Sport is your top priority to push your general fitness, build muscles or be more efficient? But do you also think about sufficient recovery? The topic of regeneration and relaxation is unfortunately all too often neglected. You can find out here why this plays a major role in sport and how you can optimize your ability to regenerate.
You just got neat Motivation and would like to be there almost every day Everyday sport integrate and train your body? Then don't forget to include phases of regeneration in your training, which is important for your further performance. When it comes to regeneration and recovery, many people first think of taking a break. Recovery is much more than that and only in a broad sense a “break”, because optimal regeneration does not mean that you put your feet up in a relaxed manner.
When exercising, you specifically damage your muscles in order to create a stimulus so that you can make your muscles grow after training. Muscle build-up does not take place during training itself, but in the time afterwards, which is why regeneration is just as much a part of training as sport itself.
What is regeneration?
Regeneration is a phase in which the body can recover after an exercise. So that the body is then vital and productive again, you can support it in the regeneration time and thus get the most out of it, for example with the right diet and exercise.
In this way you can supply your body with the nutrients that have been lost through training, but which it needs to maintain its performance and to inhibit inflammatory processes. The intake of protein and carbohydrates also plays a major role.
Why is regeneration so important?
Regeneration after exercise is important because you specifically damage your muscles through your training. You set a new stimulus, which should then make the muscles grow. This process disrupts your body's homeostasis. In order to restore balance, your body then needs a certain time to regenerate.
Regeneration: what happens in the body?
When you go to exercise, the muscles in your body are damaged by the stress in their microstructures and your energy stores are used up. How exactly does your body regenerate? Due to the new stimulus that your body has received from the training, your body has to readjust to restore its balance. As your body recovers in the regeneration phase, the tears in the muscle tissue are repaired and glycogen is replenished in the liver and muscles. So you can get the most out of yourself and function optimally the next time you exercise.
So that your performance does not stagnate or deteriorate, it is of course not enough if you only train once or take long breaks. Here comes the keyword supercompensation.
How does supercompensation work?
If your body receives a new stimulus from stress, it goes out of homeostasis. That is why your body now has to adapt to functions and structures. A phase of regeneration follows. If your performance is now above the starting level, this phase is called supercompensation. If your body does not receive any new stimulus afterwards, your level of performance will decrease again. You can only achieve the effect of supercompensation with supra-threshold stimuli. But be careful not to overdo it, because too strong a stimulus can have a negative effect on your body.
When does the body regenerate?
Sufficient time to regenerate is very important for your body, otherwise you run the risk of injuring yourself - because your muscles have not yet been able to recover properly. So how long do I have to take a break after training? The duration of your recovery phase depends on your individual fitness and the training intensity. If you are rather untrained or just starting out with the sport and have had an intensive session behind you, you should give your body more time to regenerate. Someone who is already a little trained can recover in a shorter time. The regeneration time can therefore be very different, but moves around a period of 24-48 hours.
Tips: How can I improve and accelerate regeneration?
You have now learned that regeneration is the be-all and end-all and now you want to know how you can support your regeneration in order to have full power again for the next training session? This is important if you want to promote your regeneration - let's get started:
- drink lots of water
- Eat enough protein and carbohydrates
- Get the cold kick
- Do fascia training and stretch
- Eat enough calories during recovery phases
- Relax with yoga and meditation
- Sleep healthy and restful
Drink lots of water during your regeneration phase
Water is vital to maintain your body's metabolic processes and prevent dehydration. After all, you are made up of 70 percent water. When you are thirsty, this is an alarm signal from your body that dehydration has already started. Drink small amounts over and over again during the day. The more active you are, the higher your fluid requirements are. Depending on the type of sport and intensity, this can be 3-5 liters a day. Mineral water that provides valuable minerals with at least 50 mg magnesium and 150 mg calcium is best. Coconut water is recommended as an isotonic drink. It is very low in sugar and high in potassium and sodium.1
Regeneration: Eat enough protein and carbohydrates
Both macronutrients can contribute to better regeneration. Proteins are the basic building block for your muscles, while carbohydrates, which are stored in your body as glycogen, provide the necessary energy. They also stimulate the repair of the finest muscular micro-damage that can result from training. For most people, 0,5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight is sufficient to hold the muscles. For athletes and athletes who want to build muscle, up to 1,3 protein per kilogram of body weight is necessary. Rather, it wouldn't really make sense.2 If the glycogen stores are empty after training and carbohydrates are missing, the body uses the supplied protein as an energy source by converting it into glycogen.
