Recovering Like the Swans: AFL Pre-Season and Game Day Nutrition Strategy

Recovering Like the Swans: AFL Pre-Season and Game Day Nutrition Strategy

Optimising Pre-Season Recovery in AFL

The AFL pre-season is a rigorous period of speed, endurance, and strength training, demanding a strategic recovery approach. Players undergo five consecutive days of training, each with a tailored recovery protocol, followed by two days dedicated to recovery. High-intensity running days and double sessions necessitate a blend of protein and carbohydrates for muscle refuelling and repair. SiS REGO Recovery is a go-to choice for these needs.

Protein's role extends beyond muscle growth in weight training; it's crucial for endurance athletes too, aiding in mitochondrial protein synthesis and adaptation to endurance training. AFL's unique demands – a mix of endurance, high-intensity sprints, and strength for tackles – require players to focus on muscle repair, growth, and enhanced mitochondrial proteins. Resistance training, scheduled on alternate days to running and skills training, has its own recovery protocol.

For players aiming to build strength and muscle size during pre-season, a combination of SiS REGO Recovery, SiS Whey Protein, and sometimes blended smoothies with banana, berries, and yogurt is used. Regular consultations with dietitians ensure these athletes maintain a positive energy balance, essential for muscle hypertrophy.

Immediate Post-Game Recovery Strategies

Post-game recovery focuses on refuelling and repairing damaged muscle tissue. Protein, with a complete amino acid profile, is crucial to counteract protein turnover from muscle breakdown. Custom 'Recovery' shakes, combining SiS Whey Protein and REGO Recovery protein powders, provide the necessary carbohydrates for refuelling and BCAAs for muscle repair. Depending on the game's timing, players may also consume SiS Overnight Protein to support ongoing recovery. Post-game meals, typically within 60 minutes, include a balance of carbohydrates, lean proteins, and vegetables.

Next-Day and Post-Weights Recovery

The day following weight training and games, players are encouraged to maintain consistent protein intake throughout the day, with servings of around 20-25g of protein in meals and snacks. This approach helps maintain net protein balance without overindulgence. Foods like smoothies, yoghurts, flavoured milk, tinned fish, boiled eggs, and trail mixes are recommended.

During the season, the focus of resistance training shifts to maintaining body weight and strength. Post-weights, players often consume SiS Whey Protein mixed with water or low-fat milk to promote protein synthesis and prevent protein breakdown. Chocolate Whey Protein remains a popular choice among players.

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