Whether you are a performance athlete or a fitness enthusiast, prioritizing recovery and rest is an important part of your training regimen!

While workouts increase endurance and strength, rest and recovery periods allow our body to adapt in response to those workouts. This happens because during exercise, you challenge your muscles to handle more resistance than they normally do. This increased resistance leads to the formation of small tears at the muscle tissue level and increases the rate of muscle protein "breakdown," a process known as muscular hypertrophy. This "breakdown" activates cells outside of the muscle fibers, which are drawn to the injury area. These cells then replicate, mature into developed cells, and merge with muscle fibers, forming new strands of muscle protein.

This process is known as muscle protein synthesis. Over time, the process of synthesis surpasses muscular hypertrophy and ultimately increases muscle mass and strength, especially if you sleep well enough.

Sleep consists of several distinct phases, each with its own characteristics and functions. Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
Sleep is generally divided into two main phases, REM (rapid eye movements) and NREM (no rapid eye movements). NREM sleep is divided into three stages. The first two stages are characterized as light sleep, while stage 3 is recognized as deep sleep. While the REM sleep phase is the time when your body focuses on reenergizing your mind, the NREM phase and particularly the deep sleep stage is when your body's physical restoration processes occur. With the brain less active, blood supply to your muscles and tissues increases, providing oxygen and nutrients that promote muscle repair and growth.

Let's explore some specific connections between sleep and muscle recovery.

During sleep, the production of GH increases.
During sleep, the body undergoes essential repair processes, aiding in the growth and repair of muscle tissues. It is a period when the body releases growth hormone (GH), crucial for muscle repair and growth. Sleep is vital for optimal protein synthesis, allowing for efficient muscle recovery and growth. It also helps maintain hormonal balance, key for muscle development. Insufficient sleep disrupts this balance, hindering muscle growth. Quality sleep restores energy levels, improving workout performance and muscle growth.

Muscle glycogen is renewed during sleep.
The body breaks down most of the carbohydrates in the foods we eat and transforms them into a type of sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main fuel source for our cells. When the body does not need to use glucose for energy, it stores it in the liver and muscles. This stored form of glucose is made up of many glucose molecules linked together and is called glycogen. When the body needs a quick energy boost or when it does not receive glucose from food, glycogen is broken down to release glucose into the bloodstream to be used as fuel for cells. Rest replenishes muscle glycogen reserves, essential for energy during physical activities, allows the nervous system to recover, promoting overall recovery and encouraging muscle coordination, strength, and development.

Sleep helps maintain hormonal balance.
Sleep deprivation severely disrupts muscle growth by impeding protein synthesis, essential for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue after workouts. Hormonal regulation, including growth hormone and testosterone, is compromised in the case of insufficient sleep, leading to imbalances that hinder muscle recovery. Elevated cortisol levels, a result of sleep deprivation, contribute to muscle breakdown and inefficient protein use. Sleep deprivation alters hormones that regulate appetite and satiety (Ghrelin and Leptin), generating cravings for unhealthy, high-calorie foods that negatively affect nutrition and muscle growth. Prioritizing 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night is crucial for optimal muscle growth, hormonal balance, and overall athletic performance. Adequate sleep ensures proper muscle recovery, hormonal regulation, and sustained energy levels, maximizing potential for muscle development.

Natural supplements to support healthy sleep:

  • Melatonin: Produced by the pineal gland, regulates the sleep-wake cycle, known as the "sleep hormone." In darkness, levels increase, signaling the body to rest. Its role does not stop there. Melatonin acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free radicals and supporting immune function. Melatonin supplements help combat insomnia and jet lag, correcting sleep patterns and improving sleep quality. Essential for overall health, melatonin underscores its value by optimizing sleep and supporting body functions. 
    Learn more about the HEALTH products.

  • Gaba+b6: Identified as a potential stimulant for the production of growth hormone (GH) in the body, a crucial function for the development and regeneration of muscle tissue. GABA is often used as a natural sleep aid, due to its calming impact on the brain. Restorative sleep is imperative for muscle recovery and growth. Through its ability to induce relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety levels, GABA may indirectly facilitate muscle growth by mitigating the negative impact of stress hormones, such as cortisol which hinders muscle growth and encourages fat accumulation. The reason why vitamin B6 might have benefits in sleep is related to the production of serotonin.
    Learn more about the GABA+B6 product

For those facing a fast-paced lifestyle, stress and anxiety are inevitable. An inadequate diet can affect the production of neurotransmitters essential for well-being and for falling asleep at night. Adequate rest is essential to ensure a healthy metabolism for muscle development.