Any intense squash match (or workout session) puts immense strain on your body, from your muscles and heart rate to your blood pressure and immune system; and so the actions you take after a match can significantly affect how well your body recovers from these strains.
A strong post-match recovery strategy is essential then, but what should you be doing?
Muscle Warm Down
We have always been told of the importance of a good warm up before an intense workout, but about a warm down immediately afterwards? Squash matches tend to just stop when the game is over, rather than ease off in intensity before the finish, leaving your muscle in a vulnerable state of shock. Doing some warm down stretches similar to that of a warm up will slowly cool your muscles down and greatly minimise any post exercise muscle aches, as well reducing the risk of muscle injury.
The 30-60 minute window immediately after any intense workout our squash match is a crucial period for fuelling your body smartly to aid in its growth and recovery. If you can aim to eat approx 20g of high quality protein (e.g. lean meat, chicken breast, eggs, nuts) in that hour this will greatly help towards repair of the muscles, and even muscle growth depending on the nature of the match or exercise just undertaken.
The recovery process can continue for over 24 hours following intense exercise, so keep this in mind when choosing what to eat throughout that period. Focus is on protein for muscle repairs and vitamins/minerals to aid your immune system in dealing with the damage. We would also recommend something like the BULK POWDERS 1Kg Vanilla Pure Whey Protein to give your protein intake a great boost, and this particular one is a favourite of ours for it’s great taste.
Of course, a healthy eating plan all the time is your best option, however the time periods immediately following intense exercise are the most crucial.
Depending on the individual and the match, your body can lose up to 2 litres of water during a squash match, leaving the body desperately crying out for re-hydration. If you have followed our match preparation guide you should be well hydrated before the match, which will help you post-match. However, experts recommend aiming to drink approx 125-150% of the estimated fluid lost during exercise during the four to six hours post exercise, so you are looking at around 2.5 litres of fluid during the six hours after your squash match to fully rehydrate.
Drinking sports drinks containing electrolytes or adding sodium supplement to water will further enhance your body’s recovery here if you have some available.