Endurance

Normatec recovery

Normatec recovery therapy is suitable for athletes of all levels.

Sporting clubs, associations, and teams such as Australia Triathlon, AFL teams, USA Triathlon, Ironman US, USA Track and Field,  British Gymnastics, Belgian Cycling, American Cycling, USA Hockey, Ireland Hockey, and the Boston Ballet are just some of the crew ahead of the curve using Normatec recovery.

We have been so impressed with Normatec recovery we’ve made it accessible to athletes of all levels through our exclusive hire service. We also sell the Normatec recovery systems to those who like to take their training and recovery a bit more seriously.

WHAT IS NORMATEC? 

Normatec is an evidence-based recovery system with proven results and research supporting its claimed benefits.

Normatec is a form of active compression therapy (peristaltic pulse dynamic compression) with a sophisticated massage pattern that studies show results in reduced muscle soreness and fatigue, enhanced blood flow to the treated areas, decreased inflammation, improved clearance of waste products, and increased range of motion. Studies also show the peristaltic compression process may deliver positive adaptive responses to exercise and improve artery endothelial function systemically making it also useful for individuals who have circulation and lymphatic drainage issues.

Key benefits of Normatec recovery

1. REDUCES PAIN: Journal of Strength and Conditioning 2015  – dynamic compression may accelerate and enhance recovery by reducing muscle tenderness from pressure stimuli.

2. INCREASES RANGE OF MOTION:  Journal of Strength and Conditioning 2014 -Peristaltic pulse dynamic compression rapidly enhances acute range-of-motion with less discomfort and time and has been shown to be more

3. REDUCES DOMS (DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS), PAIN, and SWELLING: Journal of Athletic Training 2016  – a 30-minute treatment of pulse compression increases blood flow in the lower extremity, making Pulse compression a viable option in the management of exercise-induced muscle damage (DOMS). In general, DOMS-related swelling, range of movement limitations, and pain ratings were lower and returned to baseline faster while using NormaTec when compared to continuously-worn compression sleeve options  International Journal of Exercise Science 2018.

4.DECREASES MUSCLE FATIGUE AFTER ACUTE EXERCISE: PLOS One Medical Journal 2017. External pneumatic compression increases flexibility and reduces select skeletal muscle oxidative stress and proteolysis markers during recovery from heavy resistance exercise.

5. PASSIVELY CLEARS WASTE AND METABOLITES FROM BODY: Journal of Athletic Enhancement 2013 This form of compression significantly lowers blood lactate concentrations when compared to a passive recovery group.

6. IMPROVES ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION: European Journal of Applied Physiology 2015. A single bout of peristaltic pulse compression improves artery endothelial function systemically and improves blood flow in the compressed limbs.

7. IMPROVES EXERCISE ADAPTATION AND GENE EXPRESSION: Journal of Experimental Physiology 2015. A 60-minute bout of whole-leg, peristaltic pulse compression transiently upregulates PGC-1α mRNA, while also upregulating eNOS protein and NOx concentrations in biopsy samples.

Clinical Physiology & Functional Imaging 2016. Peristaltic pulse compression may upregulate rps6 and downregulate Stat1, which may facilitate positive adaptive responses to exercise.

8. ENHANCE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM FUNCTION: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research   Muscle stiffness, tenderness, strength loss, and edema have been linked to exercise-induced muscle microtrauma.  Enhancement of lymphatic flow and clearance of waste may accelerate recovery.

