Judith Haudum

Precovery time!

Precovery has been used in clinical settings for a long time, for example in connection with surgery or chemotherapy. Many recovery protocols are limited to immediate recovery time. In contrast, Precovery is a proactive approach. This is moving away from the idea that recovery is only affected by what happens after an intervention. Precovery means that you support the body even before the intervention (in this case by supplying nutrients) and preparing it so that the result after the intervention (sport) is improved. The body also becomes less vulnerable. Precovery in sport prepares the body for the stress of training and thus creates - already with sport - the basis for a successful recovery.

Many injuries are due to poor diet
Unbalanced diet increases the burden on our body. You may be able to cope with this one day, but if there is a recurring imbalance, the body will become more susceptible to injury at some point.

The concept of Precovery may seem strange at first, but there are numerous examples that show how important Precovery is. It happens that athletes injure themselves, sometimes to the bone, sometimes to the muscle. Athletes often push their bodies to the limit. When they are injured, the focus is on the injury: pulled muscle, bone fracture, ligament strain, tension. Many do not know that poor recovery increases the risk of injury. Physical training causes muscle injuries, inflammation and so-called oxidative stress. With the right diet, we can reduce these stressors; poor nutrition, on the other hand, makes our body more susceptible to injuries. In many cases, injuries are just the result of something that has built up over a long period of time, something that has developed as a result of poor nutrition. Although it is a widespread opinion that training must really hurt, there is no scientific evidence to back it up. On the contrary, if the stress or pain becomes too great over a longer period of time, our body weakens, i.e. an injury occurs. This explains that many injuries occur due to an inadequate supply of nutrients.

We know from numerous studies that good recovery is beneficial for the next workout and also reduces oxidative stress (shorter catabolic phase, better glycogen replenishment). We know from numerous studies that a good energy supply during training increases its quality (e.g. through reduced fatigue).

But it is important to pay acute attention to nutrition outside of training and during the day. Why Athletes have a high nutritional requirement, some of these nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties, others are antioxidants. And you also need the daily amount of macronutrients for recovery and other metabolic processes. Our body needs a lot of nutrients every day: minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, protein. Many of these nutrients are essential, i.e. our body does not produce them itself. We must get them through food. If an athlete is unable to absorb this necessary daily amount, the body will stumble and become more susceptible to injury at some point.

It's about more than the crowd. Why quality is important

You often hear athletes say: “I train so much, it doesn't matter whether it's healthy.” Although many believe this, it is unfortunately incorrect. Processed foods, take-away meals, convenience foods — they all promote inflammation. In addition, they do not have a good nutritional content (simple sugar) and are very energy dense (high in fat) and high in salt. It's not Precovery. In the long run, eating these foods can weaken our immune system, promote inflammation, and impair performance.

Precovery requires a look at the quality of meals. Vegetables, grains, unsaturated fatty acids, fatty fish, lean protein, vegetable protein, legumes, phytochemicals, homemade dishes, high-fiber foods. That is what precovery means.

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