At RefreshinQ our motto may be #NeverQuit, but that doesn’t mean “never rest.” Challenging yourself is key no matter how you define fitness goals, but giving your body time to rest, recover and recharge between workouts is just as important to your health, whether you’re training for a competition, fun run or swimsuit season.
We talked with our team of pharmacists and pro athletes about recovery strategies and they are sharing their best tips with you! These tips will support your wellness journey with a focus on maintaining a healthy body, avoiding injury, preparing you to get the most out of your workout, and maximizing performance at your next event.
Make Rest a Priority
CrossFit athlete and holistic chiropractor-in-training Taylor Graham (@t.graham.fit) learned the need for recovery between workouts the hard way. “I didn’t see the importance of stretching, didn’t take off days. I didn’t use supplementation in my diet,” he said. “I pushed through and ended up popping a rib out of my vertebrae— I couldn’t even get up out of bed. Slowly I realized . . . recovery is the most important aspect of training,” he explained of his routine. “It’s not the hour you spend in the gym, it’s the 23 hours outside of gym. Now, I focus on what I’m putting in my body and what I’m doing for my muscles.”
Through trial and error, Graham discovered what works best for him. “Train five days a week, and two days off [from the gym],” he said. On Sundays he rests, but on Thursdays, he likes to take walks. He also recommends deep tissue stretching like yoga.
Sleep It Off
Multiple studies, including one conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago associate insufficient sleep with difficulty in losing fat and staying fit—and of course—being less focused and coordinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of Americans are sleep deprived. At least seven hours per night ensures maximum benefit from your workouts and nutritional efforts.
In an interview published in “Ask Men” in July 2017, Dr. Michael Breus, known as the Sleep Doctor, stressed the importance of sleep in the recovery process for athletes. “Sleep deprivation, sleep disturbance, circadian rhythm disturbance all affect the overall restorative/recovery aspects of sleep,” he said. “Sleep deprivation [also] causes an increase in the perception of pain.”
Trouble sleeping? Include magnesium in your recovery plan, which Graham has personally found helpful. The nutrient also helps prevent muscle aches and spasms.
Nourish Your Body
Nutrition is the foundation upon which you build a recovered, healthy body. Without a proper diet and the right levels of vitamins and minerals in your system, energy, stamina and muscle growth/strength are impossible. After a workout, your body needs replenishing. It’s an intrinsic aspect of recovery. The athletes we spoke with had similar recommendations—but each put their own twist on their post-workout nutrition routine.
“Go for the carbs!” advises triathlete Angela Naeth (@angelanaeth). “I use a recovery drink with a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein." The intensity of training for a triathlon requires a lot of energy. Restoring it with carbs and protein helps Naeth stay on the go and satisfied while she carries out the rest of her day.
“My go-to post workout is a quick protein shot (8oz of coconut milk with 20g of chocolate protein powder),” coach Jana Richtrova (@czechchick15) said. For herself and her athletes, she recommends taking a supplement that includes fish oil (which contains Omega3 fatty acids to reduce joint pain and increase heart health) and amino acids (for building muscle tissue). After the shake and supplements, she spends 20 minutes doing a cool-down routine. “Then I try to get a good meal within the hour that consists of a good combination of protein/carbs and healthy fats,” she added.
Taylor Graham sticks to a strict routine on training days. He does 1.5 hours of training, after which he takes a supplement rich in CoQ10 (an antioxidant that fights free radicals, which can damage DNA—damaged DNA puts a body at risk for, among other things, cancer). The he drinks a “clean protein shake with carbs. It replenishes muscles immediately,” and he finishes with a 15 to 20-minute cool-down session “to flush lactic acid out of body.” After an intense workout, too much acid can build up in your bloodstream, resulting lactic acidosis, a temporary but deeply unpleasant combination of muscle aches, burning, rapid breathing, nausea and stomach pain. RefreshinQ pharmacist and team member Beth Husted emphasizes the need for hydration and recommends “adding an anti-inflammatory component like turmeric” to your post-workout recovery nutrition plan.
Recovery Made Simple
The team at RefreshinQ has developed pre- and post-workout supplement packs that include the nutritional benefits recommended by our athletes and more. “RefreshinQ did all the hard work for you,” Graham said. “They chose the best vitamins and minerals. I don’t have to question it. There’s tons of stuff out there that is negative to your body. RefreshinQ does it right.”
The pre-workout pack includes B-complex, B12 and green tea extract to help enhance your workout, and the post-workout pack includes magnesium oxide, CoQ10, amino acid complex and omega-3, to help you recover strong. All the pharmacist-curated ingredients in RefreshinQ products are premium, organic, IPP-Non-GMO, pharmaceutical-grade and gluten-free. The supplements are pre-packaged in single-dose packets for convenient daily use.
When you develop a routine that prioritizes recovery between workouts, making time for sufficient rest and optimal nutrition, you’ll be supporting your wellness journey toward increased strength, improved energy, and better overall performance - in the gym and in your life.