As an "older" or should I say seasoned athlete, one thing we sometimes struggle with after an intense workout session is recovery. How do we effectively refresh the body and mind in order to have a repeat performance tomorrow? I deal with joint discomfort, especially my knees, and a constant soreness due to inflammation. Some resort to taking a pain or fever reducing over the counter product to alleviate these discomforts temporarily but does masking the pain really help or will it cause more damage in the long run? I'm sure there are varying studies that prove points on either side of this equation. We want to look at other options. The top 6 proven things that I've discovered that help me with recovery are the following:
1. Warm/hot Epsom Salt baths
2. Foam rolling immediately after the workout session
3. 8 hours of quality sleep
4. Drinking protein within 15 minutes or less of completing the workout
5. Incorporating at least 1, possibly 2 recovery days per week
6. Massage (my favorite)
Here are some other common sense ideas that help with overall health to include recovery
1. Clean Eating
2. Taking a multi-vitamin daily
Lastly, I've included some other recommended supplementation, the proof whether these truly benefit are debatable
1. BCAA's - taking Branch Chain Amino Acids to assist in muscle building, etc.
2. Fish Oil - incorporating a fish oil supplement like an Omega 3
3. Glucosamine and Chondroitin - most reports say these supplements when taking for at least 15-30 days will protect joints and cartilage
4. Hormonal therapy - for men and women who have tested their testosterone and/or estrogen levels and a doctor has diagnosed and prescribed treatment
If you are 40 years or older and have tried something that you believe that works, please share. Our goal is to try to steer clear of pain medications, whether prescribed or over the counter, and to look at more natural remedies. Please share your opinion. Thanks!