Regenerate with the cold kick
Athletes who deliberately lie in the ice bucket appreciate the cold stimulus to reduce inflammation and stimulate muscle regeneration. Alternating between warm and cold stimuli, for example in the sauna and hydrotherapy, has been used for many generations to promote blood circulation and strengthen the immune system. Try a cryotherapy chamber to experience the effects of cold up close. Studies have shown that ice baths can improve neuromuscular recovery within 24 hours.3 A study with Jiu-Jitsu athletes showed how beneficial the cold stimulus has on the muscles. The athletes showed reduced muscle soreness and more strength after their regenerative break.4
Fascia training and stretching for regeneration
Fascia training, foam rolling, fascia massage or SMR (self-myofascial release) can contribute to better regeneration - directly after training or on non-training days. The muscles as well as the connective tissue are loosened by relaxing the myofascial tissue and promoting blood circulation. Fascia training not only helps against sore muscles, but also improves mobility.5, 6, 7 Another plus point is that foam rolling can also contribute to better mobility and higher ROM (range of motion) without affecting muscle performance.8, 9, 10 With an additional fascia ball, you can selectively treat painful trigger points.
Also move during your regeneration phase
Movement during your regeneration is positive because your stressed muscles are better supplied with blood and thus optimally supplied with nutrients. It also makes it easier for your body to break down waste materials better. You should do a training session that promotes regeneration and movement, but does not exhaust you. A good indicator of regenerative training is that when your body sensation makes you feel guilty despite the movement because your training was not intense enough. During regeneration you can for example jog for 15-30 minutes, take a walk, stretch or go to yoga.
Regeneration: Eat enough calories
In order to improve regeneration between training units, you should not make any differences in nutrition. Your body needs the nutrients to be able to recover better. On the one hand, to maintain the metabolism and, on the other hand, to be able to repair damage in the body, as is the case with muscle protein synthesis. In order not to hinder this regeneration process, you should not reduce the carbohydrate intake on non-training days, but keep it. If you prefer a “low carb” diet, we recommend adding healthy fats to the missing calories in order to avoid a calorie deficit.
Regenerate with yoga and meditation
Relaxation techniques can be very helpful for regeneration, in order to disconnect from everyday life, to calm the mind and to relax the body. With your breathing you can positively influence many areas of your body. Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation also ensure more mindfulness and serenity in everyday life and support the body in reducing inflammation and slowing down the aging process.11, 12
Healthy, restful sleep for optimal regeneration
Sleep is one of the most important factors that contribute to optimal and faster regeneration and thus better performance. In your sleep you refuel your energy reserves, your muscles recover from training and grow. Many people have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, so that they feel tired, exhausted and lacking drive in the morning. The most common cause of such sleep disorders is stress, but other criteria such as diet, luxury foods, hormones such as cortisol and melatonin, and light can influence the quality of sleep.
Which nutrients help with regeneration?
These nutrients can help you improve the regeneration of your muscles:
By sweating during exercise, you lose electrolytes, which your body needs to control your water balance. Magnesium is, among other things, the mineral for your muscles and can have a positive effect on your regeneration. Magnesium can also support restful sleep.13 Protein is important after exercising because your muscles need protein to repair themselves. That is why many athletes use protein shakes after their workout. The sleep hormone melatonin regulates the day-night rhythm. If you suffer from insomnia and have trouble falling asleep, supplementation with melatonin can help you, for example DEEP SLEEP with 1 mg of melatonin.
But don't forget that these are only dietary supplements and that a healthy and varied diet is the be-all and end-all. If you want to make up for a deficiency or if you cannot find the recommended amount in relation to your performance, supplements are a way to get your optimal performance out of you.
Regeneration is important for your body after exercise in order to replenish energy reserves and to increase your performance. If you don't take periods of recovery, it can even have negative effects, so that in the worst case you injure yourself. However, regeneration does not mean lying lazily on the sofa and waiting. But you can also promote and improve your regeneration by drinking enough, not forgetting to stretch, paying attention to your diet and bringing important nutrients to you.
 Beyond training: mastering endurance, health & life. Ben Greenfield (2014) p. 107f.