I played in a volleyball tournament this past weekend and for the first time in a while, I was extremely sore afterwards. I usually experience some soreness but this was more than usual. I knew it was about time to get to my volleyball recovery routine.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed how differently my body responds after a volleyball tournament (especially if it’s in shallow or hard-packed sand), or when I begin a new phase of my strength training workouts. Last week I also a new phase of my strength training program so my end-of-week fatigue was compounded by my post-tournament soreness. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help my body repair and restore itself faster, and wanted to share my volleyball recovery strategy with all of you because I pulled them all out this weekend!
Immediately after my tournament, I came home and before I even showered I drank one of my favourite post-workout meals, peanut butter and “jelly” green smoothie (recipe here). I believe post-workout nutrition should include a high-quality meal with micronutrients, at least 20g of protein, at least 30g of carbs and at least one adaptogenic ingredient to help my body respond to stress. For protein, I chose a scoop of EQUIP Prime Protein (strawberry-flavoured), added frozen strawberries for a source of carbs, and ashwagandha root powder as my adaptogen. I also added a scoop of unflavored BCAA’s to replenish my body with the essential amino acids it needed to repair my sore muscles.
After drinking my protein shake, I took a long, hot shower then applied some natural topical pain relieving cream to my sore back. (Side note, this stuff is the best for sore muscles!)
I was asked to play again the morning after my tournament and even though I really wanted to, my body was telling me not to. Scratch that. My body was screaming at me not to. So, I listened to my body and I declined.
After my shower, I ate a late lunch which consisted of a bowl of homemade dairy-free Zucchini Soup (here’s the recipe) and a Primal Kitchen Chicken Pesto bowl. Then stretched for about 10 minutes before plopping on the couch to watch a movie with Jason.
I had plans that night to hang out with some gal pals so I knew I was probably not going to bed early. I did, however, turn off my morning alarm and let myself sleep for as long as my body needed – which turned out to be close to 10 hours! While out with friends, I limited my alcohol intake to one Crook & Marker Margarita and drank water the rest of the night.
The next day, I drank my morning hydration cocktail (recipe here), took a 3-minute cold shower, drank my coffee with a scoop of my favourite mushroom extract blend, made myself a bone broth breakfast bowl, took my daily supplements and then went for a long walk outside. I did a few chores and ran a few errands but mostly kept the day low key before going to bed early. I knew that if I hadn’t properly recovered on Sunday then it would mean that I’d be riding the struggle bus during my 6 am practice on Monday morning.
As an athlete who wants to continue to play competitively for at least 10 more years, I take recovery very seriously and encourage other adult athletes to do the same. Well, that’s it, folks, this is my volleyball recovery tournament. If you want to learn about my recovery tactics and why I choose them, check out these blog posts:
7 tips for adult athletes to enhance recovery
10 backed by science foods to enhance recovery
7 anti-inflammatory foods for optimum wellness