When it’s back-to-competition season (after the summer) and when there are big majors on the horizon, it’s time to focus on ways that you can improve your dancing. This is a key time for Irish dance teachers and coaches to remind their dancers to train smart and practice adequate recovery to minimise the risk of injury. Thats the goal after all – to get stronger and better as the Irish dance season develops.
What can happen if you don’t pay attention to your recovery nutrition overtime? Inadequate recovery nutrition in between multiple dance training sessions, strength and conditioning sessions, and with the potential addition of a feis on the weekend can result in:
• Increased fatigue (during training and at work or school)
• Reduced performance at your next training session
• Suboptimal gains from the dance or s&c session
• Increased muscle soreness
• Underperformance at the FEIS!
A good rule of thumb is to follow the 4 Rs to boost your Irish dance recovery after every dance training session:
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE:
1. REHYDRATE With FLUIDS
Why: Sweat consists of water and chief electrolytes including sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride. During intense training these electrolytes are lost along with significant fluid losses, and need to be replaced. More sweat equals more fluids needed.
Recovery Recipe: Water with 1/7 tsp of salt (a pinch) / DIY Sports Drink
2. REPAIR With PROTEIN
Why: Protein after training is important to help muscle repair, growth and training adaptations.
Recovery Recipe: Raspberry Strawberry Smoothie
3. REFUEL With CARBS
Why: During high-intensity performance you use and deplete your muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrate). After training, carbohydrates help replenish muscle glycogen, and spike insulin levels to transport vital nutrients into muscle cells.
Recovery Recipe: Blueberry Banana Bread
4. RESTORE Immunity with FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Why: Hard training temporarily decreases the immune system thus increasing susceptibility to illness. Restore the body with vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies in the 24 hours after a training session to keep the immune system strong and promote overall health.
Recovery Recipe: Feis Flu Fighter
ADDITIONAL TIP: Adequate rest is also crucial to keep the body strong and robust and to get the adaptations from training. Rest includes good sleep, downtime and planned rest days from activity to avoid burnout and underperformance in the long term.