As many people are preparing for and completing a variety of different road races and marathons this summer, now is good time to brush up post-race recovery tips. The actions taken after crossing the finish line play a significant role in determining how quickly the body is able to recover.
Immediately after completing the event it’s important to do a cool down, rehydrate, and refuel the muscles. After crossing the finish line experts from Runners World recommend rehydrating with sports drinks and/or a small amount of food with an “easily tolerated source of calories” and then performing a short cool-down jog. After the cool-down jog the Runners World experts suggest refueling again by snacking on some foods and energy drinks that you’ve brought to the race with you… Water and sports drinks that contain electrolytes are a better choice than beer to replace fluids that were lost during the race. Eating carbohydrates helps replenish glycogen to the muscles and liver and proteins help refuel damaged muscle cells. (See the list below for some great suggestions…)
Foods to Refuel:
– Sport Bars
– Energy Drinks (like Gatorade, Powerade, and so on)
– Chocolate milk! (which contains lots of essential nutrients and protein to help refuel the muscles)
Experts from Runners World also emphasize the important of stretching; pointing out that stretching after the event is just as important as stretching before the event. Stretching following intense races helps keep the muscles and ligaments feeling limber and helps prevent them from tightening and cramping up. Going straight from the finish line to the car ride home is likely to leave you feeling extra sore and tight. For optimal results, Runners World even suggests doing another round of stretches once you get home from the event…and even going for short afternoon jog, walk, bike ride, or swim…basically anything that gets the blood flowing to help remove more of the waste products from the muscles.
When those muscles do get sore, which can inevitably happen from time to time, even with the most diligent preparations and stretches, using a hot/cold pack, a moist heating pad, or the Q-Fiber Infrared Heat Therapy System can help loosen and relax the muscles. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help ease minor aches and pains. Mountainside Medical Equipment offers a comprehensive selection of products that are tailored to help relieve pain and ease muscle aches so you can get on with your day while the pain stays away.
From all of us here at Mountainside Medical Equipment, have a great racing season!