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Recovery after sport _why it_is essential_

Recovery after sport: why is it essential?

Whether you practice running, trail running, cycling or fitness, you subject your body to intense and sustained efforts over a limited period of time. While these practices generally improve your physical condition, they can be harmful if you don't pay attention to one essential element: recovery. Why is recovery after sport so important? Follow us, we tell you everything!

Recovery and sport: a necessity?

What do we call recovery? This is a physiological state which follows intense effort and during which the body will gradually return to its baseline state . It is a moment which allows three essential points for the athlete:

  • to rest
  • adapt
  • progress

This recovery phase is as important for the occasional athlete as it is for the regular practitioner or professional athlete . For what reasons ? It is useful to limit the inconvenience caused, in the short term, by training. It limits the appearance of aches and pains and therefore allows you to look forward to your next session more calmly.

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Reduces muscle fatigue and relieves cramps

It also acts in the medium or long term, because it prevents fatigue phenomena which can lead to overwork and injuries . It turns out to be a valuable asset for your progress. Among high-level athletes, it is generally considered incomplete, because the body does not have the necessary time to fully rest, but nevertheless remains a sine qua non of a successful program .

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What if recovery after sport was a question of preparation?

When you make a significant effort, you immediately feel the need to calm your breathing and heart rates. It is a necessity if you want to offer your body the possibility of reaching a state of nervous relaxation which will allow it to recover properly.

How to do ? It is very simple. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply. Walk slowly and relieve pressure effectively . Once your body has calmed down a little, you will be able to move on to a more active phase of your recovery: stretching .

Your muscles are less contracted than during your exercise and blood flows normally again. This is a good time to do some gentle, prolonged stretching. They can be followed, if you have the possibility, by massages which will promote the evacuation of waste contained in the muscle tissues¹ .

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What should you give your body to optimize its recovery after exercise?

It is important to mix recovery and sport in your training program, whatever your level . It is recovery that allows occasional athletes to maintain good muscle mass while reducing the effects of aging on the body². For those who train to improve their performance and compete, it offers them the opportunity to always do better, in all phases of their preparation².

Recovery is above all a matter of chemistry 3 . It serves to renew the stocks of glycogen, micronutrients and muscle proteins used during exercise while facilitating the evacuation of waste accumulated during the work phase. It will therefore take more or less time depending on the effort required. Allow a week to recover from a marathon for example.

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As you have understood, recovery has several phases 4 and requires different elements. It is based on what you drink, what you eat, on relaxation exercises and on sleep, the importance of which cannot be denied. It can also be improved by the use of technical clothing and in particular compressive textiles which promote better venous return during exercise.

What if recovery was a matter of preparation?

We tend to think that recovery only occurs after intense effort. It's wrong. It is prepared on a daily basis and in particular thanks to two pillars :

  • hydration
  • food

While they are both essential during the active phase of recovery, they are also necessary before and during your sessions. For what ? They constitute your body's reserves and allow you to provide more or less intense and prolonged efforts.

You must ensure that you hydrate properly every day by prioritizing water and avoiding alcohol.

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Reduces fatigue / Maintains water-electrolyte and acid-base balance / Antioxidant action

It is also recommended to limit cold meats, cheeses and industrial filled biscuits that contain fat and can harm your program. Run away from them!

Recovering well after sport allows you to improve your performance and your physical well-being. Note, however, that good recovery is planned on a daily basis and requires, in particular, good hydration and a careful diet. You can even, if you wish or if they are necessary because you are in a particularly intensive phase, take food supplements. Do not hesitate to consult a dietitian or a doctor to ensure personalized follow-up.

1 - Massage therapy improves circulation, alleviates muscle soreness | 2014, University of Illinois at Chicago |

2 -Improve your recovery in sport | Christophe Hausswirth

3 - The recovery ration, Dr Frédéric Maton, IRBMS

4 - Athlete recovery, Dr Patrick Bacquaerts, IRBMS