Recovery for soccer players

Australian Socceroos football players stretch during a team training run in Vitoria, Brazil on June 4, 2014, as they prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian Socceroos football players stretch during a team training run in Vitoria, Brazil on June 4, 2014, as they prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

During soccer season there will be times when there will be games every few days. During tournaments, there will be games every day for as many as three days. Soccer is a demanding sport and being able to perform again soon after a game has just completed will mean taking recovery seriously. With a proper recovery plan, any player will be able to recover faster, train harder and perform at a higher level for longer. Here is a step-by-step recovery guide.

After the game – refuel your body by consuming a recovery drink. Professional recovery drinks are a combination carbohydrates and protein. This is about 15 minutes after the end of the game.

Active recovery – recovery is now about relaxing and sleeping. Spend about ten minutes, while drinking your recovery shake and do some light aerobic work. A bike ride, light jog or rowing will do. This is the flush the waste from your muscles.

Muscle tissue – Once you get back home, foam roll for about ten minutes. This greatly speeds up the recovery of muscle tissue. This can be followed up with some mobility work to keep the body supple and flexible.

Soak – There are two ways to do the soak, hot or cold. Which one depends on how quickly your body will need to perform again. For a game with at least a day’s gap then a hot Epsom salt bath is the way to go. When the next game is soon then cold 10 to 12-minute baths are the way to go.

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