TORQ Recovery System

The TORQ Recovery System is simple and progressive. We’ve worked tirelessly to build a 4-phase system focused on optimising all aspects of post exercise recovery and adaptation.

System Introduction

We launched the TORQ Recovery System back in 2012, so that our customers could look at the amount of training they were doing and phase their recovery treatment in accordance to the physical load they were undertaking. Since then, we have refined the system further and, if you do nothing more whilst on this page than watch the following 4-minute video, you will still have gained a very good idea of what the TORQ Recovery System is all about. Hopefully this will inspire you to explore further into this web page, where we cover the system in much deeper detail.

The TORQ Recovery System was established so that we could recommend specific TORQ products and practices to our customers, depending on the amount of exercise they were doing. If exercise load is light, the use of specific recovery products may not be necessary at all, but as the load increases, more intervention is required. The TORQ Recovery System consists of 4 phases and is cumulative, so essentially the more exercise you are doing, the more and greater variety of nutrition you will need to consume – and this includes real food (TORQ products are supplements, not dietary replacements). Below, we run through the 4 phases in brief and cover them in more detail further on.

Phase 1 should be your first intervention and simply involves diligently following the TORQ Fuelling System. Fuelling properly in the first place reduces muscle breakdown, maintains hydration and prevents the degradation of muscle and liver glycogen.

Phase 2 involves the use of TORQ Recovery Drink or TORQ Recovery Bar within 15 minutes of exercise completion to rehydrate the tissues of the body, restock muscle and liver glycogen, repair damaged muscle fibres and recharge cellular energy levels.

Phase 3 is all about hunting for rich carbohydrate and protein sources within your diet. You should be doing this anyway, but as exercise load increases, your need for high quality nutrients increases. TORQ Energy Organic is a pure unflavoured source of carbohydrate. Dubbed the ‘invisible calorie’, it represents the ideal way to increase the carbohydrate content of regular foods easily and because it has no flavour, you’ll hardly know it’s there. The TORQ Snaq range has also been developed to assist in supporting Phase 3 of the TORQ Recovery System too.

Phase 4 involves the use of our highly advanced TORQ Recovery Plus product. Containing Beta-Alanine, HMB and Sodium Phosphate, this product both supports the maintenance of high intensity/high load/quality training and the repair/adaptation processes required to progress. TORQ Recovery Plus really is the icing on the cake.

Why Recover?

It’s easy to think of ‘Recovery’ as being simply about putting nutrients back in to the body to facilitate getting your physiological systems swiftly back to a normal level of homeostasis – to enable you to feel as good as you did before you exercised. For instance, serious athletes need to recover quickly so that they can train or race again as soon as possible. If you were taking part in a multi-day stage race or training camp for instance, it’s pretty obvious why you would want to recovery quickly after each stage – to stay fresh and ensure you achieve your best performances on each day.

From a training perspective though, it’s all about facilitating a higher training load and that’s what the TORQ Recovery System addresses so well. The higher the training load, the greater the adaptation and the greater the adaptation, the stronger you’ll get. In other words, the more training you are able to do, the fitter you will get and the TORQ Recovery System is focused entirely on allowing you to train more often and at a higher quality/output. Having a proper recovery strategy in place ultimately drives fitness forward, so dedicated recovery products shouldn’t simply be viewed as a post race/event treat, they should form a fundamental part of the training process. We cover this topic in a lot more detail further down this page under ‘Recovery Explained.’

4 R's

Unique to TORQ, we talk about the 4R approach to recovery. All of these processes are vital in returning the body to a healthy recovered state, primed for physiological adaptation.

Re-Hydrate: Replenishing lost fluid is fundamental to the recovery process. Dehydration can initially be countered by ensuring that sufficient fluid and electrolytes are taken on board whilst exercising, so following the TORQ Fuelling System diligently will automatically take care of this. In hot/humid conditions, or during high intensity exercise when perspiration rates are high, it can sometimes be impossible to consume sufficient fluid during exercise to replace that lost through sweating, so this needs to be addressed immediately. TORQ Recovery Drink contains a wide variety of valuable nutrients, but in addition, being a drink, it also contains a significant amount of water and sodium (the most important electrolyte). It may also be necessary to consume plain water or other beverages afterwards to continue the hydration process, or even consider our TORQ Hypotonic drink if the general ambient environmental conditions causes perspiration to continue to occur after exercise has ceased.

