Nutritional needs for elite level recovery

So how do the athletes at the #Pyeongchang #Olympics and #TeamGB recover in-between events? It will depend on the sport, event and time available until the next event, however there are many crossover methods to aid all athletes. Most keen sports people these days will know the importance of warming down after training or racing and how much it can aid recovery. The term 'warming down' and the whole 'recovery phase' of preparation has long moved into the highly technological and applied science area that surrounds elite sport. Recovery takes many forms, be it foam rollers or balls to the pulse massage trousers @NormaTecRecovery that you might see on sale at #Triathlon or #Cycling expos! Recovery is important because the quicker your body can recover fully from the stresses of exercise, the quicker you are able to perform another bout of training or racing. The body adapts to these stresses and subsequently gets better, stronger, quicker. In a nut shell If an athlete can recover quickly this can have a massive impact on their ability to perform at their best. Think of something like intervals or weight lifting, the exercise sets/ reps are not performed continuously, rest is required between each set/ rep to perform the set or rep at a high intensity which gives a higher level of stress on whatever aspect of the body the session was designed for. The science behind this is of course more complex than just taking a rest so let's concentrate on the principle of just trying to recover as quickly and as best we can. This process of improving recovery needs to include replenishment, rebuild and rehydrate using quality nutrients and micro nutrients. Nutrition plays a critical role in the recovery process; however, it is not just about consuming a large quantity of required nutrients straight after training or racing. The periodisation or planned intervention of various nutrients at specific times also can assist the athlete in that ever-referenced need for marginal gains. For example, after a hard race some athletes might want to reduce the onset of DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) using natural anti-inflammatory such as Turmeric, or Montmorency tart cherry juice which, when consumed at the right dose and time within a training program, can improve antioxidant levels and reduce cell inflammation. Another recovery option for athletes might be looking at reducing the suppression of the immune system, which can occur after prolonged or high intensity training, helping boost the bodies immunity with options like vitamin C, probiotics and vitamin D within a periodisation diet. Injury prevention is another area of concern for many athletes and planning good nutritional periodisation can also assist, such as using Gelatin for improving tendon and ligament strength, this has to be performed via a planned program to ensure maximum adaptation. Who hasn't heard of the fast recovery of #SixNations rugby player @JoeMarler who drank full fat milk to assist with a fractured leg. These nutritional interventions show how with the correct planning of nutrients in line with a structured training program will aid those hours and hours of training. All these methods are just the tip of the nutritional phenomenon that is becoming more and more important in all areas of health, fitness and performance. I remember one of my coaches saying; "your training is only as good as your recovery, so do all you can to recover!". Train SMARTER, eat quality nutrients and research the periodisation of your nutrition.