Muscle Rebuilding & Recovery

Here are three things people can do to build & rebuild muscle, and recover efficiently:

  1. Ensure that you are giving your body the resources it needs to build muscle and recover efficiently. When we work out, we are essentially ripping our muscles apart and building them back stronger. Helping our body to maximize its efficiency in this process - by optimizing the pro-inflammatory & anti-inflammatory responses, as well as in protein synthesis, etc - is key. Many people think that means just having a whey protein shake (bleh) before or after working out and you are good (not true). Protein consumption is key, but you need to make sure your body is absorbing and processing that protein well to get the most out of what you take in. Also, protein is not everything and we should be considering macronutrients as a whole when thinking about recovery. Your diet & lifestyle play a huge role in your physical health. Here are are few points to this first tip:

    1. Protein

  • Consume proper quantities of protein. We should be consuming between 1.0 and 1.7 g of protein per kg of body weight (divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your weight in kg).

  • Experiment with having protein before AND after working out. Perhaps a shake before, and meat (or more wholesome plant-based protein) after so you are not full while working out.

  • Ensure your protein is right for you. Some people do well with whey, while others need plant-based (such as pea) proteins. Some people like red meat, others chicken, and so on. Try out different things and see what is right for you and your body. What energizes you the most before playing? What makes you feel best Saturday night post-tournament play so you are ready for Sunday?

  • Pick a protein powder with amino acids. The 8 (or 9) essential amino acids (BCAAs) are equally as important to help your cells/body function. Find a quality protein powder that has these in balanced quantities. Check out the benefits of BCAAs here. We have many recommendations of different types of protein if anyone needs suggestions on places to start.

  • Here is a spreadsheet of common foods that are high in protein as a reference.

  • Carbohydrates

    • Unless you have experimented with​​ other diets, you should probably be consuming over half of your calories from carbohydrates during the day.

    • Try reducing intake of calories from added sugars.

    • Eat a variety of vegetables, including beans; peas; and dark-green, red, and orange vegetables.

    • Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains.

  • Fats

  • Be sure to have enough dark leafy greens. These are rich in B vitamins and other naturally occurring micronutrients which aid in protein synthesis (helps your body to get the most out of the protein you take in). Pair them with your go-to meals for easy add-in to your daily meal routines (spinach with your eggs, kale with your meat, etc).

  • Alcohol

    • No, this is not a macronutrient, but important to talk about. Drinking after exercising is going to reduce muscle protein synthesis as well as dehydrate you, both of which will increase your recovery time.

  • Coffee

    • Avoid coffee near having protein. (sorry Ben) Coffee - while a great pre-workout energy boost & focus aid - messes with protein absorption. Over-simply stated, your body thinks "Wow! I have so much energy from this coffee! I do not need anything else in my system right now!" This along with the fact that (as we all know) coffee activates your dump within 30 minutes (faster than most handlers these days, Scott) makes it difficult to absorb nutrients you need.

    • Also, coffee is a diuretic (makes you pee) which can lead to dehydration - especially at tournaments.

  • Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Cannot be said enough. Your body needs water to perform all of its internal functions, and specifically helps aid in effective digestion, absorption, and detoxification. When we exert ourselves, our cells experience various forms of stress (such as oxidative stress) which can be relieved by having your natural detox systems (excretory systems - think liver & kidney function, sweating, etc) function well. How? Well a good start that everyone can focus on is staying hydrated.

  • Careful, smart application and proper frequency of physical recovery forms. Yoga, Tai Chi, foam rolling, low impact sports (biking, swimming, etc) and/or just stretching on your own all help with muscle recovery. The most important things here are to be sure you are informed with what you are doing, focused on how you are doing it, and doing it at just the right frequency for your unique body. Let's take foam rolling for example. Many people who have tried it out start to do it everyday; many of those people do it wrong for months before they realize what they are doing. Foam rolling daily is fine if that is what you are comfortable with. If your body is used to foam rolling before/during/after every game, and if it feels right for you, then you might want to keep that up. If you do not foam roll with that frequency, doing so suddenly right before playing could lead to injury (think stretching a bunch of rubber bands all the way out a whole bunch right before trying to hold up weights with them). If you fall into this category, foam rolling for recovery (ie after games Saturday night, morning-after big workout sessions, etc) might be the safest route for you. And again, be sure you are educated on how to foam roll. Do not just hop on and start rolling around (as fun as it may be) - look up guides, videos, etc on proper form for different parts of the body, and various techniques in general. Different muscle groups and muscle fascia require different sorts of styles of foam rolling. The same can be said for yoga poses, tai chi moves, etc.

  •  

    Research -> experiment -> implement -> habituate.

     

    Note: these are general guidelines for athletes, and exact needs will vary person-to-person (“bio-individuality”). These tips are not meant to treat or diagnose any conditions. They are simply a reference list of suggestions for athletes to experiment with various training, health, and lifestyle changes. Please always consult your PCP or a certified specialist with any and all serious health concerns.

     

    Dan’s initial focus on nutrition was in regards to bodybuilding (reducing body fat while maintaining muscle mass). Recently, he has read plenty of literature while getting his personal training certification and while working in the athletic training room at school. Collin’s degree and experience is in Health Coaching with some experience in Functional Medicine Consulting

     

    Leave a comment

    Add comment