Category Archives: Nutrition

10 top tips for recovery after training

Training hard is great, and necessary to improve your paddling to a good level but its not the only thing you need to get dialled in. You need to be able to recover from the sessions you do, then you’ll come back stronger and fitter and able to train even more. We’ve compiled a top tips list of the key things to consider

Sleep

Getting enough sleep is critical to recovering. The optimal amount seems to vary between individuals, but 8 hours isĀ  the standard recommendation (wherever that came from!). Maybe more important is the quality of your sleep, having a dark room helps as does sticking to a regular sleeping schedule, relaxing before going to bed and avoiding looking at screens close to bed time. Whilst you’re asleep you get growth hormone and testosterone releases, vital for strength and fitness gains, and nervous system (CNS) recovery which is vital for technical improvements. Taking magnesium before bed can help to calm you down and relax your muscles, I personally like taking a zinc and magnesium combination (ZMA) which helps a lot with sleep quality.

Massage, foam rolling and stretching

They are all a bit different but do similar jobs, trying to improve tissue quality and keep aches and pains at bay. Massage and foam rolling are types of soft tissue work, of which there are many more, that aim to reduce excessive tightness in your muscles and break down adhesions and trigger points. Getting a massage is expensive but can make you feel much better, but most of the time I just stick to foam rolling to get some of the similar benefits. Rolling is a great addition to your gym warm-ups and makes most people feel much better, even if the science of exactly how hasn’t really been worked out yet.

Static stretching can reduce muscle power output if done before training so I tend to stretch in the evening, when you can take advantage of the fact it is relaxing since it activities the parasympathetic nervous system. Continue reading

Gentoo’s simple nutrition tips and tricks

Diet. It’s all rather confusing isn’t it? There’s so much conflicting advice out there. High carb or low carb? Red meat or no red meat? Gluten or gluten free? To a large extent it depends on your personal goals, whether you’re an avid athlete training for greatness or someone who just want to keep healthy. Here at Gentoo we’ve been lucky enough to train at a reasonably elite level so have picked up a few tricks and tips along the way. The most important thing is to not get too bogged down in the details, however there are some key tips you can follow to maintain a healthy diet (and improve performance!) no matter what your goals are.

Calories are king:
If your goal is to lose weight and you’re eating 5000 calories a day it just wont happen, even if it’s all salads, nuts and fruit. Conversely if you’re aiming to bulk up a bit your body needs enough calories to maintain all its daily functions and a decent surplus to convert into muscle. There are some great calorie counting apps out there such as myfitnesspal. You don’t need to religiously monitor your intake but we found doing 3 days properly really made us think about what we were putting into our body and found some quite surprising results! You can then see what areas you can work on and whether your calories come from a good range of sources.

Fat is great:
Okay, of course fat can make you fat but its name is a bit of a misnomer and quite frankly, just a bit unfair. Fat is fantastic. There has been tons of research on it recently, focusing on its numerous benefits. It can reduce cholesterol, help prevent heart disease and even help brain function. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins, meaning they are better absorbed and utilized in the presence of fat, so you get the most out of all those veggies you are eating! Fat also plays a vital role in hormone production, keeping you healthy and performing at your best.

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