As competitive athletes, we know that reducing recovery time can lead to massive gains over the course of a season. In fact, we believe that these seemingly small upgrades in recovery each day, like an athletic sort of compound interest, can give you the edge you need to break through your barriers. At this level, everything matters and belief becomes reality. Here are a few of the best tricks I've picked up over the course of my collegiate and US swim career:
Beets! - These things are packed full of nitrate, to be converted into nitric oxide (NO) and greatly increase blood flow to the muscles, allowing your mitochondria to produce energy at lower oxygen expense. Lightly cooked beets are great but you could throw some in a recovery smoothie or grab a beetroot shot too (especially pre-workout).
Watermelone! - Recent studies have reported that the juice of this summer staple can help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness. If you're too fancy for the normal chopping, there are now plenty of creative ways to add this into your daily intake, from pressed juices to bars. We stick with the classic (see picture above).
Tart Cherry Juice - Are tart cherries the next big super food? We're not big on fads or hype but studies and personal/teammate use suggest that tart cherry juice does assist in recovery. Juice is better than whole cherries for it's additional anti-inflammatory nutrients (and it's easier to drink before a sleep after a long day of training).
Had different experiences or know of the next great nutritional hack for us to test out using BODbx? Send us a message or comment below.
Chuck, the robot, and the BODbx team
1. Webb AJ, Patel N, Loukogeorgakis S, et al. Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite.Hypertension. 2008;51(3):784-790.
2. Vanhatalo A, Bailey SJ, Blackwell JR, et al. Acute and chronic effects of dietary nitrate supplementation on blood pressure and the physiological responses to moderate-intensity and incremental exercise. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010;299(4):R1121-R1131.
3. Lansley, KE, Winyard, Paul G., Bailey, Stephen J., Vanhatalo, Annie, Wilkerson, Daryl P., Blackwell, Jamie R., Gilchrist M., Benjamin, Nigel, and Jones, Andrew M. Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves cycling time trial performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011; 43(6): 1125-1131.
4. Murphy, M., Eliot, K., Heuertz, R., Weiss, E. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Apr;112(4):548-552.
5. Martha P. Tarazona-Díaz, Fernando Alacid, María Carrasco, Ignacio Martínez, Encarna Aguayo. Watermelon Juice: Potential Functional Drink for Sore Muscle Relief in Athletes. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013; 61 (31): 7522 DOI: 10.1021/jf400964r
6. McCormick, Rachel et al. “Effect of Tart Cherry Juice on Recovery and next Day Performance in Well-Trained Water Polo Players.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 13 (2016): 41. PMC. Web. 6 July 2017.