MAXIMAL RECOVERY: THE DAY AFTER MATCH DAY
Firstly let us state that this is the type of schedule that Senior rugby players will follow , it may not be practical for youth players unless they can get their parents on side early and ensure that they understand why they are being asked to fund and manage this type of recovery. It will not work for those that are playing multiple sports , over the weekend and that is why most multi sports players tend to lose muscle and weight throughout the season.
First lets deal with the first 60 minutes after a game – there are any number of options however we must look at the practical options in say Australian youth rugby situations and adapt them to the senior ranks, if need be.
The first 60 minutes after a game:
In an ideal world we would consider one of these as a priority after a game – and yet most youth players never do it
a. Ice Bath for at least 10 minutes x 2 or 3
b. Cold shower to aid recovery and to flush lactic form the system with self massage of the legs and especially the calves.If this can not be dome immediately then at least get it done when you get home.
Replacing Lost fluids- Rehydrate
At the same time we need to be : Getting replacement fluids into the system and remember the target is to ensure that the next time we urinate that the fluid is clear , if this is not the case then drink more. You can use water, replacement drink, gatorade etc
Replacing Energy lost and ensure muscle growth
Secondly get some food into the system, preferably something with reasonably high levels of protein, with carbohydrates – White bread sandwich, protein bars, protein drinks,
Maintaining the flow –
Keep the fluid up ( drink more) and get the food into you
Rest aids Recovery
As detailed in previous statements rest aids recovery – chilling for the rest of the day, watching TV etc. Even studying if need be will relax you , however be aware of the traps of sitting for too long – that does not flush th=e system it prolongs the lactic etc from flushing by virtue that the legs are lower than the heart and that often the chair will form a restriction on the back of the knees.
Do Skins assist recovery – answer to that is yes – they keep compression on the lower legs and legs and assist in flushing the system –
Injuries and Recovery
As stated at the top of the page, Ice baths, cold showers and ICE will assist you to recover form niggly little injuries , those small contusions (bumps) that occurs during a game all build up and small tears in muscles , all need to be looked after , and ice baths etc are the best treatment failing that grab some ice – get an ice bag and when you are in the car, sitting at home get the ice onto the small injuries before they effect your life style and training regime.
The Day After a Game of Rugby
The day after match day is vitally important to set you up for the following weeks training and match. These assume that you have tried to follow the procedure aft the game. ( Having a beer or two or three is not helping recovery,
Players on the day after a game or the next day may well feel tired and might not actually end up eating or drinking fluids as much as you should. Or they do have a few beers and feel like hell the day after.
This will result in you starting the week under recovered with your fuel tanks not properly ‘topped up’.
Some of these suggestions in addition to your individual needs will help.
- Eat the foods you enjoy on the day following a game of rugby.
This is the day to have a full English breakfast or sugary bowl full of breakfast cereal – or both
- Eat foods which make you come back for more
These are the types of food which keep your mouth watering; sweet n sour chicken, curry’s or pizza might be good examples.
- Keep your recovery goals in mind
Add additional protein to your pizza, make sensible food choices when ordering take-away e.g. plenty of protein and veggies dishes mixed in with your favourites.
In other words mix plenty of good stuff in with the bad.
Remember that three of the crucial indicators the day after a game are
- Colour of your urine – needs to be clear and not yellow
- What is your weight – if you are trying to lose weight then fine, if not your aim is to get it back to the same weight as it was the day before the game.
- Heart rate or Pulse – for those that do not know how to take your own pulse – Google it – What you need to know is what is your resting pulse first thing in the morning – measure to frequently and keep a rough record, if it shows that your rate on any given day following a hard training session, hard games or multiple games then consider resting to reducing the training for the next day. or that day
Now lets deal with eating and Fluids
You need to Adapt this according to your tastes and what your parents provide, the ideas below are simply samples of what you need.
An example day might be:
Power Porridge: Oats, maple, lecithin, raisins and added crunchy nut cornflakes
2 Rounds of lean bacon and ketchup sandwiches
Full roast with all the trimmings; choose from any of the Sunday roast options
Takeaway food, your choices but keep more good foods in than bad
Low fat pudding or smoothie (PROTEIN SHAKES)
Ice and Rehabilitation
This is simple- Monitor your body – check all of the usual places for bruising, pain to touch etc and ICE up – follow the RICER and Icing protocols as laid down earlier in the website.