A program that improves capacity and performance needs to include fatigue inducing overload to facilitate change. However, the body has a way of preventing you from pushing too hard by making you feel tired, sore muscles and decreased performance. As a results, a recovery period needs to be adequate to allow for physiological changes to occur and bring on positive change. Most research is very performance focused and has focused on what your training should include. However, the most sought-after adaptations occur in the recovery phase, so it must be adequate in both time and quality.

Recovery is the process of restoring balance to the body that has been disturbed by internal and/or external factors (physiological and psychological). There are many different tools and techniques that have been developed over the years, but the most important recovery is sleep and relaxation (figure 1). Aiming for 8 hours of sleep a night, will give your body the chance to recover from the day before. It’s important to also consider the quality of your sleep. Using relaxation strategies prior to bed-time can improve the quality of your sleep. These may include: reducing screen time and bright light, warm shower, reading, meditation and journaling.

The next most important aspect of recovery is hydration and nutrition (figure 1). Ensuring you are eating a balanced diet with macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein) and micronutrients in each meal will give your muscles all the building blocks they need to repair and be ready for their next challenge. Staying hydrated is important for recovery as it helps flush toxins, transports nutrients and regulates body temperature helping with muscle soreness and tension. If you want to know more about how much water you should be drinking, we wrote a blog about it and you can check it out here.

In a busy world, sometimes it can be difficult to get the right amount of sleep, relaxation and nutrients. As a result, a number of techniques and tools have been developed to help you recover a bit quicker. Some of these techniques include foam rolling, cold water immersion, compression garments and stretching. If you’d like to know more about each of these techniques and which ones are best, check out our blog on the best recovery methods here.

Whilst it may seem overwhelming if you need to make improvements to every aspect of recovery, it can be a work in progress. Start with one aspect, make small and consistent changes and eventually your recovery game will be much improved, and your body will love you for it.


  1. Hausswirth, C., & Mujika, I. (2013). Recovery for performance in sport. Human Kinetics.
  2. Kellmann, M., Bertollo, M., Bosquet, L., Brink, M., Coutts, A. J., Duffield, R., ... & Beckmann, J. (2018). Recovery and performance in sport: consensus statement. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 13(2), 240-245.
  3. Hausswirth, C., & Mujika, I. (2013). Recovery for performance in sport. Human Kinetics.



May 23, 2022 — Jayde Williams