“A goal of dynamic compression is to reduce lymphatic obstruction and thereby enhance the removal of the protein- and debris-rich fluid that accumulates in the interstitial spaces after exercise-induced inflammation”. Maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet can also speed up your recovery time. Ginger is one natural remedy that may help reduce inflammation. Read our blog on how easy it is to use ginger here

Normatec features

  • Individualised programs for rehab, recovery, and injury treatment to suit your needs.
  • Normatec can be set to focus on key problem areas of the body such as the quads or calves through a “zone boost” allowing extra attention where needed. There is also an option to deactivate zones of the body.
  • Setting can be set to varied pressures to suit you and your comfort
  • Portable in a durable case, battery powdered for remote use, and lightweight
  • Versatile- single control unit is compatible with leg, arm, and hip attachments. The calibration phase ensures a personalised fit for all body types.
  • Super easy to use- set up takes less than a minute, giving you more time to relax
  • Made from highly durable material
  • The Normatec app allows you to integrate Normatec use seamlessly with your training plan

HOW TO USE NORMATEC 

Typically 20-30 minutes once a day is sufficient for most athletes. Athletes in heavy training may consider use after each training session.

Normatec boots and hip attachments are popular with athletes preparing for and recovering post events. Committed athletes are using the system as an ongoing recovery tool on a daily basis.

Normatec Hire- TRY BEFORE YOU BUY

Normatec Pulse 2.0  (covers feet and legs) are now available for hire through the Athlete Sanctuary.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE:

*Normatec pants 3.0 includes compression for the legs, ankles, and feet

*Normatec lower leg (includes attachments for the feet, ankles, legs, and hips)

*Normatec Full Body Recovery System – includes attachments for the legs, ankles, arms, and hips for the ultimate recovery experience

*Normatec Arms – great for swimmers, rowers, adventure racers and canoeists

*Normatec Hips- a great addition to the lower leg attachment

We recommend purchasing a Normatec carry case or backpack to keep your Normatec protected, and secure during transport and at home.

Visit our shop to view the Normatec recovery systems we stock.

Tart cherries

Tart cherries have been used for decades to treat gout and osteoarthritis, but they also contain phytochemicals which stimulate melatonin, enhance sleep, recovery and sports performance and reduce inflammation.

Tart cherries contain the phytochemicals anthocyanins, flavonoids, flavanols and phenolic acids. Tart Cherries have a higher content of anthocyanins than sweet cherries and contain potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamins A, C, B6, E, and folic acid. Some sources suggest cherries have 19 times as much vitamin A & beta carotene as strawberries and blueberries!!

Evidence supports tart cherries

A 2016 study involving soccer players found tart cherry juice is efficacious in accelerating recovery following prolonged, repeat sprint activity, movement patterns often seen in soccer, AFL and rugby. The study also supports evidence that polyphenol-rich foods such as tart cherry juice are effective in accelerating recovery following various types of strenuous exercise.

A 2010 study involving recreational male and female runners competing in the London marathon, who  supplemented tart cherry juice twice daily for 5 days prior and 2 days after the marathon showed improvements in muscle strength recovery, reduction of inflammatory markers and uric acid. The athlete’s total antioxidant status was 10% greater, while oxidative stress was lower in comparison to placebo.

Studies involving trained cyclists have also shown significant benefits when using Montmorency tart cherry concentrate on reduced oxidative stress, inflammation and muscle damage across 3 days of 109 minutes of road cycling racing when used twice daily for seven consecutive days.  They concluded tart cherry juice has direct application for athletes competing in scenario’s where back-to-back performances are required.

How tart cherries help

Tart cherry juice may reduce pain and accelerate recovery after exercise and decreases blood markers of inflammation/oxidative stress in both strength and endurance exercise.

1. Reduces creatine kinase (CK) a pathology marker for muscle damage and breakdown

2. Reduces inflammation -shown in studies by reductions in interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-1-beta (IL-1-β) and C-reactive protein (CRP),

3. Reduces oxidative stress- it’s ORAC rating of 12,800 is one of the highest in the world.

4. Increases tryptophan, melatonin levels and improves sleep quality.

How to use Tart Cherry Juice for recovery and sleep

Tart cherry juice is unlikely to have beneficial effects during the adaptation/build stage of training, but when there is competition or intense training or multiday tournaments it may improve recovery.  Examples of such competitions include: a rugby or AFL tournament, a marathon, a multiday cycling event, triathlon or an ultramarathon.

