Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

By Karen Mirlenbrink • For Active.com

Rest is a four-letter word that many athletes and fitness buffs hate to hear. However, rest is an essential part of any training program. Rest benefits the athlete both physiologically and mentally. Though the athlete may feel guilty for taking a day, a week or a month off of their training plan, recovery can help take the athlete’s performance to the next level.

MoreThe Art of Athletic Recovery

Why is Rest Important?

Many training programs consist of workouts that are repetitive. If you’re getting ready for a sporting event or training for a fitness goal, you’re most likely doing the same movements over and over again. And you’re probably increasing the intensity of the repetitive movement as your training progresses.

Constant repetitive movement can cause a lot of wear and tear on the body. The repetition can cause acute injury like delayed onset muscle soreness (which is healthy).

MoreRecovery Foods that Ease Muscle Soreness

However, without proper rest the acute injury can lead to chronic injury, like tendonitis, bursitis or muscle ruptures (tears. Exercise stresses the body and causes a normal loss in fluid, muscular breakdown and disbursement of stored energy (glycogen). The body heals, hydrates, and restores used energy through recovery.

How to Add Rest Into Your Training Plan?

Rest needs to be looked as an important element to your workout routine. Periodizing your training plan is an easy way to build in the rest that you need.

MoreHow to Test Flexibility to Avoid Injury

Periodization is a training program design that sets your plan into seasons and allows you to train accordingly. Within those seasons, specific workouts and rest days are planned.

For example, if you’re training to run a few 10Ks, you would have a pre-season that conditions you for the distance. You would workout 4 to 5 days a week. During in season you train for speed and skill 3 to 5 days per week. During post-season your training is an active rest.

MoreStrength Train With Yoga

Rest doesn’t mean you’re not active; active rest allows the body to heal. It’s a great opportunity for you to cross train. For example, if you’re a runner, once a week take a day to do an easy bike ride with your family.

What Happens if You Don’t Rest?

If you continue training without giving your body adequate rest, you run the risk of injury.

Overtraining is a condition that occurs when a person’s workout volume and intensity exceeds their body’s ability to recover from it. This affects the athlete physically, behaviorally and emotionally; and can set their progress back dramatically.

More5 Cross-Training Ideas

Some symptoms of overtraining are:

  • Chronic muscle soreness that doesn’t heal or go away
  • Weight loss/muscle loss
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased immune system
  • No motivation or competitive drive
  • Heart palpitations
  • Depression
  • Delayed recover
  • Prone to injury
  • Poor physical performance despite training

 

What is the cure for overtraining? Rest.

50 Ways to Feed Your Muscles

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Diet, Recovery
Phillip Rhodes • Men’s Health

Every family argues about what to eat for dinner. But the Shrader family of Bluebell, West Virginia, took dinner-table combat to a whole new level last summer when 49-year-old Jackie Lee and his son, Harley Lee, 24, whipped out .22-caliber pistols and exchanged fire after sparring over how to cook their meal.

What food could trigger a kitchen gun battle? The harmless, boneless, skinless—and often flavorless—chicken breast, that’s what.

Sure, this omnipresent cut of poultry is the leanest source of protein this side of tofu or fish—a single serving offers 26 grams of protein for the price of 1 gram of saturated fat. But it’s boring as hell. And it doesn’t help that most people eat their annual average of 88 pounds one of two ways: soaked in Italian salad dressing or slathered in barbecue sauce.

In my mind, that’s exactly how I hear the Shrader feud erupting. “Marinade!” one might have said. “No! Barbecue sauce,” the other yelled. Back and forth it went until it came to blows, then bullets. (Harley Lee took a slug to the head, but managed to survive.)

 

That’s why I came up with this list—not one, not two, but 50 different ways to prepare a chicken breast. What good is eating healthy food if the boredom nearly kills you?


STIR-FRYING

Basic technique: Cut the raw chicken into bite-sized pieces or thin strips. Cook them in a nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned. Then add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.Tip: Sesame oil gives stir-fries their distinct flavor. Its nutritional profile is similar to that of olive oil (i.e., high in the unsaturated fats you want). But if you don’t have sesame, use canola or peanut oil, since olive oil can burn at high temperatures.

