Staying healthy all season is long is not only vital to the success of yourself, but the success of your team as well. Staying healthy can often be the difference between a team winning a National Championship or getting knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. It can be the difference between you being named an All-American or finishing out the season on the sideline.
Having good recovery habits will not only keep you healthy, but also keep you performing at a high level as you get deeper into your season. Here are a few simple ways to maximize your recovery and performance.
Refuel Immediately After Practice
When you practice you burn energy, this energy comes from glycogen that has been stored in your muscles to be used as fuel so you can perform at a high level. After a long practice glycogen can become depleted and need replenishing. Downing the right amount of carbohydrates immediately following practice will refuel those glycogen stores and have a huge impact on your recovery and performance.
Take 80-100 grams of a sugary carbs right after practice. You can get these through Gatorade or a more complete recovery supplement like Endurox R4.
Take a Contrast Shower
Contrast showers are showers in which you alternate between periods of hot and cold water to pump new blood into sore muscles and aid in recovery. These are a great way to promote blood flow and reduce the waste and inflammation that builds up as a result of a hard practice.
Start with 2 minutes of hot water, followed by 1 minute of cold water and repeat the cycle 3-5 times depending on the intensity of your practice.
Get Some Sleep
There is nothing more important to recovery than sleep! When you are asleep your body is primed to help you recover and come back stronger the next day. Sleep is also essential to your ability to learn and store new memories, so if you have a big test the next day don’t pull an all-nighter!
Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. When you’re getting ready for bed ditch your phone and turn off the TV. Dim the lights and find a book that will help you fall asleep.
If you are interested in learning more about recovery methods or would like a program to help you perform at your peak all season long check out American Revolution Performance. Designed for lacrosse players, by lacrosse players.