You went to work, you squeezed in a workout, you went ran errands, then went home, cooked dinner, and then went to sleep. You slept for 8 hours (if you were lucky), and gave your body a break. That was enough to rest your body, mind, and muscles, right? I’m sure that most of you can relate to this post so far. You’re super busy and the only time you have rest is when your head hits the pillow at night. As a junior in college, I can completely relate. I tend to think that if I sleep for 4-5 hours a night, that is enough rest to get through the day. Although sleeping may be rest, rest alone does not ensure that you are recovering. Rest and recovery is an essential part of your fitness journey, as well as your overall mental and physical health.
Rest vs Recovery
It is perfectly fine to push yourself and maximize workouts. Without pushing yourself you will not build endurance and you will not be successful. However, no matter how hard you push yourself you need to take a break sometimes. We know we need rest and recovery during the period of a break, but is there a difference between rest and recovery? Rest is defined as “to cease motion, work or activity, to refrain from exertion.” While recovery is defined as “to get back; regain, to restore.” Rest is taking a day or two off from physical activity. This does not mean that you are lying on the couch eating ice cream & potato chips, but that you are simply not working out on this rest period. This is where recovery comes in, and why it goes together with rest. Recovery is when your body/muscles are trying to repair themselves and you are giving them the chance to relax and heal. With recovery, you regain a state of health and normal balance. There is a form of recovery called “Active recovery” and this is a technique where you feel like you don’t need an entire rest day, but don’t want a full workout. Active recovery can include brisk walk or an easy run.
Why is Rest & Recovery Important?
Working out challenges and breaks down your body tissues. Your body and muscles are being challenged during physical activity and can be injured or weak if not cared for properly. Rest and recovery allows your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissues time to rebuild. If you do not allow your body to have rest and recovery periods, you can become fatigued, sore, weak, unmotivated and even injured. Giving your body time to rest and recover will ensure that your muscles can be restored to a natural state and give you strength to get through your next workout. This also helps to prevent injury or torn muscles.
How Much Rest & Recovery
An essential period window of recovery time is 30 minutes after a workout. Since your muscles are being pushed throughout the workout, many athletes consume protein or recovery products in this window of time to help with muscle recovery and to help gain lean muscle mass. Scheduling days to recover helps to ensure you are keeping a healthy balance of active days and rest days. Sleep is also vital when resting and recovering. Getting enough quality sleep (6-8 hours) at the right times can help mental and physical health, as well as overall quality of life.
Supplements and Recovery
While trying to recover, it can be difficult to sleep because your body is sore and your muscles are trying to recuperate. During recovery periods, supplements are a great addition to help regain strength replenish the body after the workout and help you sleep better. AboutTime offers several products that help you sleep at night and recover while you are sleeping.
ZZ Nighttime Recovery Formula
This is a micellar casein protein formula that is loaded with all kinds of good stuff to help with night time muscle and energy recovery, while also helping you sleep better. It’s made with casein protein, coconut oil powder, tryptophan, & melatonin. All of those ingredients give you what you need to sleep great while your muscles are recovering! Plus, its packed with 22 to 24 grams of protein, which feeds your muscles and helps strengthen them after a workout. With yummy flavors peanut butter and chocolate, it also fills your sweet-tooth craving!
This is my favorite product on the current AboutTime product line. The Melatonin Gummies are a nighttime sleep aid that helps you to rest and recover. I like these little guys because they are tasty and only take a couple seconds to munch, versus taking the time to make a shake or drink in my protein shaker cup. And they’re only 15 calories and 4 carbs! They provide me the best sleep without feeling groggy or sluggish in the morning, and I’ve also noticed that I’m not as sore as I would be the morning after a heavy workout.
L-Glutamine is an essential amino acid used in the synthesis of protein which supports muscle production and is a muscle recovery formula. Since amino acids are the building blocks of protein, glutamine helps your muscles strengthen and rebuild during recovery. L-Glutamine also boosts your immune system after extended events like a marathon.