Strength and speed training are two crucial things all high school athletes should focus on during the offseason. Showing up and putting in the work day in and day out is important, but the recovery process after a workout is just as important as the work you put in.
At Warren Academy, we offer a variety of youth sports training programs to help young athletes grow and develop. As sports performance experts, we understand the importance of proper recovery for athletes of all sports and ages. Below, we go over why post-workout recovery is important, as well as provide some tips!
Why recovery is important
Building recovery time into any training program is important because that is the time the body will adapt to the stress of exercise. Recovery will allow the body to replenish energy stores and repair damaged tissues. Exercise or any other physical work causes changes in the body, such as muscle tissue breakdown, the depletion of energy stores as well as fluid loss.
Without recovery time to repair and replenish, the body will break down from intensive exercise. In general, it takes your body almost two weeks of non-activity before you start losing a noticeable amount of your progress or performance level. Don’t think your day off from training will set you back.
Post-workout recovery tips
The number one thing athletes should do after a hard workout is hydrate. Athletes can lose a lot of water through sweat while exercising, which can lead to dehydration if those fluids aren’t replenished. Drinking water or a low-sugar sports drink that is high in electrolytes will help your body rehydrate and recover.
Stretching is another thing that is essential to do post-workout to help your body recover. During strength training, your body will produce lactic acid, which is what makes your muscles and your body sore and achy. Stretching is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of lactic acid buildup, which is why it’s essential to do after working out to help your body recover quicker.
What you eat after a workout is another thing that can factor into your recovery. You should strive to eat a lot of protein and anti-inflammatory foods, such as berries and foods that are rich in fiber. All of these nutrients will help your muscles recover properly and quickly, and they reduce the risk of injury moving forward.
Take care of strained muscles
Lastly, it’s important that you are taking care of the muscles that you may have strained. Speaking with your team’s trainer is a great way to make sure you are doing so. They may recommend icing, compressing, stretching and other techniques to make sure those muscles are good to go for the next week of practices and games.
When it comes to high-level sports, it’s important that athletes are doing what they should to take care of themselves. Be mindful of what you are doing to help your body recover is very helpful in keeping you healthy and ready to play.