How to Recover For Football
We all know that football is a brutal sport. We take hits, we give hits, and understandably, we get injured. Now, we all hate missing practice, and especially games, so in this article, I am going to teach you how to recover properly for football so you have a healthy season. If you want to get better at football, I strongly recommend reading this article, because even if you’re not hurt, you’ll still play at a higher level from following these tips.
Football Recovery Tip #1
The first tip to successfully recovering for football is to get a good night’s sleep after your game or practice. Get a solid 8+ hours because during the night, growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland in the brain. Growth hormone stimulates muscle growth and repair and helps athletes football players, and all athletes recover from a rough game.
Enough sleep also helps football players recover mentally as well. Let’s say you just played a team and got destroyed badly. Everyone’s obviously going to be upset, and that’s not a good place to be mentally if you want to succeed. Sleeping is kind of like a reset button, that will help you prep for your next day.
Football Recovery Tip #2
The second tip to make a successful recovery for football is to take ice baths or cold showers. Ice baths are preferable, but let’s take a look at why. A study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study if hydrotherapy was effective in relieving muscle soreness. They found that it positively improved the management of pain.
“Based on available literature, this review suggests that hydrotherapy was widely used to improve immunity and for the management of pain”NCBI
We all hate being sore, so anything to relieve that is helpful. It also helps your performance on the field. Would you rather play with little pain or pain? Obviously, little pain is better. The truth is, if you want to go ahead and play while you’re not fully recovered, you’re going to have a hard time making any plays.
Football Recovery Tip #3
The third recovery tip is to use machines to help you recover. What I mean by this is to use things like massage guns and body compression machines. These are great for different reasons, so we’ll go over what each one does and how it helps.
The massage gun can help you be less sore, less tight, and get rid of lactic acid fast. If you don’t know what a massage gun is, it’s like a little gun that makes a point go back and forth super fast. Almost like a drill hammer. It looks like the image below.
I strongly recommend getting a massage gun, if you don’t have one already. When you’re sore in places, these things work magic getting you loose and feeling good.
I recommend checking out this one from amazon.
Leg compressors do just about everything to get yourself back on track for a healthy body. I attended a football camp last summer for a couple of days, and let me tell you- I would’ve had a lot worse of a time if they didn’t have leg compressors there for after sessions.
My legs were so sore, I’d have trouble walking after sessions. BUT- after using something called a rapid reboot (a new and upcoming leg compressor) I was 100% better. I could walk again without pain! I was locked in and ready to go for the next practice session.
Leg compressors are pretty expensive, so I recommend checking if your team has one first. If not, you can purchase this one off of Amazon for around $200. That doesn’t sound cheap but trust me- compared to some of the others it is. It’s also quality too, I’ve personally used it.
The way the leg compressor works is- it increases blood flow in your legs and takes out lactic acid. Lactic acid is the stuff that makes you sore.
All in all, the leg compressor is a great machine and if you’re serious about football, I’d definitely recommend trying one out.
Football Recovery Tip #4
The fourth tip on how to recover for football is to eat after your game. It doesn’t have to be anything huge- just enough carbs and protein to help you recover. BCAA’s (amino acids which you can get in a shake) wouldn’t hurt either.
A general rule to follow is to consume 0.5-1 g of protein per kilogram of body weight and 1.2 g of carbs per kilogram of body weight. To determine your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. For example, 190 / 2.2 = 86.4 kg x 0.3 = 25 g of protein. Repeat and multiply by 1.2 for carbs (103 g). Note: This is for a player who played the entire game.
Eat a big meal about 30-1 hour after the game if possible. If not, a snack would be best. Protein bars, protein shakes, mass gainer shakes, and BCAA’s are all great to have after football games. Keep a blender bottle and powder in your locker, or with your bag on a road game.
Football Recovery Tip #5
Drink. Drink. Drink. Repeat. You should always be hydrating, aim to drink upwards of a gallon of water a day. In fact, I’m lacking so I’m going to go drink from my gallon right now. Go drink a glass of water.
The last tip in how to recover for football is to drink lots of water. Before the game, you need to have drank about half a gallon of water during the day, and at least 40 ounces about a half-hour before the game starts. During the game, drink as much as you need.
It’s very important that individuals replace the fluids lost during a game by drinking plenty of water in the hours immediately following a game. In addition, essential electrolytes are also depleted and must be replaced to help retain fluids in the body. Various sports drinks include electrolytes in their formula and are a convenient way to replenish these nutrients. Gatorade, Body Armour, and Powerade are all great.
All in all- get good sleep, take ice baths, use machines, eat after games, and drink at least a gallon of water a day to recover for football.