Nutrition for recovery

October 30, 2012

In regards to my previous post  about recovery, I thought I would add some good recovery foods. The list below is to be seen as a ‘after workout’ meal/snack rather than instead of lunch/dinner. Everyone needs to have some munch after working out in order for the body to recover. Some people claim that those aiming for weight-loss shouldn’t, but that is just plain wrong. The thing is, when you workout (both cardio and weights) toxins are created and released in your body (e.g. lactic acid) these disappear with recovery and appropriate nutrition speeds this up. After a cardio based workout your metabolism is much quicker, so you actually benefit from having a meal after as your body will burn most of the calories off straight away.

Some of my favourites:

  • Cottage cheese with berries and almonds
  • Quark with goji berries, cinnamon and seeds
  • Humus with carrots and celery
  • Protein shake (my favourite is PHD diet protein which is low in carbs and has additional good stuff added to it). this can be made with milk/soy/oat/rice milk for added calories and nutrition
  • 2 eggs on ryvita and a banana
  • Handful of nuts and some dried prunes or a smoothie

For some interesting nutrition tips try this blog out (though I must say I’m the person to promote 6 meals rather than 3…)

2 poached egg, cucumber and salad bread thins with blueberries

Today’s lunch consisted of two Warburton ‘thins’ with poached egg, cucumber and salad followed by blueberries from Sainsbury’s reduced section:)


Defeat or a Well Needed Break?

October 26, 2012

For many fitness is about success and not completing the session or doing as many repetitions as planned is negatively attributed to giving up, lack of discipline and defeat. Weakness of the physical body is often linked to the mind. Pain, muscle soreness and other physical symptoms are ignored in order to obtain results. However, there is a thin line between working yourself to the limits and exceeding the limit. Overtraining is when you do too much training and the body is not able to recover completely. If this is done on a continuous basis one can experience muscle/joint aches, decreased performance, increased risk of injury, decreased strength and lack of appetite to mention some symptoms. One big problem is when testosterone levels decrease but cortisol levels increase which results in loss of muscle tissue and a bad immune system. This can linger for weeks if not months, leaving your body and psyche weak and tired. I have collected some information on overtraining and resting periods for you guys so you can avoid this and train healthily and stay strong and fit.

There are three types of recovery when training:

  1. Immediate recovery – that’s the short pause between one rep and the next one
  2. Short-term recovery – the recovery between sets
  3. Training recovery – the recovery between your workout sessions
  1. The main point about im
  2. mediate recovery is to do your repetitions in good form. Allow your muscles to extend or flex fully and don’t rush your repetitions but carry them out with control and good form
  3. Short term recovery is essential in order to repeat multiple sets of the same exercise in good form and maintaining the same load or increasing it. Too little rest will result in insufficient time for muscles to recover and the following sets will be performed at a worse standard and often with fewer repetitions. Too much recovery, on the other hand, can prolong your training and interfere with time for other exercises.

Use this as a guideline depending on your fitness and what your goals are:

Strength: use a high load (>85% of maximum loa

d for one rep) do 1-5 repetitions and rest for 3-5 minutes to allow your muscles to recover. 4-6 sets

Hypertrophy: a load that is around 65-85% of maximum load, 6 – 9 repetitions with 1-2 minutes rest between 3-6 sets.

Endurance: a relatively light load that you can perform +12 repetitions. Rest for 30-60 seconds and do 2-3 sets.

Cardio: Do an aerobic exercise (running, biking, rowing etc.) at 60-90% of Maximum Heart Rate. This should be at a speed where you cannot talk comfortably. Do this for a minimum of 20

minutes 3-5 times a week. However, make sure not to run on hard concrete 5 times a week as this can have an impact on your joints. Alternate using a bike or cross trainer.

Health: Low impact cardio exercise that raises your heart rate but allows comfortable conversation e.g. walking, jogging, easy bike ride. Do this for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 times a week.

3. In addition to this, regardless of your goal, make sure you re-hydrate, refuel and stretch to maximise recovery and minimise the risk of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Full training recovery between gym sessions is extremely important to allow muscle tissue to recover and strength to be re-gained. Due to breakdown of protein tissue after training, we are actually weaker after our training than before. The tissue needs to heal up fully before we start straining these muscles again. If you plan on training around 3-5 times a week, it can be a good idea to look into a split routine. Ask a Personal Trainer to set one up for your goals. Look out for a blog post all about split routines and ways of structuring your workout for maximum benefit in the next few days.

If you have any questions or ideas for what you want me to bring up, leave me a comment 🙂