Tips and tricks to recovery
The following strategies will help you stay fresh and recover well in the hours, days and weeks after your big game or event.
A foam roller is a light tube made up of compressed foam, and it's a popular recovery tool for all athletes. Foam rolling involves positioning your muscles on the roller and applying pressure by leaning or rolling into the roller. Foam rolling helps to reduce soreness and increase flexibility, and you'll often see marathon runners foam rolling immediately after an event.
Stretching is a typical recovery technique, and it helps reduce muscle soreness, decrease stiffness, increase blood flow and improve range of motion. It's essential to perform gentle stretches that won't injure your tired muscles, so consult a physio or personal trainer if you're unsure which stretches to perform. Aim to stretch immediately after your event as well as in the days that follow.
Massage helps your muscles repair after an intensive workout, and it's also an excellent way to relax and rejuvenate. Regular massages allow your body to adapt to the demands of heavy training, so try to get massages while you train and after your event.
While the jury is still out on whether hot or cold baths are the best recovery tools for athletes, Epsom salt baths are a popular way to relax. Not only are they relaxing, but these salt baths help support muscle repair.
After a big event, adequate recovery nutrition will help refuel and rehydrate your body, support your immunity and promote muscle repair and growth.
If you don't eat and drink appropriately after your event, you can feel sorer and more fatigued for longer – and you may experience reduced performance when you do return to training.
As soon as you finish your event, aim to rehydrate. Muscle repair and growth starts immediately after exercise. There's no one single approach that works well, as we're all different. In general, aim to consume protein for muscle repair, fluid for electrolyte balance and carbs for muscle fuel. If you're not sure what to take in during recovery, speak to a nutritionist for personalised advice.