Re-Fuel: Prolonged and/or high intensity exercise will deplete your stored ‘endogenous’ carbohydrate supplies. It’s only possible to store about 500g (2,000 Kcals) of carbohydrate, and without these endogenous stores, physical performance becomes quite pedestrian. High intensity exercise (for example sprinting), is literally impossible to perform without high levels of stored endogenous carbohydrate, as is high quality endurance performance. A hard training session today can leave you in no fit state to perform tomorrow, unless you consider this concept very carefully. Diligently following the TORQ Fuelling System will provide an alternative external or ‘exogenous’ source of carbohydrate whilst you’re exercising, sparing your endogenous stores. Fuelling properly today will go a long way towards ensuring you perform better tomorrow in the first instance, but, if the training load is high, your endogenous stores will still suffer depletion despite conscientious fuelling. Re-fuelling is therefore a major role for a recovery product and we have two products, TORQ Recovery Drink and TORQ Recovery Bar, that have been optimised for the job, delivering a much needed carbohydrate supply immediately after exercise cessation. When training load is particularly high, re-fuelling continues long after exercise has finished through the consumption of high quality dietary carbohydrate sources, as well as potentially incorporating TORQ Energy Organic or the TORQ Snaq range into your regimen. This is all explained under the ‘4 Phases’ of the TORQ Recovery System in the next section.

Re-Pair: High intensity exercise will literally damage muscle fibres and prolonged endurance exercise encourages catabolic processes, whereby vital lean tissue gets broken down and used by the body for fuel. Consuming high quality proteins that contain a wide variety of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) is essential immediately after exercise, because they provide the substrate for muscular repair and the resources to help regenerate enzymes (biological catalysts) and other important physiological components. Both TORQ Recovery Drink and TORQ Recovery Bar contain 100% fast-acting Whey Protein, because no other protein source comes close to whey from a solubility and bio-availability perspective. TORQ Recovery Drink also contains a significant dose of L-Glutamine too. Although it’s the most abundant amino acid in the body, muscle and lean tissue is broken down immediately after exercise in an act of L-Glutamine scavenging to fuel the organs of the body and this can be nipped in the bud by consuming it in its raw form. L-Glutamine consumption interestingly therefore indirectly prevents muscle damage. Both TORQ Recovery Drink and TORQ Recovery Bar also contain a comprehensive vitamin and mineral mix to aid the repair and replenishment process. Finally, during very high load training, muscle damage/degradation starts to become more and more of a problem and this is why we produced our TORQ Recovery Plus product. The Beta-Alanine contained within it helps to drive high intensity exercise, whilst the HMB acts like a super-protein with incredible natural anabolic, muscle-building and regeneration properties.

Re-Charge: It’s the 4th ‘R’ that really is unique to TORQ and it’s a property of our Recovery System that you’re going to struggle to find anywhere else. TORQ was established in 1999 and the use of D-Ribose as an ingredient has almost become synonymous with the brand. Scientific evidence for D-Ribose supplementation enhancing sporting performance doesn’t exist, but it’s ability to return cellular energy levels to normal quickly is indisputable (340-430% quicker than without supplementation in fact). There is a research recommended dose of Ribose in every serving of TORQ Recovery Drink. We also have a small amount of Ribose in the TORQ Bar.

Every cell in your body contains ATP (adinosine triphosphate), an energy-rich compound that provides virtually all the energy needed to function on a second-by-second basis. When ATP is broken down into ADP + Pi (adinosine diphosphate + inorganic phosphate) energy is released and this is used to power all our bodily functions. Naturally then, it is the breakdown of ATP within the cells of the working muscles that provides the energy for exercise. Without it you wouldn’t be going anywhere! It is through the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein that ADP + Pi is reformed to make ATP. This ATP is then available to be used for muscular contraction. As the muscle uses it, once again it will break down to ADP + Pi and so it goes on.

When exercising, this cycle rapidly and continually takes place in order to satisfy the substantial turnover of energy required. Research has shown that after maximal high load exercise, the pools of ATP and ADP + Pi in skeletal muscle cells are reduced by as much as 20-28 percent. The mechanisms behind this are rather complex and involve the loss of a compound called AMP (adinosine monophosphate), however, the net effect is that the overall pools of ATP and ADP + Pi within each cell is reduced, which seriously limits their energy potential. It doesn’t matter how much carbohydrate you ram into your body, if these nucleotide levels are low, you’re not going to have the raw materials available to produce power effectively. To further compound the problem, once AMP has left the cell, there’s no getting it back and so ATP and ADP + Pi levels will remain low, perhaps sinking further if another high intensity bout of exercise is experienced.

