Tips for Recovery at Sporting Carnivals.February 13, 2018
Sportscare’s tips for recovery
Make sleep a priority. Address these key factors:
- Consistency – try to get to bed at a similar time each night to aid your body clock.
- Use an eye mask – darkness tells your body to release sleep hormones.
- Noise – keep the room quiet or use ear plugs or white noise (e.g fan).
- Relaxation – try deep breathing or reading a book but avoid screens.
- Temperature – slightly cool temperature in the room (18-22 C).
- Stimulants – eliminate stimulants like caffeine/nicotine, especially after 12pm.
- Food – Eating enough to stop you feeling hungry but avoid over eating.
- Drink –try to avoid drinking in the hour before bed to prevent waking in the night to urinate.
Aim for plenty of carbohydrates and protein. Carbs to maintain energy stores in muscles, protein to help to promote muscle repair. Both should be consumed within an hour of finishing exercise.
Try taking some snacks with you rather than relying on the canteen:
- A couple of slices of multigrain bread with peanut butter.
- A pre-cooked roast potato / sweet potato with some cheese/tuna.
- A handful of natural almonds.
Fluid replacement alone will not guarantee re-hydration after exercise due to loss of electrolytes. It is essential to consume sodium in addition to water to avoid large loss of urine. Healthy snack foods e.g. crackers and nut spreads often have sufficient salt and should be consumed with water to prevent urine loss. Sports drinks can be consumed when exercising for longer than an hour.
Active recovery helps to stimulate blood flow and removal of the waste products from the metabolic processes in your body. Some simple ways to promote recovery include:
- Gentle exercise eg swimming, light walk.
- Mobility work such as a light yoga routine.
- Using a spikey ball / foam roller for self-massage and trigger point release. Spend 15-30 minutes each evening prior to bed as maintenance time which also helps relax prior to sleep.
Active warms ups that include mobility drills and gradually taking the joints through a full range of motion. Avoid static / prolonged stretching 30 minutes prior to games / matches.
Injury prevention / management
Be proactive – not reactive. Strapping, tape / braces and rehabilitation exercises are ways to manage existing injuries and reduce the risk of future injuries. A light massage is also a great way to reduce the impact of delayed-onset muscle soreness and aid recovery.
 Make sure you do hydrate adequately during the day leading up to the hour before sleep.