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Het belang van herstel na je trainingen

The importance of recovery after your workouts

, by Steff Overmars, 8 min reading time

Recovery is an essential part of training. Training is necessary to become better and stronger, but that is only possible if you also give the body the opportunity to recover from training in between.

Recovery is an essential part of training. Training is necessary to become better and stronger, but that is only possible if you also give the body the opportunity to recover from training in between.

What exactly happens during training? Not to explain it in a very complicated way... When training you bring the body out of balance, you cause (small) damage to muscle fibers and challenge the body to work harder. During recovery, the body will return to a better level than when you started. At least, if your structure is good and you give the body time to recover. We call this supercompensation.

As you can see above, it is very important to allow your body to enter phase 3 or 4 before you give the body a new (heavy) stimulus. The more advanced the athlete, the better he can sense this and also the harder and more often he can train. Of course you don't have to wait 2 days after a very light or short training session.

What can you do yourself to promote recovery? I would like to give you some tips in this blog.

Cool down
Immediately after a heavy workout, the body is full of waste products. Doing your last interval to your front door is not recommended. Walking or cycling gives the body the opportunity to clear these waste products. It is not without reason that during a tough mountain stage in the Tour de France you see the riders cycling at the top even though they have just been on the bike for 5 hours. They do this so that they are less bothered by those waste products the next day. If you are short on time, the cool down is often skipped and sometimes even the warm up. A bad choice in my opinion

The sense or nonsense of stretching is a lot to do. I'm not going to talk about that now, but if you want to do that after training, now is the time. The muscles are still nice and warm.

Recovery drink
In terms of nutrition, you can certainly do a lot to promote recovery. The most important thing is to hydrate the body as quickly as possible. You do this of course by drinking, but not just water. All the electrolytes you have lost are also very important to balance, especially the sodium content.

Then it is the turn of the carbohydrates to replenish the glycogen stores that you have just used considerably. Glycogen is actually sugar that is stored in the muscles and liver. The more intensive your training, the more this will appeal to you (provided the training is longer than 3 minutes, otherwise it is a completely different system). Of course, you don't have to immediately replenish all those carbohydrates after a leisurely recovery ride if they have hardly been used. An excellent choice, for example, is an isotonic drink that often contains electrolytes and carbohydrates.

Then it is the turn of the proteins . These are very important for muscle recovery. Strength athletes often attach more value to proteins than carbohydrates and electrolytes, but that is also logical since much more happens at the muscle level and much less use is made of glycogen stores. In protein land, suppliers and different types of powders are plentiful and they all promise great results, but what should you pay attention to?

You can get proteins very well through food. For example, chicken, cottage cheese and (you won't believe it) eggs contain a lot of protein. However, it is not always easy to take chicken with you to the pool in your sports bag, so a shake is a handy solution after exercise. Especially since you have to hydrate well.

There are several types of protein in shakes:

  • Whey concentrate protein or whey protein
  • Whey Isolate
  • Hydroisolate
  • Casein

Whey protein comes from milk. The remaining liquid portion of milk when it is turned into cheese is called whey protein. Whey protein is made to be quickly absorbed by the body. Ideal after exercise! With whey isolate and hydro isolate, various processes are done to increase the protein content and filter out the sugars and fats. That is why these powders are more expensive but much purer (see diagram below)

It also contains much less lactose, so for people who prefer it, isolate is a better option, although there are now several complete vegan protein powders. Is isolation necessarily better? Not directly, it also depends on what you use it for. After endurance training you also need carbohydrates, so it is fine to take whey protein. I prefer to decide for myself how much of what I get and I always use the 226ers isolate and add carbohydrates as desired. Sometimes there are stories of protein powders that give people rashes, etc. Therefore, also look carefully at the proportions. The cheaper powders often contain much more sugars and fats. These shakes are also very sweet. There is therefore less protein per gram of product. Opinions are divided about how much protein you should take after training, but almost all brands are between 20 and 25 grams and that seems sufficient to me if you continue to eat normally afterwards.

In contrast to whey protein, casein protein is much slower to absorb or, in other words, more time-released . This is also called the sleep protein because it is perfect for the body to take before sleeping. This ensures that you do not have too much breakdown of your muscles during your sleep. Casein is the residue left over from milk and is therefore a lot thicker. For example, cottage cheese is also casein protein. Of course you can also take it before going to sleep. However, choosing a shake is easy as it is available everywhere and often some extra amino acids have been added, cottage cheese contains more sugars, and not everyone likes to eat dry cottage cheese. I often do both. I don't want to drink 500ml just before I go to sleep, so I make a bowl of cottage cheese and add a scoop of protein powder. The recovery cream from 226ERS is also ideal and tasty.

Why a shake?
Of course you can get everything from regular food, but it is not without reason that shakes are so popular. It is easy, quickly absorbed and sometimes people find a solid meal immediately after training quite difficult. Yet it is super important. Especially for triathletes who often do another session in the same day, quickly replenishing your fluids, carbohydrates and proteins is extremely important if you want a good training later in the day or the next day.

Shower and warm up clothes
This is often wrongly thought of too lightly, but it is certainly not convenient to cool off on the couch at home in your sweaty clothes for a long time. Your immune system is already under strain after a heavy workout. The best thing is to put in that shake and immediately take a shower and put on dry clothes. If this does not work immediately, for example during a race, then at least take off your shirt and put on a dry (finisher) shirt.

Normal meal
Once you get out of the shower it's time for a normal meal. Here too, opting for a carbohydrate-rich dish with some protein is a good choice. This could be your dinner or cottage cheese with oatmeal and fruit in the afternoon, for example. Don't wait too long before eating. Here too... the faster you supplement, the better it is. Especially if you have to train again soon. Do you wake up the next day with very heavy legs after not even an intensive session the day before? Then it may be that you have not refilled properly.

Legs up and possibly compression
This is also important to ensure that the waste is properly disposed of. Unfortunately for the normal mortal who just has to go to work after training or be there for his or her family, it is not always possible to plop down on the couch with your legs up. In this case you can also wear compression stockings or use other compression equipment. These help in the removal of waste products. I mainly do this if I have to return to the car for a long time and especially on planes.

To sleep
I can't say it often enough. The very best form of recovery and immune booster for your body is sleep. It is also the cheapest. Unfortunately, this is often difficult for people. Work, sports, social life. It all takes up a place in the day. But if you're in the pool at 7:00 in the morning, watch 1 less series in the evening on the couch. 8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep, but I think very few people (myself included) get there on a daily basis. Not everyone needs the same amount, but 7 hours is really a minimum. Make this a priority too. It is very good if people get up early to train, but consider whether it is useful if you don't get enough sleep every time.

On to great results!






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The importance of recovery after your workouts