Blog posts of '2015' 'September'

5 Steps for Effective Recovery

All those reading these 5 steps to effective recovery should all know the importantce of recovery. Recovery is the element that allows our bodies to adapt, get stronger and more efficient for the specific tasks we are carrying out. Today, as some of you may know, I have just ran my best marathon time of 3 hours 45 minutes, and now I need to ensure that I recover so I can carry on with every day life and so im ready to enter another phase of training injury free. 


Before, I begin to list the 5 steps for effective recovery I will state that you MUST engage and complete adequate training. If you assume you are going to enter an event that you have done no preparation for unscaved, then you will have a rude awakening. What I mean is if you do prepare you are going to minimalise the amount of damage. So before you embark on entering events such as marathon, do make sure training is undertaken as this will significantly reduce the side effects and make the 5 steps all that more effective. Here are the 5 steps;


  1. MOVEMENT - Movement will aid in the recovery for any activity. Movement will enable a supply of blood flow to the damaged areas. With this increase in blood flow and supply of blood tissue repair can take place. 
  2. FLUIDS - Rehydrating after a sporting event or an intense training session is crucial. This is because, of the strain it can put on the body. Weigh yourself before and after your workout to find out how much water you have lost. For every 0.5kg of body weight lost replace it with 500ml of water. This will help get rid of any unneccessary toxins in the body and also prevent muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue. Also, drinking 50% more fluid than you lost in sweat will enhance your recovery from dehydration. Human Kinetics suggests that if you are significantly dehdrated and need to recover within a 12 hour window then you need to be more aggressive with you rehydration program. If this is the case Human Kinetics suggests sprinkling a little extra salt on your post workout meal to replace sodium losses through sweat. 
  3. FUEL REPLENISHMENT - Fuel replenishment should occur immediately after your workout or training session. The macronutrients that should be taken into consideration and carbohydartes (fuel) and protein (repair). The ratios of these two are 2:1 carbohydrates to protein. Both aid each other in the recovery process, however, carbohydrates play a massive role in recovery. Carbohydrates not only help replinish the depleted the muscle glycogen (chemical form of carbohydrates) but also stimulate protein sysnthesis. Protein synthesis is simply the synthesis of new muscle proteins. This process occurs to the production of insulin, an anabolic hormone which supports the repair and creation of soft tissue (muscle). This is produced through the high glycemic index carbohydrates entering the blood stream and entering quickly (must be of a high glycemic index). 
  4. HOT BATH - This is a great opportunity to loosen up and wind down after a tough event or training session. The Hot bath will not only loosen you up and relax you but will aid in recovery due to the increase flush of nutrients around the body due to the hot water. It is this step that will set you up for the final step and complete your perfect recovery.
  5. SLEEP -  Sleep is my favourite part and probably the most important part of recovering effectively. You have just put your body through hell and now it needs time to relax and rest. Sleep is your answer once you followed those first 4 steps. Without adequate sleep there is a hormone called cortisol (stress hormone) present and with this present it makes any sort of glycogen replenishment or recovery impossible, simply because your body wants and needs that energy. Sleep is now needed to allow energy to be restored. The simple hard fact is NO SLEEP, NO BETTER. Sleeping is the last piece of the puzzle bringing those first 4 steps together, if you are serious about training make sure you are getting those crucial 8 hours in bed. 



Coconut Oil the Tropical Inferno

Leading on from  eat fat to loose fat article we have taken the liberty to recommend a great source of SATURATED (please bare with me whilst I explain) fat which help reduce that stubborn belly fat. The source I am talking about is coconut oil particularly extra virgin coconut oil. 

First of all lets begin with what fat is. Fat is in an energy source, similar to that of protein and carbohydrates. However, fat is metabolised differenty breaking down into fatty acids. There are 3 different chains of fatty acids short, medium, long and fatty acids. All three have their own differences of where they are produced and broken down. However, the chain of fatty acid we want to pay attention to is the medium chain fatty acid. The medium chain fatty acid is not present in the body and must be consumed (coconut oil), once absorbed these medium chain fatty acids are sent to the liver. Once sent to the liver these medium chain fatty acids are used to generate energy, it is this generation of energy that causes your metabolism to speed up. 

In turn please dont go away from reading this that coconut oil will speed up your metabolism and you begin only eatting cocnut oil it doesn't work like that! All you need is 30 grams a day to go with your cooking. Not only will your food smell great, you will boost your metabolism, and it will also boost immune function! 



Eat Fat to Loose Fat

Loosing weight is a tough and often demoralising game we all play at some point in our lives. In many cases when we do try and loose weight we end up putting more on!

It is important you understand that nutrition is the key. If you are not eatting correctly i.e. consuming too many sugary or saturated fat products you are likely to put weight/ fat on. In the same instance though, if you start to drastically cut calories, yes you will have an intial loss in weight! but then it will come to a stand still. At this point your body will begin to shut down, and go into survival mode. In survival mode fat WILL be stored, so you will go from skinny with no muscle to skubby (skinny chubby). Then you are in the predicament of having to get out of this survival mode which does mean having to consume more than 1000-1500 calories you have been on, and you WILL put all of the weight AND more back on! However, calories is a matter I will discuss in another blog post. 

The matter I want to address is when people start a weight/fat loss plan and they think they need to cut out fat. Granted if you have done your reading and research you will know that fat contains 9 calories per gram and you are on a weight/ fat loss kick the automatic response is EAT NO FAT GAIN NO FAT. However, this is WRONG, a moderate amount of healthy fatty acids which will help keep your hormonal production where it needs to be. Therefore, assisting in weight/fat loss by nulling cravings thanks to the production of leptin. Furthermore, with the consumption of unsaturated fats will reduce inflamation and help maintain a healthy immune system preventing such diseases like cardiovascular disease.

So, if you are looking to loose weight/fat do not cut out fat all together. Be mindful of what fat you do consume. Be sure to consume more unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats. Try to add nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and so on into your diet.  


Picture 1.Coconut/Oil/Milk a great source of essential fats.

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