It is unlikely to be beneficial for consistent use where adaptation to the training stimulus is the athletes’ priority.

General recommendations found in the literature suggest having 30ml of tart cherry juice concentrate in 100ml of water twice daily. This equates to 60-90 cherries per serving.

Tart Cherry juice represents a more convenient way to ingest a large quantity of these polyphenolic compounds without associated side effects such as stomach pain or diarrhoea.

Take the 30ml in water first thing in the morning and in the evening. The evening dose is typically suggested one hour before bed to help facilitate quality sleep, which is of course an athlete’s primary innate recovery tool.

This protocol is suggested for 2-3 days post an event or strenuous training session.

We still need further research and larger studies involving athletes to substantiate claims that a preloading phase of 4-5 days prior to competition is required. It is unlikely that the compounds responsible for its benefits stay in your body long enough to accumulate over many days.  Therefore, it remains questionable as to whether the loading phase is really necessary.

What to look out for and where to purchase?

There are many brands of tart cherry juice available online, in health food shops and in supermarkets.

Montmorency and Balaton TC varieties have both been studied; however, most researchers have used Montmorency brands (more predominant and widely available commercially to athletes).

Check the label on the bottle states the juice specifically contains either of these varieties.

The beneficial compounds (anthocyanins) in tart cherries are reduced with heat. Therefore it is important to source tart cherry products that are cold pressed if you wish to maximise the anthocyanin levels and possible benefits. There are a few companies who do this, so check before you purchase.

As a general rule most juices contain around 25 grams of sugar per 250mls but just remember you should only be having 30mls at a time. Low sugar options are available that contain stevia or vanilla extract but generally speaking the sugar content (3 grams per serve) is not an issue for most athletes.

You can expect to pay around $26-28 Aus for organic start cherry juice (450-950ml). The cheaper juices found in chemists or supermarkets are less likely to be cold-pressed.

We hope this information may inspire you to try something new that you may not have otherwise considered. As with all things, moderation and targeted use is more likely to yield desired benefits than overconsumption.

About the Author: Kate Smyth is a Sports naturopath, nutritionist and female-centric running coach. She is the founder of the Athlete Sanctuary- a holistic healthcare clinic for athletes of all levels and sporting codes. Kate has a thirst for knowledge with two bachelor’s and a master’s degree under her belt. She has been involved in sports for many decades and competed for Australia in the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games marathons with a personal best time of 2 hours 28 minutes. For more information visit www.https://https://athletesanctuary.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/normatec-3-lower-body-system-thumb_720x-1.webp.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Seed-Cycle-Blends-scaled-1.jpg.com.au

References:

Bell, P.G.; Walshe, I.H.; Davison, G.W.; Stevenson, E.; Howatson, G. (2014).Montmorency Cherries Reduce the Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Responses to Repeated Days High-Intensity Stochastic Cycling. Nutrients, 6, 829-843.

Bell, P. G., Stevenson, E., Davison, G. W., & Howatson, G. (2016). The effects of montmorency tart cherry concentrate supplementation on recovery following prolonged, intermittent exercise. Nutrients, 8(7), 441.

Howatson G, McHugh MP, Hill JA, et al. (2010). Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand. J. Med. Sci. Sports 20:843–52.

McCormick, R., Peeling, P., Binnie, M., Dawson, B., & Sim, M. (2016). Effect of tart cherry juice on recovery and next day performance in well-trained Water Polo players. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 13(1), 41.

Szalóki-Dorkó, L., Végvári, G., Ladányi, M., Ficzek, G., & Stéger-Máté, M. (2015). Degradation of anthocyanin content in sour cherry juice during heat treatment. Food technology and biotechnology, 53(3), 354-360.

Vitale, K. C., Hueglin, S., & Broad, E. (2017). Tart cherry juice in athletes: a literature review and commentary. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 16(4), 230-239.