Well you've just plowed through another training session and you've done all you can do to improve your performance for the day, right? Well, not quite, your post training rituals are just as important if not more important than the actual training itself. Proper nutrition, rest, and hydration will allow you to optimize your physical growth potential.
Post Training nutrition
Nutrition can be subjective due to individual goals, dietary restriction, etc but keep in mind your body is at an optimal state for nutritional intake immediately after training. During your training session glycogen synthase, an enzyme that enables your body to replenish nutrients consumed while training, is in high concentration in body. Depending on your body type that period can be anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes after you're done. So provide your body some sustenance and grab a post workout recovery drink as soon as possible.
Just as you should be well hydrated before training, maintaining hydration during the next 24 hours is just as critical. If you don’t properly hydrate, you’re diminishing your body’s ability to mitigate swelling and soreness. How much water should you drink? As a guideline, after training, drink 1 pint for every pound you have lost due to perspiring during your training session. To sustain hydration throughout the day us this formula as a guideline as well, take your body weight in pounds and divide by two. That’s about how many ounces of water you should consume.
Depriving yourself of proper sleep is also depriving yourself of muscular growth and athletic progress. Your body also benefits from proper sleep by regulating: growth hormones, melatonin, and cortisol that can impact how muscles acclimate to your training.
Eight hours of sleep a night is ideal but understandably it can be hard to fit in given busy schedules. That said, try working towards the eight hour sleep goal, the result can be promising. To help, keep tabs on your caffeine, sugar, alcohol and water consumption the last few hours before you call it a night.
Always be sure to consult a nutritionist or your doctor, we all have different body types and training regiments. How your body reacts to training and recovery will vary from athlete to athlete, so educate yourself and be well.