Elite Conditioning is an art as well as a science. Knowing when to add more training or more recuperation is a fine delicate balance between putting the athlete in a catabolic state or an anabolic one. Here are a few simple strategies to help manage this delicate process.
First off, make sure your are hydrating with not just water, but a mild electrolyte solution. A drop of 1-2% in body water can affect your performance. Athletes should be taking in anywhere from 2- 3 Litres on top of their daily water consumption. This number will vary depending upon environmental conditions (i.e. extreme heat & humidity). A good indication of proper hydration is to look at your urine. It should be a light straw colour. If it is just like water, you might be over-hydrated, as this might affect your electrolyte balance, and perhaps lead to cramping of the muscles.
Secondly, make sure you add a little bit of Creatine (i.e. 5-10g/day). No need for the traditional loading cycle, as little goes a long way. Make sure you consume more water along with creatine, as it can cause muscle cramps. As a general rule of thumb, take 2-3 grams before your training, another 3-5 grams of divided doses during your training, and lastly 2-3 grams right after you have completed your session.
Thirdly, adding 30 grams Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), in three divided doses of 10 grams (before, during and after training), can minimize intramuscular damage and prevent muscle catabolism. Supplementing with Amino Acid Pills can also create a similar effect. Muscle catabolism typically occurs during high-volume training sessions, where muscle is sometimes broken down to generate glucose for energy production.
Lastly, make sure you use Zinc monomethionine aspartate and Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA). Studies have shown that ZMA can greatly enhance your sleep depth and potentially increase your testosterone levels. Combine ZMA with some slow releasing Carbohydrates (i.e. helps to release Serotonin and aid in relaxation) and a little Whey/Casein protein blend, to further enhance your recuperation. Monitoring your sleep can be done via three neat app’s, i.e “Sleep Cycle”, a more advanced version called “Zeo Sleep Manager”, and “Lark”. 786