The recovery stage is crucial for progress and physical performance. Indeed, if your recovery is poor, the body cannot regenerate.
Several factors come into this stage: rest, stretching and diet.
The aim of diet in recovery
- Rehydrating: Physical exercise leads to important loss of water, rehydration is therefore key to helping the body function properly.
- Rebuilding glycogen stocks: Physical exercise depletes glycogen stocks. If they are not replenished enough, the reserves progressively run out and the result is exhaustion which prevents you from repeating training sessions.
- Repairing damaged muscle fibre,
- Rebalancing pH
- Against damage to cells caused by toxins produced during exercise.
What is the best time to eat to help recovery?
Just after exercise and in the 2 hours following, the body is in a favourable period known as a "metabolic window". This is the right time to rapidly rebuild nutrient stocks, particularly glycogen. It is the ideal time to take in what your body needs, particularly carbohydrates and protein.
Protein and recovery: Impact of physical activity on muscles
Muscle is central to all physical exercise. Physical activity plays a fundamental role in the development of muscle mass. It has a direct effect on the type, size and number of muscle fibres.
The body mainly uses protein to build. When exercising, amino acids from protein are used up, damaging muscle. Proteins are lost during exercise, and even more so if muscles are strongly exerted and/or if there is physical contact.
As soon as exercise or the competition is over, it is important to rebuild altered muscle protein stocks, by taking in 10 to 20g good quality protein (Whey protein) in the 2h following exercise.