Recharge & Rejuvenate: The Powerful Connection Between Recovery and Performance - Episode 18

How do you recover from the daily stressors of life? And why is it so important for our long-term health? Today we discuss recovery tips to help you feel your best from Joe Todd, M.S. Sports Medicine, and certified strength & conditioning and tactical coach.

Why is recovery so important?

“You cannot pour from an empty cup.” Joe explains that in order to feel your best and have the energy necessary to get things done at work, home, or in the gym, you need to recharge, repair, and refuel your body. Here are three important aspects of recovery to consider: nutrition, hydration, and sleep.


When it comes to nutrition, Joe emphasizes the importance of changing our perspective on dieting, as it is often associated with sacrifice and restriction. Instead, he advocates for focusing on proper fueling based on your individual goals and activities. Joe stresses that nutrition should be tailored to support specific outcomes, such as weight loss, muscle gain, or improved mental clarity. 

He draws an analogy, “It's about proper fueling. If you're just driving a decent car, a Ford Focus, and you're just going to and from work, maybe the grocery store [regular unleaded gas] is probably just fine. But if you're in a race car and you're trying to hit your quarter mile in X amount of time, you're probably going to need a little bit different kind of fuel to get you from point A to Point B.” Fueling should be based on energy demands, activity levels, and desired results.

He disagrees with the obsession of labeling foods as “good or bad”, noting that different macronutrients and foods can have varying effects on the body. “For athletes with intense or long training sessions, more carbohydrates may be necessary, while on rest days, carb intake can be reduced.”

“Your goal or the outcome is going to dictate what that fuel looks like. Halfway through the afternoon if you still want to be sharp. You want to be alert. You have meetings or a business brainstorming, your fuel is critical. So before you go out for lunch, stop and think about what you're eating. Is it going to make your blood sugar spike? Cause your energy to crash? Are you going to be foggy? Are you going to be too tired because of all the fat and carbs and all these kinds of things that you ate for lunch? Your desired outcome should dictate what you choose to eat.”


Proper hydration plays a critical role in maintaining great physical and mental performance.  “The body is over 70% water. So that impacts all these different functions and processes that your body performs on a daily basis, without you even thinking about it. Regulating blood pressure and digestion, and all these kinds of things. your food retention and your hydration levels play a huge role.” 

If you start to feel tired or lose concentration and focus in the afternoon, it could be a sign that you’re also dehydrated. Joe recommends creating a consistent hydration habit that is easy for you to follow. Whether that means carrying a large water bottle around, or setting a reminder on your phone every few hours, find a routine that works for you and try to stick with it. Your body will thank you! 


Most articles and experts recommend 6-9 hours of sleep per night, but it’s not just about the duration. The quality of your sleep matters. You want to make sure that your body is in a deep REM state where it can repair the damage that's being done throughout the day. 

“Most people, especially nowadays, aren’t going anywhere without their cell phone, and most of us charge our phones at night. Why? Because when I get up in the morning, I'm ripping and running. I'm checking social media. I’ve got calls and I have texts. I cannot have this thing peter out on me midday, right?...Your body is the same way.”

Proper sleep, hydration, and nutrition are fundamental pillars of recovery. By implementing a few helpful recovery habits, we can improve our physical and mental health, and perform at our best. 


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