1. 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce; 2 tsp sesame oil; 1/2 c green or red bell pepper, cut into strips; 1/4 medium onion, cut lengthwise into strips; 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

2. 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce; 2 tsp sesame oil; 1/3 c matchstick carrots; 1/3 c chopped celery; 1 green onion, sliced; 2 Tbsp chopped, unsalted peanuts

3. 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce; 2 tsp sesame oil; 1/2 c asparagus tips; 2 Tbsp chopped, unsalted cashews

4. 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce; 1 Tbsp lemon juice; 1 tsp lemon zest; 1 tsp honey; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1/2 c snow peas; 1 c chopped celery

5. 1 whisked egg; 1/2 c (or more) chopped broccoli; 1/4 medium onion, cut lengthwise into strips; 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes; 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

6. 1 whisked egg; 1/2 c snow peas; 1/2 c green or red bell pepper, cut into strips; 1/4 onion, cut lengthwise into strips; 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce


BAKING

Basic technique: Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the chicken breast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an internal roasting thermometer reaches 170°. Don’t overcook it. Err on the side of tenderness. An overcooked, dried-out chicken breast won’t give you salmonella, but you probably won’t want to eat it in the first place.Tip: Quickly searing the breast in a hot skillet will help avoid dryness because it locks in the bird’s juices.

Sauced
Watery ready-made sauces like salsa will bake fine—some of the liquid will boil away as the chicken bakes. But thicker sauces, like barbecue or ranch, need water or broth mixed in, otherwise you’ll be left with a sticky, blackened char.

Tip: Use a small baking dish to keep the meat covered with sauce.

7. 1/3 c salsa

8. 2 Tbsp jalapeño cheese dip, 2 Tbsp salsa, 1 Tbsp water

9. 2 Tbsp marinara sauce, 2 Tbsp water

10. 2 Tbsp barbecue sauce, 2 Tbsp water

11. 2 Tbsp ranch dressing, 2 Tbsp water

12. 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp honey, 1 tsp olive oil

13. 3 Tbsp chicken broth; 1 Tbsp mustard; 1 clove garlic, crushed

14. 2 Tbsp condensed mushroom soup, 2 Tbsp water

15. 2 Tbsp pesto, 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium chicken broth

16. 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1/4 c crushed pineapple with juice

17. 3 Tbsp chicken broth, 2 Tbsp light coconut milk, 1/4 tsp curry powder

18. 1/3 c chicken broth, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 Tbsp apple juice

19. 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar; 1 Tbsp barbecue sauce; 1 clove garlic, crushed

20. 2 Tbsp hot sauce, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp chili powder

21. 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp orange marmalade, 1/4 tsp rosemary

Rubbed
Rub one of the following spice mixtures evenly over each breast, then hit the chicken with a shot or two of cooking spray (not too much, though) to hold the rub in place and help form a light crust when cooking.

22. Tex-Mex style: 1/4 tsp each garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper, and oregano; pinch of salt

23. Southwestern: 1/4 tsp each black pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, and hot sauce

24. French: 1/4 tsp each dried basil, rosemary, and thyme; pinch of salt and pepper

Crusted
A whisked egg acts like glue, holding the crust to the meat. It also gives your poultry a small protein boost. Crack one open in a shallow bowl, whisk it, and dip the chicken in it. Tip: Put your crust ingredients in a shallow plate instead of a bowl—it’ll be much easier to coat the breast evenly.

25. Nut crusted: Dip the chicken in the egg, then roll it in 1/3 c nuts of your choice, finely chopped. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

26. Parmesan crusted: Dip the chicken in the egg, then roll it in a mixture of 1 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1 Tbsp Italian bread crumbs, and a pinch of black pepper.

27. “Like fried”: Dip the chicken in the egg, then roll it in 1/2 c crushed cornflakes or bran flakes. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Stuffed
Relax, this isn’t hard. First, pound the heck out of the chicken breast with a meat tenderizer or the heel of your hand—you want it to be uniformly thin. (Just be careful not to tear it.) Then, arrange your ingredients on the breast, roll it up, and secure it with toothpicks or kitchen twine so it doesn’t come undone while it’s baking.

28. 1 slice Cheddar cheese, 2 slices deli ham, 1/4 tsp black pepper

29. 1 slice mozzarella cheese; 3 slices pepperoni; 3 leaves fresh basil, chopped

30. 1 slice mozzarella; 1/4 c chopped tomatoes; 3 leaves fresh basil, chopped

31. 1 small handful baby spinach leaves, chopped; 1 Tbsp blue-cheese crumbles; 1 clove garlic, crushed

32. 1 slice mozzarella, 1 slice salami, 1 Tbsp chopped roasted red pepper

33. 1 1/2 Tbsp part-skim ricotta cheese, 1 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 1/4 tsp oregano

34. 1 1/2 Tbsp part-skim ricotta cheese, 1 Tbsp diced olives, 1/4 tsp lemon zest

35. 1 Tbsp pesto, 1 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp black pepper

 

GRILLING, SEARING, OR GEORGE FOREMAN-ING

Basic technique: Heat the grill, place a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat on the stove until it’s hot, or power up the Foreman. Add the marinated chicken, cooking 3 to 5 minutes per side (6 to 8 total on the Foreman), or until an internal roasting thermometer reaches 170°F. The chicken doesn’t stop cooking when you take it off the heat. If it’s still hot, it’s still cooking. 

