Active Recovery Requires Nutrients
Improving endurance, speed, and strength are the main goals in athletes. In the past, the primary focus was on training: How to train harder, get faster, and meet your goals. Over the past few years, more interest and attention has been placed on recovery as an active part of training. Although you are not actually exercising during recovery, it plays a vital role in building muscle, regenerating damaged tissue, restoring sugar stores (glycogen), and much more. All of these processes require energy and nutrients. With this blog, I want to focus on nutrients.
Recovery Requires Nutrients
B Vitamins serve as cofactors in numerous reactions throughout the body, especially the Kreb’s cycle (or Citric Acid Cycle). This cycle churns inside of every mitochondria (energy-producing organelle inside of every cell). It is the place where you turn fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy to power your body. Nearly every step in the Kreb’s Cycle requires a B Vitamin as a cofactor. During exercise, you can deplete these needed nutrients; without enough B Vitamins, your Kreb’s Cycle slows down. Although this can cause death in serious situations, it is unlikely to cause death in the athlete or Weekend Warrior. However, if your Kreb’s Cycle slows down, you are not producing as much energy as you need to build muscle, regenerate energy stores, and repair tissue damage. It is crucial for the post-workout athlete to focus on eating nutritious food instead of pure calories. Too many athletes focus on how many calories they just spent beating the pavement, then gorge on Oreos and Ice Cream. “I earned it!” While your body will turn the needed calories into energy, it may not operate optimally without the micronutrients it needs.
Recovery with IV Vitamin Infusions
During your recovery phase, consider using intravenous vitamin infusions to give your body that surge of B Vitamins and antioxidants that it is requires. The Myers Cocktail has excellent doses of the entire family of B Vitamins as well as extra Magnesium, which can be lost through sweating and excreting (urine and stool). It also has Vitamin C, which acts as a natural antioxidant for the system.
Most endurance athletes overrun their Glutathione supply during long training sessions. This is the theory behind why Ironmen athletes are commonly found having heart attacks and strokes despite being the fittest people on the planet. Exercise is an oxidative stress to the body that it should normally be able to handle. However, prolonged exercise depletes the body’s stores thus causing exercise to trigger inflammation. Glutathione infusions can be used to restore the body’s antioxidant supply. These infusions allow the body to rapidly recover as the oxidative stress problem is immediately resolved; now, it can focus on tissue repair and energy production.
I rode my bicycle over the weekend on the eve of our Independence Day. It was the first ride in a very long time, and it was not going well. It was 5pm and the heat index was over 100. While circling through Falconhead, lactic acidosis caught me, and I had to lie down for a second. Although I would like to claim that I was lying there enjoying the beautiful clear sky, my body was fighting the rising nausea of metabolic acidosis. What I would have done for a bag of saline and glutathione infusion while lying on the ground!