Adequate recovery is an integral part of a swimmers training regime. Recovery includes a variety of processes:
- Refuelling: Carbohydrate stores
- Rebuild & repair: Building new muscle & cells to aid adaption to training
- Rehydrating: Replacing fluid & electrolytes lost in sweat
Optimal recovery strategies aid adaptation helping the body to become fitter, stronger and faster. It also helps the immune system to manage the stress of training.
POST TRAINING RECOVERY
Timing is key to optimal recovery and nutritional recovery strategies should begin within the first hour after training!
The main fuel used during training is carbohydrate in the form of muscle glycogen. It is important to restock your glycogen stores after training especially when recovery between sessions is less than 8 hours. Low glycogen stores can cause fatigue and impair power and endurance. After intense sessions aim for 1g carbohydrate per kg body mass.
REBUILD AND REPAIR
Eating protein immediately after training is important to help muscle growth and repair. This is especially important to ensure better adaptations to training i.e. making sure that the work put in counts! Approximately 16-25g protein should be consumed within the first hour after exercise.
Both water and salt losses need to be replaced as dehydration can negatively affect performance. 1.6L of fluid should be consumed for every 1kg body weight lost during training.
Some Example Recovery Options Include:
- low fat milkshake
- fruit smoothie made with milk/ yoghurt
- cottage cheese and rice cakes
- pint of milk and cereal bar or banana
- total Greek yoghurt and fruit
- bowl of cereal with milk
- scrambled egg on toast
- total Greek yoghurt and granola
- tuna sandwich
- sports recovery drink
- sports recovery bar