Large tournaments can really take their toll on you. So as we prepare for one of the largest, and most grueling events…the US Open, I thought I would touch on the importance of recovery.
In February I played in two pretty good sized tournaments back to back. One weekend was two open events, the next week I played in both age and open…mixed and women’s. Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end of that ten-day stretch. The US Open will have perhaps the largest open/pro field in the country. In addition, the temperature in southern Florida will offer challenges. Preparing yourself mentally and physically is important. We have talked about the importance of hydration and proper fueling before a big event. But today, we will focus on recovery.
Recovery Starts at the Event
Recovery starts during your events. Proper fueling throughout your event is extremely important. In addition to simple hydration, you want to be drinking something that promotes recovery. A friend of mine started drinking beet juice. I usually have my protein shakes that have supplements geared towards muscle recovery. If I don’t have time to get my shakes ready, I will stop and grab some chocolate milk to drink in between my matches and throughout the day.
I personally take supplements that are specifically geared towards muscle recovery and fueling. Many people like gels that you can be purchased at running or biking stores. An energy bar, drink or chew will give you carbohydrates to support your body but also provide you with some sugars to raise your blood sugar during competing. I find it very difficult to eat much during competition day, but I ensure I have small things that are easier to digest and munch on these throughout the day.
Recovery After Exercise
After you play, you want to consume proteins and carbohydrates as quickly as possible. This will minimize muscle soreness…of course, a good massage can help as well. Give your body time to recover after exercise or competition. Your body needs recovery time to rebuild, making you slightly more fit than you were before.