What is Recovery?
Recovery from exercise refers to the time period between the end of a session of exercise and the subsequent return to a resting or recovered state. Recovery allows the body is allowed to adapt to the stress associated with exercise, replenishes muscle glycogen (energy stores) and provides time for the body tissue to repair.
There are two different categories of recovery:
Short-term recovery – This is the most common form of recovery and occurs within hours after an exercise session. Short-term recovery includes low intensity exercise after working out and during the cool down phase.
Long-term recovery – This refers to recovery periods that are built into a seasonal training schedule and may include days or weeks.
Sleep is also important to recovery. Sleep deprivation can cause a change in aerobic endurance and the athlete may experience subtle changes in hormone levels, which can lead to higher levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and a decrease in human growth hormone, which is active during tissue repair.
Of course, staying hydrated during and after workouts is important. This is when your body can take up fluids the most efficiently. When it comes to repairing the body, protein is a must! It's the foundation of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood and is used to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, hormones and other bodily chemicals. A whey protein shake is an ideal after workout drink.