Luckily, for some years now, amateur sports communities have been paying special attention to a key element for our health and in improving physical performance: recovery.
Along with the revolution brought about by the use of technologies such as power meters for cycling, nowadays there is increased awareness on the importance of aspects such as diet and muscle care.
Tips for leg recovery
Sore and heavy legs are one of the most frequent discomforts that cyclists face after training (if you want to know more, read our post about common cycling aches and pains and what to do about them). Use these tips to avoid injuries and take care of your muscle health, as well as shorten recovery time.
Before and after training
It may be obvious, but we have to remember that to take care of our muscles we must hydrate properly before, during and after training so as not to destroy our muscle tissue. Also, stretch your muscles after training to activate blood flow. This will improve the absorption of nutrients and boost your recovery.
Compression apparel improves blood flow by up to 40%, making it our best ally to shorten recovery time. It also helps reduce the concentration of lactate in our blood, and the feeling of heaviness, soreness and fatigue in our legs.
Contrast water therapy helps improve circulation, reduce muscle inflammation and eliminate lactic acid and other impurities generated in the body during training.
After a few minutes in cold water, the blood from the legs is drained, the change of temperature causing clean blood to flow in.
Carbohydrates and proteins – chocolate milk!
After training it’s important to eat the nutrients the body needs to repair our muscles. So, carbohydrates, proteins and mineral salts become essential for muscle recovery.
This is why we can choose to take specific food supplements for athletes and carbohydrates to replenish glucose, such as eggs or fish[R1] .
However, a study by Southern Connecticut State University has found that taking chocolate milk after training is an optimal nutritional choice for recovery. In their study, they show how this intake has a positive effect on FSR or protein synthesis rate.
When our legs feel stiff and heavy, elevating them slightly is the solution we all know to improve circulation. Also, if we sleep with our legs slightly raised, we will promote blood flow out of the leg veins, enhancing recovery.
Massages help reduce recovery time and prevent injuries. So, we have to massage our legs after hard training sessions and try to see a physiotherapist at least twice a month if we do hard workouts.
Switch to oval rings
That’s right, our oval Q RINGS® minimise the intensity of dead spots when pedalling. As well as contributing to the health of your knees, this way you put less pressure on them, improving recovery time.