

Try searching for 'post workout nutrition' and you should find a bit more detail and can decide what is right for you and can apply the advice to the type and level of exercise you are doing.

Just remember that the 30 minute 'window' after you stop exercising is very important to maximize your recovery.


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From daveamour - 27 Jan 2009 - 19:19

Thanks guys, I hadn't really thought about food too much but interested in learning more.

What kind of things are simple carbs?

Also what would 50g equate to - eg 1 banana, 2 slices ob bread etc?


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From Good Length - 27 Jan 2009 - 09:37

Yes definitely be careful not to over train. 

But to make the best of it, try to always eat/drink around 50g of simple carbs as soon after playing as you can (within 30 mins is good) and then a source of protein shortly after.

Having some whey protein mixed with some dextrose ready in a shaker is handy as you can just add water. A flavoured milkshake is good at a pinch as it has sugar and protein.

The carbs tell your body to switch off the catabolic chemicals it releases into your bloodstream as it prefer the carbs as an energy source and the protein helps rebuild the muscle.

Don't worry, carbs ingested after strenuous exercise are NOT stored as fat, they are used to replace the stored glycogen in your muscles.

Simple carbs are best (about the only time they are!) because they are digested and are available fast. But as a basic rule just make sure you eat something as soon as you can.

You might also find that taking Glutamine is helpful.

Also drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day are important and getting plenty of sleep will have a big effect of your recovery speed.

If you do feel like to are getting tired. Take a rest for a few days and recover!! 

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From rippa rit - 27 Jan 2009 - 08:24   -   Updated: 27 Jan 2009 - 09:47

dave - not sure if you have read through the Library/Fitness/Periodisation.  Overtraining can cause injury and disappointment especially when you try to take your body to the maximum (top athletes are a good example of hard training and injury, followed by let-down).

After reading more on periodisation I think you will get an understanding of where you are going wrong by overloading some of the muscle groups. Of course the basic swing technique can have a big bearing on the arm muscles too.

Take a glance at the Relevant Content tab on the lefthand column for more reading. Getting to know your body is another thing and being able to adapt/adjust training accordingly, ie knowing what is causing the problem, diet, training, technique, repetition.  Monitoring results can also be a useful guide.

Let's know what you think ?


PS - Periodization Training for Sport by Tudor Bompa

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