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Recovery Strategies Post Game by Darragh Bolton

Recovery Strategies Post Game

Championship is in full swing now and games are coming thick and fast.
That’s great but one thing we must remember to complete as best we can, is RECOVERY.

Recovering for the next session or game is an underestimated part of our overall training.
We use a huge amount of energy when training, especially in this current hot summer weather, and with
championship games bringing a higher intensity, this all adds to the body needing increased recovery.

There are so many aspects of recovery but for this post, I’m going to focus on sleep, hydration
passive and active recovery, and basic nutrition tips.


A once underestimated tool for performance, the benefits of a consistent good night’s sleep has
become more evident over the last number of years, in the public domain at least.
At a professional sport level, the benefits of sleep for recovery has been well practiced and researched.

As an athlete, we should be looking for between 8-10 hours of good quality sleep per night.
And it’s the quality that counts. Although this is easier said than done, there are ways to
try to increase your sleep quality. Sleep Hygiene is the term used to try to clean up our sleep.

  • Get into a routine – try do the same pre bed routine every night.
  • No screens in bed (phone, tablet etc)
  • Have a hot shower before bed
  • Read a book
  • If you cant sleep, get up and walk around
  • Meditate – breathing exercises can help –
    breathe in 3 seconds, hold 3 seconds, breathe out 3 seconds
  • Limit alcohol intake – alcohol may help get you to sleep but it definitely affects the quality of your sleep.



Our bodies are made up of about 70% water and when training or playing a game, we can lose

this water via sweat.
The amount of fluid lost during a game/training will depend on various things such as
intensity of the game, current hydration levels, fitness levels, and obviously temperature.

Consistency is the key with all training and recovery so getting 2-3L daily first of all is the basic task
to complete.

On training or game days, we can add some carbohydrates to our water in the form of orange
or fruit squash. This sugar acts as a fuel for our bodies which can be taken in throughout
the game but is especially effective in the last 15-20 minutes.

Post-game we should be aiming to take about 500-700ml of fluid to replenish the fluids lost
during the session. We then need to continue the good hydration routine by drinking 2-3L per day
in the days post game also.

Passive and Active Recovery


Passive recovery involves resting for a considerable period after strenuous exercise or physical activity.
It means putting your feet up, relaxing and letting the body recover. We can also use other bits of equipment to aid passive recovery –  Normatec boots, massage guns, sleep, or cryotherapy (ice bath). 10-15 minutes of one of these examples may help you feel more refreshed post game.

Active recovery involves performing low-intensity exercise following a strenuous workout.
These activities include walking, swimming, cycling, foam rolling and yoga.
The idea is that we increase the blood flow to the body and up our core temperature,  allowing increased oxygen to enter the blood and tissue. It will also cause the muscles to heat up and loosen out.


We have saved the best (and most important) til last.
Nutrition is like putting fuel into our cars, however it must be right type of fuel. Aim to get good carbohydrates and healthy protein into your system post game.

Carbohydrates aim to recover the energy we used up during the game and protein aids in recovery of muscle. An good example would be a pasta dish with chicken.

Aim to begin refuelling within a hour of training/game. If post game you feel you cant eat food, a great recovery source of post-game hydration/nutrition is a pint of milk.

If you would like to discuss post game recovery strategies, please contact me at Galway Bay Physio.

by Darragh Bolton
Chartered Physiotherapist

Get in touch with us at Galway Bay Physio on 091 569 706 or visit us at to book an appointment.


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