As a trainer, I find the most important way for me to impact the athletes who come through our program is to make sure they not only put in great work, but understand WHY they are doing the exercises we give them. This leads to more self-sufficient athletes who are more in tune with their body and decrease the risk for injury or reinjury. As some of you may know, I tore my ACL in Jiu-Jitsu class and then broke my foot in my 2nd MMA fight. I have had much time to devote to recovery since my athletic career will be sidelined for 6 months. We all know of the basic R.I.C.E. treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation) but oftentimes after that, adding to it can feel a bit cloudy reading through all the information out there on the internet. I’ve done a lot of reading the last couple weeks and these 3 underutilized recovery items I am using will make huge differences in my recovery process.
1. Turmeric. A natural spice that comes from the turmeric plant, turmeric gets the nod as the most underutilized recovery item. An anti inflammatory and potent antioxidant, turmeric helps with inflammation that I am continuing to fight in my foot and knee. Unlike Advil which thins the blood to reduce swelling, it helps with inflammation at a cellular level. After the trauma caused by surgery, ice is great for reducing the swelling but try adding Turmeric to get the advantage in the recovery process.
2. Collagen protein. Unlike Whey, the building block for muscles, Collagen is the fundamental protein responsible for ligament and tendon tissue. I had a hamstring graft, so looking to rebuild the ACL, it will be imperative to get enough Collagen protein. It not only repairs the tissues but acts as a lubricant before exercise in the joints. Think of collagen like WD when taken with Vitamin C 30-60 mins before a workout. Learned this trick from Tim Ferris’s book Tools of Titans.
3. Breathing. Call me crazy, but I believe the brain is the best recovery tool your body has to offer. Simply put, controlling your breath can help improve your immune system, boost concentration, improve mental well-being, increase willpower and increase energy. Look up this guy by the name of Wim Hof. Some of the things he has done are remarkable and science cannot explain it. All through the power of his breath.
Each one of these tools can serve a unique purpose in the recovery process. In no way are these supposed to replace R.I.C.E. treatment, however they are suggested methods to give you the advantage over your competition! Each one of these is worth a try. Whether you are coming off a surgery or just looking to recover quicker between workouts, Level Up your recovery with these 3 tools!