Recreational to elite athletes try many different things to aid recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
However what does the science show is most effective?
- Sleep – There is no doubt about it, sleep is the best way to recover quickly. Why is this the case? During sleep the majority of muscle repair takes place. Sleep loss has been shown to disrupt growth and repair of cells1. Aim for eight hours per night.
- Nutrition – Balanced meals at the right time can impact your recovery. Not sure what to eat and when? The NSWIS Nutrition Team post a range of resources for athletes on the NSWIS website.
- Foam Rollers – A systematic review2 of the literature found that using a foam roller for massage may help enhance joint range of motion in addition to pre and post exercise muscle performance. Whilst the evidence is not as strong as for sleep and nutrition, foam rollers are an easy and inexpensive way to take charge of your own recovery after you exercise.
- Czeisler CA, Klerman EB Circadian and sleep-dependent regulation of hormone release in humans. Recent Prog Horm Res 1999;54:97–130. discussion 30-2.
- Cheatham SW, Kolber MJ, Cain M, Lee M. THE EFFECTS OF SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE USING A FOAM ROLL OR ROLLER MASSAGER ON JOINT RANGE OF MOTION, MUSCLE RECOVERY, AND PERFORMANCE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2015;10(6):827-838.