NUTRITION: OPERATION REPAIR
I am sure when my time comes I will still be kicking and screaming for the high school athletes and even some of the older ones for that matter to listen to me when I tell them how important nutrition is.
One of the great things about being Coached by John Meadows (the best in the biz) and my knee injury is that I have had to focus even more on what to eat and when to help my body repair itself for optimal performance and health. It makes sense when you think about it in a circular logic, the better you recover, the more you can train (if you want), the harder you can train and not to mention the better tissue quality you develop through protein, collagen and elastin synthesis, the less likely you are to sustain soft tissue injury.
So without further ado, I am going to highlight a few very important things that you can and should be doing to assure optimal recovery in nutritional terms only.
• Hydration- Our muscles are made up of 80% water yet when we do a biopsy we see that only .05% of every pound of muscle is made up of protein, yet we always harp on protein intake. This is a huge mistake as water is both more anabolic and more able to repair damaged tissue than protein. A good place to start is to work your way up to 2/3rds of your bodyweight (pounds) in ounces of water, although I try to make sure all my hard training athletes and clients are taking in at least a gallon per day. Also, a hydrated joint is a healthier joint. Remember since water is such a great anabolic it will ‘build up’ and repair the body.
• BCAAs-The branched chain amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine are the quickest acting and most anabolic of the essential amino acids that make up a protein molecule. I like my guys to sip on up to 25 grams of this stuff during a workout. This has also been a key component in my recovery as I try to repair the tendons and ligaments in my knee in anticipation of rebuilding the lost muscle in my leg in a few weeks when PT starts. Make sure it is flavored, otherwise it will taste like frog water.
• Mag10- This was recommended to me by John as I was reporting to him that I am losing muscle by the minute with the lack of stress to my body. He said to start sipping on this stuff at night. It is loaded with leucine and casein protein (slow releasing), electrolytes and creatine. Although I have not used it yet (it’s on the way), I trust John enough when he tells me that he has been unable to get ‘sore’ from a workout since using it and he trains hard as hell and he is not benefiting by telling me about the product.
• Carbs around the workout- This has been the biggest change to my own nutrition and the programs that I design this past year. Although this cannot be explained purely by science, it does work and I speculate it is because of the anabolic and nutrient shuttling effect of insulin. However, eating indiscriminate carbs at other times will lead to inflammation, you getting fat and impaired recovery. It is a common site to see guys at Newell Strength downing a few tablespoons of honey immediately post workout.
Although I could add more to this list, I put my top choices for recovery nutrition. Get jacked up son!