Recovery after any intense physical exercise or sport is crucial to your body’s health and performance. Having the right recovery after playing will lead to faster healing, prevention of injuries, and a stronger body overall, which will allow you to stay on top of your badminton game.
Without the right recovery, however, you may find yourself with weaker muscles and bones and unable to perform well when you play again.
In this post, I will talk about 5 activities that you should do to help prevent injuries, promote growth in your body, and overall feel better.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and not liable for any injuries or harm you may experience. Please consult a doctor if you have any pain or symptoms.
Stretching and Rolling Your Muscles Out
Although just recently, there have been many studies disputing whether stretching is even good for your body at all, stretching is still one of the best activities to do during your badminton recovery.
The two main reasons you should stretch after your intense badminton training or playing is that one, it improves blood flow to your muscles and therefore helps you filter out waste products faster, and two, consistent stretching will help improve your flexibility which assists your ability to hit individual badminton shots.
The main argument from studies that are looking at how stretching is useless or even potentially harmful are that stretching will continue to tear already torn muscles and cause more pain.
While this is true (don’t stretch if it is painful) and that you won’t be getting rid of your soreness by stretching, improving flexibility and increasing blood flow will still assist in your ability to recover a lot more.
In this post, I will mostly be focusing on static stretching where you basically sit/stand still and stretch a few muscles at a time. This is the most traditional and primary method for stretching.
Let me know in the comment section down below if you would like to see other stretching methods like dynamic stretching and maybe even yoga!
After intense badminton sessions, there will be lots of muscles that will be sore. It’s good to give everything a good stretch.
Another recovery activity that has shown to increase flexibility, recovery time and athletic performance is rolling your muscles out with a foam tube. Using a foam tube, you want to roll your muscles on it, and it will help relax and improve your muscle flexibility.
What’s the best way to recover? Rest, of course!
When you play intense badminton or workout/exercise in general, what’s happening in your muscles are tearing themselves and then repairing themselves where the tears are making you stronger.
Sleep is the time where your body will spend most of its time using nutrients to build tissue and repair muscle.
Make sure you get around 8 hours of sleep each night if you want maximum recovery. Also, try to sleep at 9 or before 10 for better daily habit and freshness when waking up.
You won’t, however instantly feel better after sleeping; in fact, you might feel even sorer than before. Rest assured, after two to three days, your body will stop feeling sore, and you will be up and running again feeling stronger than ever.
If you’re a young player and also want to grow taller, exercise combined with sleeping lots (and eating lots) is the perfect recipe for height growth. Sleeping and exercising promote a growth hormone within your body that will assist not only muscle and strength growth but also height as well.
To have the perfect combination for functional recovery and a healthy body, you need to eat well too!
If you exercise and sleep without eating, there isn’t much that comes out of that. Your body needs nutrients such as protein actually to rebuild tissue.
Protein is the primary nutrient that is used to rebuild your muscle. You can get it naturally through foods like meats, eggs, and tofu. Getting it naturally is the method I recommend as natural growth is always one of the safest ways to get stronger.
However, you can take protein shakes to replenish your protein levels. I have used protein powders before, and they have worked very well. Just be careful, though. You need to make sure you are choosing cleaner protein powders and also not drinking too much protein shakes. It can actually make you obese and sluggish if you drink too much.
On the topic of protein powders, there are also supplements that people sometimes take. I personally am not a fan of any supplements and have not used them in my life simply from the potential dangers coming from them. These supplements are not 100% perfect and may cause unintended side effects or even fail to do their job thoroughly.
Have you ever heard of a supplement called creatine?
Creatine is a chemical compound found in your body naturally and assists in building muscles. Although many websites have stated that creatine is a very safe and potent supplement. However, I’ve seen a large number of people suffer from creatine usage, saying that they feel more tired and weaker after using it.
A volleyball coach once explained creatine briefly to me. He said that the only time where creatine starts to become useful is when athletes push themselves to the point where they are puking everywhere. The theory behind this is that your natural body creatine is enough for most activities. It’s only when you push yourself to the point where you’re running out of creatine (when you’re puking) is when the supplement starts working.
Otherwise, you just have extra chemical compounds in your body doing nothing. Let me know how you feel about this topic though in the comment section below!
But back to eating.
