Bonking occurs when you’ve run through your glycogen reserves and leads to excessive fatigue. For those who haven’t experienced it, it feels like complete exhaustion, nausea, poor coordination, and an inability to continue. Because this repetitive stress on your body can have a damaging effect, this guide will review how to properly rest and recover after bonking so you can feel better faster and get back to racing.
How To Hydrate
While the best way to mitigate this kind of pain and fatigue is to prevent yourself from bonking in the first place, sometimes, there’s no choice. Then, you must focus on self-care to ensure you don’t completely derail your body’s immune and muscle-building systems.
It’s no secret that hydration is key, but water on its own just isn’t enough. Instead, you need to fuel up on drinks packed with electrolytes and healthy sugars. If you don’t have electrolyte beverages on hand, add a dash of salt to your water to help you maintain your potassium and electrolyte levels to restore your mineral balance.
Fruit juice or other drinks with protein and fast-hitting sugars will also help you recover faster.
What To Eat
Your food should be high in sugar, but it should also be high in carbs. Remember that carbs are one of the body’s main fuel sources, and while you could ingest a glucose tablet for quick relief, it should be followed by energy bars or cookies to refuel your body’s depleted energy storage.
Other high-carb foods like eggs, rice, pasta, fish, and even milkshakes will help. It’s important to note that it is unlikely your body will digest and process these calories quickly enough for you to immediately get back to riding, so give your body time to process your food so it can turn into energy you can actually use.
How To Rest Fully
In order to rest fully, you shouldn’t do physical activity for at least 24 hours. If you choose to lay down or sit up, make sure you prop up your legs to promote healthy blood flow. In addition, if you can’t go to a professional, take time to massage all of your muscles, not just your legs. You need the tension in your body to dissipate to prevent more energy loss and mitigate soreness.
Now that you know how to properly rest and recover after bonking, you can give your body the self-care it needs and deserves so you can go back to doing what you love. You can’t race without your body, so taking time to rest is sometimes the best way to keep yourself healthy.