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During a game, event, and or competition the ability to recover quickly is important. If you can maintain your performance levels as your rivals fatigue you give yourself a huge competitive advantage.
In disciplines where there are multiple heats such as swimming or athletics, or even in events where there’s a half time such as football, rugby, hockey etc, using this time to refuel, recover and prepare for the upcoming demands is an effective strategy that will improve performance and reduce injury risk.
In this article we’re going to look at the science behind intra-event recovery, giving evidence-based advice and reasoning to help you perform better.
By maintaining your performance levels as your rivals fatigue you can give yourself a significant competitive advantage. This article addresses strategies for intra-event recovery to help you perform better during competitions.
Although the topic of recovery in a general sense has been well-researched, the data around rapid recovery strategies are somewhat more limited. This leaves many athletes having to work through anecdotal evidence and perceived wisdom from coaches and fellow athletes.
Despite that, with a bit of lateral thinking, you can reverse-engineer performance decline and identify key areas to address in recovery.
We know that performance declines because of dehydration, reduced fuel (glycogen) availability, a lack of minerals involved in muscle contraction (sodium, potassium, magnesium etc), tissue breakdown, heat and a high concentration of exercise-induced waste products. Addressing these issues effectively will help to recover performance levels quicker than normal.
Whilst we are powerless to do anything about the tissue breakdown in small time frames, we can certainly address the other issues, speeding recovery between bouts of competition. We can do this using a variety of tools including hydration and nutrition, infrared clothing and temperature regulation.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition objectively assessed sports nutrition research, and they have issued evidence-based guidelines across a magnitude of sports nutrition topics. The following points summarize the position of the ISSN on rapid nutritional recovery…
This approach will address the substrate issues quickly, providing the athlete with glycogen replenishment. It would also be worth taking something isotonic at this stage to replace lost electrolytes. There’s also some strong evidence that electrolyte drinks help to improve rehydration rates.
From a performance point of view, we know with confidence that intra-event carbohydrate supplementation through drinks will increase endurance capacity, especially in events that will go beyond 120 minutes. This could include football and rugby matches that go into extra time, T20 cricket matches, tennis matches, squash and the like.
During exercise, there are waste products produced by the body as a byproduct of respiration. The most well-known of these is lactate, which harms physical capability and can contribute to cramping muscles.
In a study on the effectiveness of nitric oxide as a recovery agent, researchers concluded that…
nitric oxide improved the recovery by accelerating lactate excretion from the body after the exercise. All of these metabolic responses in the present study suggest that NO will have a positive effect on exercise performance and recovery.
The application of Re-up Recovery helps to stimulate the production of nitric oxide. It means that whilst using Re-up Recovery products, whether for competition or between heats, lactate will be removed faster and more effectively. This will protect you from the effects of lactate for longer, allowing you to maintain performance.
Rapid recovery is a fundamentally important aspect of maintaining performance over repeated bouts. By following the advice in this article and using Re-up Recovery clothing for competition and rest periods, you’ll maintain your highest performance levels for longer.