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Marathon Month - are you doing everything you can to support your recovery?

Marathon Month - are you doing everything you can to support your recovery?
By Ellie Isom 10 months ago 4181 Views

Are you doing everything you can to support your marathon recovery?

With the London marathon fast approaching on the 28th April, here are a few recovery tips to consider to ensure you’re recovering as effectively as you can:

  • Try to consume 20-30g of protein, with carbohydrates, as soon as possible after the marathon has finished to support muscle glycogen synthesis.1 Branch chain amino acids decrease during exercise.2 Whey protein contains a high concentration of these amino acids, especially L-leucine,3 which stimulates protein synthesis and muscle repair.4
  • Rehydrate - Water is the quintessential substance for cellular reactions and is the fundamental facilitator of thermal equilibrium in cells.5 Sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus repletion is advised following intense activity.6,7
  • Rest – Make sure you allow your body sufficient time to rest before doing any more exercise, at least 1 day, to prevent overtraining syndrome.

There are also some specific nutrients to consider supplementing or increasing in your diet to further speed up your recovery:

  • Magnesium can reduce muscle cramps8 and insomnia,9 promote protein synthesis,10 and protect against oxidative stress.11
  • Zinc supports muscle repair, immunity and muscle strength.12
  • Omega 3 fatty acids can decrease inflammatory aspects of overtraining, help prevent muscle-wasting13 and increase emotional well-being.14 Flavonoids such as those found in grapeseed or cherry extracts can also modulate inflammation15,16 reduce oxidative stress, and aid muscle recovery after exercise.17
  • Vitamin D and Vitamin C can also support reducing inflammation and may aid recovery from injury via supporting muscle repair.18,19 It can also increase muscle mass by potentiating leucine and insulin in activating protein synthesis.20
  • Probiotics could also be beneficial for recovery and have been proven beneficial for improving digestive functioning in marathon runners and reducing the risk of infection.21,22,23

For convenience, a really effective way of ensuring you are providing your body with all the nutrients required for recovery is making a dosed up smoothie. Try mixing your favourite protein powder with a great powdered multivitamin and lots of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, such as spinach, beetroot and cherries. Add plenty of water, or your favourite milk, maybe some flax and chia seeds for added omega-3, blend and enjoy!

To everyone participating in the London Marathon, good luck from BioCare.

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1Ivy J, et al. Muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise: effect of time of carbohydrate ingestion. Journal of Applied Physiology April 1, 1988 vol. 64 no. 4 1480-1485.

2Budgett et al. Redefining the overtraining syndrome as the unexplained underperformance syndrome. Br J Sports Med. 2000; 34: 67-68.

3Walzem et al. Whey components. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2002; 42: 353-75.

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5Armstrong, L.E. (2007). Assessing hydration status: the elusive gold standard. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 26(5), 575S-584S.

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7Sejersted OM, Sjøgaard G. Dynamics and consequences of potassium shifts in skeletal muscle and heart during exercise. Physiol Rev. 2000 Oct;80(4):1411-81.

8Roffe et al. Randomised, cross-over, placebo controlled trial of magnesium citrate in the treatment of chronic persistent leg cramps. Med Sci Monit. 2002; 8 (5): CR326-30.

9Hornyak et al. Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless legs syndrome. Sleep. 1998; 21 (5): 501-5.

10Volpe. Magnesium in disease prevention and overall health. Adv Nutr. 2013; 4 (3): 378S-83S.

11Barbagallo & Dominquez. Magnesium and aging. Curr Pharm Des. 2010; 16(7): 832-9.

12Polat. Effects of zinc supplementation on hematological parameters of high performance athletes. AJPP. 2011; 5(12): 1436-40.

13Fearon et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study of eicosapentaenoic acid diester in patients with cancer cachexia. J Clin Oncol. 2006; 24 (21): 3401-7.

14Lucas et al. Ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid for the treatment of psychological distress and depressive symptoms in middle-aged women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 89 (2): 641-51.

15Welton et al. Effect of flavonoids on arachidonic acid metabolism. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1986; 213: 231-42.

16Chacon. Grape-seed procyanidins modulate inflammation on human differentiated adipocytes in vitro. Cytokine. 2009; 47 (2): 137-42.

17Kuehl. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomised controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010; 7: 17.

18Larson-Meyer. Vitamin D supplementation in athletes. Nestle Nutr Inst Worshop Ser. 2013; 75: 109-21.

19Latchman. Heat shock proteins: protective effect and potential therapeutic use. Int J Mol Med. 1998; 2 (4): 375-81.

20Salles et al. 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 enhances the stimulating effect of leucine and insulin on protein synthesis rate through Akt/PKB and mTOR mediated pathways in murine C2C12 skeletal myotubes. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013; 57 (12): 2137-46.

21Lamprecht M et al. Probiotic supplementation affects markers of intestinal barrier, oxidation, and inflammation in trained men; a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. J IntSoc Sports Nutr. 2012 Sep 20;9(1):45.

22Gleeson M, et al. Daily probiotic’s (Lactobacillus caseiShirota) reduction of infection incidence in athletes. Int J Sport NutrExercMetab. 2011 Feb;21(1):55-64.

23West, NP, et al. Lactobacillus fermentum (PCC®) supplementation and gastrointestinal and respiratory tract illness symptoms: a randomised control trial in athletes Int J Nutr Exerc Metab 2007;7;352-363.