Spring 2022 - 28

COMBATTING STRESS
WITH NUTRITION &
POST-WORKOUT RECOVERY
By Meagan Nielsen, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN
P
.ractice makes perfect, right? But how do
.you make your practice...perfect?
Every tactical athlete participates in workouts
that prepare them for active service. They work
on skills and spend time in the gym building
their muscles. These things are very important
for performance, but it can be easy to forget
that what is done after a workout is just as
important. Athletes put their bodies under a lot
of stress, so recovery is key particularly when it
comes to the tactical athlete.
Stress is necessary to produce a hormonal
response leading to adaptation. However,
when stress is chronically in excess it can
lead to negative effects on the human body.
The inability to down-regulate inflammation,
decreased recruitment of muscle fibers, and a
suppressed immune system are just some of
the negative effects that stress can have on
tactical athletes. Proper recovery practices can
help to mitigate these negative aspects. While
the specific needs of tactical athletes depend
on many variables, there are some general
28 | Tactical Training & Conditioning | Spring 2022
recommendations that will be important to
incorporate after each workout.
The four things to focus on when it comes
to post-workout recovery are carbohydrates,
protein, hydration, and sleep.
CARBOHYDRATE
Carbohydrates play an important role in
performance and adaptation to training. It is the
primary fuel that is used by the brain and central
nervous system for both anaerobic and aerobic
activity. Therefore, carbohydrates are the body's
preferred source of energy for moderate to highintensity
training. When carbohydrate stores
(referred to as glycogen stores) are depleted in
the body, individuals often experience feelings of
fatigue, lack of concentration, and even impaired
motor skills. This not only impacts performance
but also activities of daily life.
The number of carbohydrates needed postworkout
is dependent on many factors. For
example, a tactical athlete weighing 150
pounds (68 kilograms) would need 68-82

Spring 2022

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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/TAC/spring-2022
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