With all the protein you might be ingesting, you need to balance that out with fruits and vegetables. If you don’t balance out your diet and only eat protein, you’re going to end up with digestion problems and therefore, chemicals and unwanted toxins stuck in your body.
You do not want that after exercising as it will limit your growth potential severely.
That’s why we need a high amount of fibrous foods to complement your exercise. Things like bananas, leafy greens, and berries will all aid in keeping your body healthy.
Something I like to do personally is to make a protein fruit shake after training. I like to put a banana, whatever frozen berries I have (usually a combination of strawberries, raspberries, etc.), my recommended amount of protein powder, and milk and then blend it all up.
Be creative with what you’re eating! Just make sure it’s healthy. Stay away from the chemical stuff!
Staying hydrated is another one of the most crucial things to a healthy body, but it also aids in recovery after training.
Apart from the fact that in training or intense badminton you’re sweating a lot and losing significant amounts of water from your body, staying hydrated will also help you relieve muscle soreness.
Let me explain.
When you exercise and use energy, your cells produce a waste product called lactic acid. This lactic acid will reside your joints and muscles and is the cause for muscle soreness. If this acid is not removed, it will harden and cause your muscles and joints to start locking up and become stiff, causing problems later in life.
How do we remove lactic acid then?
Do you know why your urine is yellow (or if anyone has tasted urine, sour as well)? It is because lactic acid is removed by urinating. So by staying hydrated and urinating more often, you will be able to get rid of the lactic acid causing muscle soreness and feel better, although you wouldn’t necessarily notice.
The best drink to stay hydrated is water. Almost every blog post, video, doctor, or whatever will tell you that water is the best drink. It truly is. It is the most natural drink and fundamental liquid on the planet. By drinking water, your body will be able to balance out everything that your body contains more effectively.
However, many of us find water kind of bland… so let me tell you a few other drinks that can help you stay not only hydrated but also boost other body conditions.
Green or red tea is one of those other drinks. These teas are full of anti-antioxidants, which will help you flush out toxins and boost body performance. Boosting your immune system after training is very beneficial as well.
I commonly find myself getting sick or getting a little cough after intense exercise. This is simply due to your body stressing itself and not being able to spread resources as well. This doesn’t mean don’t exercise though. With regular exercise, your body will actually find itself becoming stronger and more resistant to diseases later.
But during that recovery time, I am prone to illness. Illness destroys growth hormones as it limits your ability to use resources on growing. But by drinking teas to boost my immune system, I can help prevent myself from getting sick during recovery days.
Another excellent drink for recovery is honey lemon water. This is a drink that my mom would always tell us to drink when we are sick. It is a very revitalizing drink from the electrolytes the lemon provides, and the anti-antioxidants honey has. It’s basically Gatorade, but all-natural without any sugar or chemicals.
There are definitely other great drinks such as making a smoothie, but the key takeaway is to stick to natural and clean beverages and make sure you’re hydrated enough so you can urinate more.
Baths and steam recovery have always been a little more controversial. Hot or cold baths? Does it actually work?
Those kinds of questions have been asked and debated over for quite some time.
I have not studied these topics on a scientific level so I can only give you what I feel on a personal level.
After intense training, I like to take a hot bath with Epsom salts. This relaxes my body a lot and almost instantly makes me feel better. It works exceptionally well on my feet, where I have blisters developing everywhere.
Hot steam or saunas help relaxation a lot as well. What I like personally about steaming is the moisture helping you stay hydrated too which like mentioned above, well help you urinate more and get rid of the acid that makes you sore.
A tip for both saunas and hot baths is to scent the steam and Epsom salts with something like lavender or peppermint before going to bed to further aid in relaxation. Not only will you feel even better, but you’ll actually be able to sleep easier and better, which as you read at the beginning, a critical part to recovery.
As for cold baths, some athletes do this and say it works wonders, and some athletes try it and say it has the opposite effect. Some believe the cold baths can neutralize the body and lower the body heat while others say cold baths make their muscles tense and become even sorer.
I have not tried cold baths, so I can not let you know how I personally feel. Comment down below if you have tried it before though!
So now remember that after every hard training day or badminton day, take time to eat lots of healthy food, stay hydrated, relax by stretching, rolling out your muscles, and using baths, and then sleep lots.
There are definitely a lot more things you can do to improve recovery and build a stronger body. Many things like yoga or other stretching methods I have not experimented with. Leave a comment down below on what you would like me to try!
As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!