Marinades
Marinades need only about an hour or so to penetrate the meat. Whether you’re cooking one chicken breast at a time or four at once, just mix the marinade ingredients well in a resealable plastic bag, drop in the chicken, seal, shake, and refrigerate.

Tip: If you’re grilling, make a little extra marinade and reserve it in a separate bag or bowl. Brush it on the chicken during cooking to keep the meat moist.

36. 2 Tbsp bourbon, 1 tsp deli-style mustard, 1/4 tsp black pepper

37. 2 Tbsp bourbon; 1 tsp honey; 1 clove garlic, crushed

38. 2 Tbsp white wine; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1/4 tsp thyme

39. 2 Tbsp red wine; 1 tsp barbecue sauce; 1 clove garlic, crushed

40. 2 Tbsp Coca-Cola, 1/4 tsp black pepper

41. 2 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette, 1/4 tsp rosemary

42. 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp lemon zest, 1/4 tsp black pepper

43. 2 Tbsp plain yogurt, 1/4 tsp dill

44. 2 Tbsp plain yogurt, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp curry powder

45. 2 Tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp cilantro

46. 2 Tbsp lime juice, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

47. 2 Tbsp orange juice, 1/4 tsp powdered ginger, 1/4 tsp cilantro

48. 2 Tbsp orange juice, 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

49. 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

50. 2 Tbsp pineapple juice; 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1/4 tsp black pepper

How to Refuel After a Hard Workout

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Recovery

What’s best to eat for recovery after a hard workout?

That’s what marathoners, body builders, and fitness exercisers alike repeatedly ask. They read ads for commercial recovery foods that demand a three to one ratio of carbs to protein, tout the benefits of a proprietary formula, or emphasize immediate consumption the minute you stop exercising.

While these ads offer an element of truth, consumers beware: engineered recovery foods are not more effective than standard foods. The purpose of this article is to educate you, a hungry athlete, about how to choose an optimal recovery diet.

More: Nutrition Recovery for Endurance Athletes

 

Which athletes need to worry about a recovery diet?

Too many athletes are obsessed with rapidly refueling the minute they stop exercising. They are afraid they will miss the one-hour “window of opportunity” when glycogen replacement is fastest. They fail to understand that refueling still occurs for several hours, just at a slowing rate.

Given a steady influx of adequate carb-based meals and snacks, muscles can refuel within 24 hours. If you have a full day to recover before your next training session, or if you have done an easy (non-depleting) workout, you need not obsess about refueling immediately afterwards.

More: 4 Delicious Recovery Smoothies

 

 

Refueling immediately is most important for serious athletes doing a second bout of intense, depleting exercise within six hours of the first workout. This includes: 

• Triathletes doing double workouts
• Soccer players in tournaments
• People who ski hard in the morning and again in the afternoon

The sooner you consume carbs to replace depleted muscle glycogen and protein to repair damaged muscle, the sooner you’ll be able to exercise hard again.

More: Are You Eating Enough Carbs?

 

Over the course of the next 24 hours, your muscles have lots of time to replenish glycogen stores. Just be sure to repeatedly consume a foundation of carbohydrates with each meal/snack, along with some protein to build and repair the muscles. For example, a fruit smoothie is an excellent choice.

How many carbs do I need?

According to the International Olympic Committee’s Nutrition Recommendations, adequate carbs means:

Amount of exercise                          Gram carb/lb      Gram carb/kg

Moderate exercise (~1 hour/day)           2.5 to 3                 5-7

Endurance exercise (1-3 h/day)              2.5 to 4.5              6-10

Extreme exercise (>4-5 h/day)                3.5 to 5.5             8-12

More: Why Are Carbs Important?

 

For example, a 150-lb triathlete doing extreme exercise should target approximately 500 to 800 g carb/day (2,000 to 3,200 carb-calories). That’s about 500 to 800 g of carbs every four hours during the daytime.

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