Sleep: The Most Important Tool for Recovery
If you have ever had a really hard training session, I mean the kind that you leave with a pain that grasps your whole body, you probably have considered different options for recovery. In the age of science, we are provided with data supporting a bountiful list of recovery choices.
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Some grapplers gravitate towards recovery using nutrition. This could entail eating lots of carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores, which are depleted after a few tough training sessions. Other drink protein powder, which is useful for maintaining and building muscle mass.
Others gravitation towards supplementation. There are numerous agents on the market now that advertise improve workout recovery. They can range from multivitamins to the weird anabolics some important from China.
Some grapplers look for other ways to recover. Meditation is a great tool for mental recovery after a tough training sessions. Reading a book or even watching TV can help aid in recovery.
The issue with many of these practices is that they only focus on either physical or mental recovery, but not both.
There is one tool, which you probably have guess from the title, that aids substantially in mental and physical recovery. Sleep. One of the few things that all humans share in common.
For example, during sleep, growth hormone is release in a pulsatile manner. Growth hormone is a natural, endogenous substance that is necessary for physical, especially muscular, recovery. You can imagine then, that if you have poor sleep quality, you are not producing as much growth hormone and hence not recovering as much as you should be.
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Furthermore, sleep is necessary for cognitive and mental recovery. Low sweep quality and sleep deprivation have been scientifically know to produce similar effects as alcohol intoxication. Sleep deprivation can also alter focus, mental edge, and resilience, all attributes that are vital in Jiu Jitsu.
This article isn’t written to criticize other methods of recovery, but to inspire you to ensure that you are using sleep as an adequate tool. Sleeping 3-4 hours isn’t effective for most people, actually more than 99% of people.
If you think you are the kind of person than can function on few hours of sleep, statistically you are wrong. You need to ensure that you are getting 7-9 hours of restful sleep so that you can be the best grappler that you can, especially leading up to a competition.
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