Nutrition plays a profound role in every aspect of your health. It enables us to perform our every day functions from moving our body to digesting food, to focusing on a task. It plays a role in fighting infection, nourishing our gut and reducing the risk of disease.
From an exercise and performance angle, we know that nutrition is essential for meeting the demands of both training and recovery. Optimising your nutrition around exercise has the ability to:
The 4 R's for Recovery
- Enhance your performance
- Heighten energy levels
- Improve your immune function
- Reduce muscle soreness and risk of injury
- Facilitate training adaptations
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source used by our bodies during intense exercise. Consuming enough of this nutrient around exercise is especially important for replenishing our bodies with the energy we need to recover and go again. Carbohydrates also play a large role in muscle building.
Protein plays a critical role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis following exercise, promoting repair and growth. Exercise turns on protein metabolism for upwards of 24-48 hours, so small serves of protein rich meals and snacks throughout the day are recommended to support this.
Fluid replacement or 'rehydration' is essential for replacing fluids lost through sweat during exercise. It helps to improve concentration, endurance and reduce fatigue. Fluids may also be combined with electrolytes if sweat volume is large.
Exercising elicits and inflammatory response within the body. Incorporating a balance of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your diet will provide the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals to support your immune function - eliminating the need to supplement.
When was the last time you completed the 4 R's of recovery?