Simple 3-Step Post Game Recovery

A simple 3-step reccovery?

The answer is “Yes”.

  • Yes, there are things you can do immediately after a game that will help you recover faster.
  • Yes, anyone can do them.
  • Yes, you can do them at the rink or at home.
  • No, you don’t need a bike to do a ‘flush ride’.

So, now that we have that figured out, let’s go through my simple 3-step post game recovery system… AND “Yes” you will even do this between games at a tournament.

Step #1 – Rehydrate

This is your priority because so many recovery processes require fluid as part of the equation that failing to re-hydrate will impair your recovery.

Here is the BEST way to rehydrate

  • Weigh yourself in you skivvies before you go on the ice.
  • Weigh yourself in your skivvies (no sweat soaked shirt allowed) when you come off the ice.
  • For every 1lb of weight you have lost, you will drink 500-750ml (2-3 cups) of fluid (yes, sorry, that weight is just water, not fat).
  • I know that sounds like a lot!

Because your sweat is not just water, you should be consuming something that contains electrolytes – if you were actually playing in the game, then you should also be putting carbohydrate (sugar) into your system, so this is when a sport drink can come in handy.

Let’s say you lost 2lbs during the game, so you are looking to replace 1-1.5L of fluid, I would split it half sport drink and half water.

The OTHER way…

Consume half water, half sport drink until your pee has returned to a pale lemonade colour – that is the colour it should be when you are fully hydrated.

Step #2 – ReFuel

As you sip your sport drink and water or coconut water or whatever, you will also have a quick source of fuel nearby. Your goal is 40g of carbohydrate and 20g of protein as soon as you can after your game.

Your goal is within the first 30-minutes.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to pull out your crock pot and chef’s hat. You can eat a bagel and peanut butter or a banana with peanut butter or some of your left over pasta and chicken. Don’t forget if you are drinking a sport drink with carbs, those count toward your 40g of carbohydrate.

You could also use a protein/carb shake; that is a super convenient way to make sure you get your fuel in ASAP.

I have been using the EXOS line since September and the reason I switched to them is because they let me select exactly the products my athletes need PLUS their products are NSF certified for sport.

For me NSF certified for sport means the elite athletes I train will not test positive for banned substances since each batch of the certified products are tested for any substance that is not on the label and should not be in there.

For you (if you do not have doping control turning up on your doorstep a few times a year asking to watch you pee in a cup), it means that you are getting exactly what you think you are getting. The supplement business is difficult to regulate unless companies actively seek out their own regulation – it is expensive to become NSF certified for sport.

So there can be times when you buy what you think is a simple post workout shake and think “wow! I have so much energy when I drink this shake – it is awesome”…and the shake is loaded with stimulants that you do not want.

Step #3 – Regenerate

Once you have fueled up and as you continue to rehydrate, you will take a few minutes for regeneration. You will do some form of myofascial release using a foam roll, ball or something like ‘The Stick’

Go over each muscle slowly, find any tender spots, sit on them for a while, massage it out (unless it is tender because you actually tore your muscle, then you will need to do something different).

Then go through your stretching circuit, you can use the same one you did before you went on the ice – I have posted samples before.

Make sure you get your:

  • Thoracic spine rotation
  • Hip flexors
  • Adductors (groins)
  • Abductors (outside of hip – like pigeon stretch)
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Lats

Spend about 30s on each side, so the entire myofascial release and stretch will take about 15-minutes and you will certainly notice the difference when you go to get out of bed the next morning (or step on the ice for your next game).

Happy Training!