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  • Writer's pictureJason St Clair Newman

Get These 3 Basics Right to get the Best out of Your Body

Sleep

Sleep is so crucial to your recovery and energy levels that it's one of the essential things to get right.

  • Switching off screens an hour before going to bed, quietens your brain and also decreases the stimulation that screens often produce before bed is a no-brainer to get right.

  • Drinking fluids before 5-6 pm depending on when you go to bed and not after helps to stop you from getting up in the night to go to the toilet and disrupting your sleep.

  • A light stretch often helps relax the body as well.

  • Laying in bed and using a very simple breathing protocol such as a 5-second breath in, 5-second breath hold, and a 5-sec breath out five times through will help you relax, it's something I have told many people to try who have difficulty relaxing in bed.

  • Getting to bed at a good time - the theory is the more sleep you have on the right side of 12am the better you feel the next day.

  • Journalling - something as simple as writing down your day, what you are grateful for and what you need to remember the next day can help relax the brain as your subconscious will be able to let go knowing you have it written down for reference. bringing your attention to positive things such as those you are grateful for redirects towards happier thoughts Vs negative thoughts and often a better sleep.

  • Be aware of stimulants especially the likes of caffeine, some people are okay with it but try what works for you and how late in the day you can have your last coffee.

  • Alcohol is a fake sleep helper, research shows it disrupts you from moving into your deepest sleep.



Nutrition

The best quote I have heard recently is from Nic Gill, the Head of S&C for the All Blacks.

"You can't out-train shit nutrition" - Nic Gill

You can train as hard as you like but not eating well will restrict your recovery and performance. I am not a nutritionist or dietician so rarely recommend anything outside of

  • Get in some protein every meal - Foods that have eyes

  • Get in lots of vegetables - the more variety the better

  • Eat lots of fruit - again the more variety the better

  • Eat more sugar-based foods (carbohydrate-rich) like pasta, rice bread and starchy vegetables like potatoes, parsnips and carrots for example around pre and post-training meals where possible.

  • Supplements - outside of a quality protein shake and creatine, I don't see a need for anything else if you have a varied diet. However, some people may need additional supplementation around their specific needs. This needs testing and a professional assessment from a qualified expert.

- note: the word supplement means literally to supplement NOT REPLACE if you don't have your eating dialled I believe you have no place adding in supplements, get the basics right before you add the sprinkles on top.


Different people have different needs and want around their nutrition - some want to put on muscle, some get a little leaner, some need more because of higher energy outputs etc.

This is a personal one and why people really serious about their training should talk to a professional who can help them in their journey.





Water

The benefits of adequate hydration are beyond argument, stay on top of this, I tend to use a few indicators to do this Vs some arbitrary number of litres to get in per day.

  • Is your pee running clear - some foods may adjust this so be aware of what you are taking in that may change your colour.

  • Are you thirsty - the brain is telling you it needs water.

  • Weighing yourself Pre-training/Pre-game and then re-weighing post-training/game and replacing the difference in ml's of water is a basic way of staying on top of water loss from training.




Covering these basics sets you on the way to optimal recovery and performance,

- get them wrong and you are selling yourself short.


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