Everyone is built different. Different personalities, different body types, different physical abilities—just plain and simple different. Or better yet, everyone is unique. We should know that we all recover differently as well.
There is no magic formula as to how much protein one should have after a workout, nor a precise amount of time one should sleep, however, what one can do is figure out how to improve their recovery. What I like to call “Smart Recovery.” You may run your one rat experiments (i.e. on yourself) in order to determine what works best for you. The important thing to understand is that what works well for someone else may not necessarily work well for you.
Smart Recovery is more than just recovering from a workout, it is recovering from the constant staring at screens, recovering from an emotional roller coaster, recovering from an injury, or even recovering from a vacation. We have to be smart about our recovery. Recovery has to be built into our daily lives, and by being smart about your recovery, you can fine-tune it to see how much protein or sleep is ideal for you. It is also important to note that our brains need to recover, especially since we live in an age of technology and information overload. Our senses are always being stimulated and therefore we need the additional recovery time. Shutting off the screens and spending some quality human time is crucial.
Our approach to recovery at Qiyas is to look at you as an individual, who is unique, and has a unique lifestyle, unique stresses, unique environment, a unique ancestry, and unique health goals. We take all of the above into consideration before even considering giving you any health (in this case recovery) advice. First we get to know you. This could be through an initial consult with a Qiyas advisor, or through our Gene Testing, the former being optimal because it will leave no doubt on how we can help you. However, there is some general advice we can give that almost everyone will benefit from. Each and every point on the Smart Recovery list deserves its own research article, however, we’ve done the research for you and have simplified the list.
Smart Recovery list—top ten
- 7–8 hours of sleep every night
- Shut off all screens at 8 p.m. (phones, laptops, TV, everything)
- Stay hydrated (varies based on season)
- 1.0–1.5 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight
- Lots of vegetables in your diet (we all need the antioxidants)
- Strength training 3 or 4 times a week, no more—do not overtrain
- Active recovery: lots of walking and/or Mobility Drills on days off
- Internal exercises or meditation: Chi Kung is excellent; helps relax the mind and body
- 24-hour fast once a week; this helps recovery at the cellular level
- Nature walk or forest bath once a week; research suggests 5 hours a month
The above is a general list of the Smart Recovery recommendations, however, if you want to personalize and really dial in on your recovery, then the best bet is to take a deeper look into your DNA. Take, for example, the SOD2 (superoxide dismutase 2) genetic marker that is part of the Qiyas genetic panel. In very simple language, the SOD2 gene is responsible for clearing toxic-free radicals from the body. Some people have the marker that does this efficiently, others have poor detoxification. By understanding the detoxification abilities of your body, you can help yourself with healthy aging and quicker recovery from workouts and daily tasks. You can also learn what type of exercise is best suited for you, and how much antioxidants you need to eat or supplement with. It is an important genetic marker, but the story doesn’t stop there. The SOD2 genetic marker is also taken into consideration with other genes at play. One must take a look at the bigger picture before delving into individual genes. At Qiyas, we do all the hard work for you and then give you simple recommendations. Easy-to-follow recommendations that will help you improve your health.
There is a famous saying, “More is not better, it is just more.” Be smart with your recovery and find the ideal balance between work, play, and rest for yourself.