July 13, 2021 -- Maybe it was Tom Brady’s infrared pajamas, but for a lot of sports fans and weekend-warrior athletes, the moment when “recovery” science reached head-scratching heights came with an Instagram post from Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire. He was soaking in a tub of red wine. The caption partly read, “Recovery Day! Red Wine Bath!! #Kinging."
But everyday runners, weightlifters, and other recreational athletes looking to elite ranks for recovery tips might do better with a little pocket-protecting skepticism. In the emerging art and science of exercise recovery, the sophisticated marketing techniques of a multibillion-dollar industry can leave you wondering: Will this really help me recover from workouts?
Could it give me a performance edge? Maybe prevent injury? In short: Maybe -- but it depends.
Why Recovery Matters
In an earlier age, we were advised to exercise and eat well to achieve physical fitness, adjusting effort to reach certain goals.
But now, from the worlds of elite athletes, science, and marketing, the suggestions keep growing, often without reaching the level of blanket recommendation. That is, while one thing might help some people, it probably hasn’t been proven to be effective across the board.
The process of recovery is important for active people because it lets your body rebuild itself after the stress of exercise and helps prevent injuries. It helps us avoid dangerous overtraining. Some studies link factors such as