So that’s the science, but in simplistic terms, think of a car being tuned by a mechanic as an analogy. Consider the fuel tank as your endogenous carbohydrate store (this is the fuel that drives the engine/your muscles) and separate this from the engine itself. Imagine an engine with a couple of spark plug leads removed so that it’s running on 50% power. It doesn’t matter how full the fuel tank is, if the engine isn’t tuned properly, you won’t get the optimal performance out of the vehicle. So think of the mechanic tuning the engine in the picture above as the role ‘Ribose’ plays within your muscle cells – it allows the fuel you have in your tank to have maximum effect. Conversely, imagine a highly tuned car with no fuel in the tank – it wouldn’t matter how tuned the engine is, without fuel it would be going nowhere. This demonstrates the critical interplay between cellular energy charge/potential and the fuel required to drive performance.

In summary, the focus of the TORQ Recovery System is to ensure that everything is replenished, so that each time you train, you’re a fully fuelled vehicle with a highly tuned engine.

4 Phases

The 4R’s explain why you need to recover properly, and have provided you with a summary of how our products fit in to that process. Now we will discuss the TORQ Recovery System in detail, so that you are 100% clear on what recovery intervention to use, relative to the amount of exercise you’re doing. You need to think about what is necessary from a recovery perspective. Why waste your money on technical products like TORQ if you’re not doing enough to benefit from them? Our Performance Nutrition range works incredibly well and the more you do, the better it will function for you, but give some careful consideration to the amount of training you’re doing.

PHASE 1 // Follow the TORQ Fuelling System: Fundamental to the recovery process is ensuring that you fuel properly and what better way to do this than by following the TORQ Fuelling System. Take the time to read about the TORQ Fuelling System if you haven’t done so already. On the Fuelling System page, we don’t only explain how fuelling aids performance, but we also demonstrate through animation how the consumption of exogenous carbohydrate, through taking on board energy drinks, gels, bars and chews whilst exercising spares your internal endogenous stores of carbohydrate. If you look after your internal stores of carbohydrate, you leave less work for your recovery product to do. So we can safely say, that as long as you fuel properly in the first place and make an effort to consume rich sources of carbohydrate and protein from your regular diet after exercise, you may not need to use a recovery product at all!

PHASE 2 // Consume TORQ Recovery Drink or Bar(s) within 15 minutes of exercise completion: There are 2 ways you can look at Phase 2. If you haven’t followed Phase 1 and fuelled properly for one reason or another and the exercise session has been ‘significant’, you will benefit greatly from following Phase 2, because this is all about putting back what you’ve lost. Your endogenous stores of carbohydrate will have taken a big hit and you will need to replenish them. The intended role of Phase 2 is, however, is to combine competent fuelling during exercise with the use of TORQ Recovery Drink or TORQ Recovery Bar immediately afterwards. Combining Phase 1 with Phase 2 as a cumulative process will provide a much more comprehensive level of recovery than following either Phase 1 or 2 on their own.

The amount of TORQ Recovery Drink or TORQ Recovery Bars to consume is dependent on bodyweight, so visit the specific product pages for further information. As we eluded to earlier in this section, we would always recommend our Recovery Drink ahead of our Recovery Bar because it does a more comprehensive job – in addition to the properties of the bar, it hydrates, provides L-Glutamine for muscular protection and D-Ribose for restoration of cellular energy levels.

The primary role of TORQ’s Recovery Drink and Bar is the same though – to replenish endogenous carbohydrate stores and provide protein, vitamins and minerals for muscular repair and resource replenishment. Again, these processes are discussed in more detail on the specific product pages. The TORQ Recovery Bar does have the benefit of convenience and transportability over the Recovery Drink and as the portion size is set at 65g, it can be used to help the recovery process if the loading of an exercise session doesn’t warrant a full dose of Recovery Drink. For further information on TORQ Recovery Drink, click HERE and for further information on TORQ Recovery Bar, click HERE.

PHASE 3 // Increased focus on general diet and use of TORQ Energy Organic and TORQ Snaq: As exercise load increases, your recovery protocol should start to expand beyond the nutrition taken on board during exercise and immediately afterwards. The human body can only process up to 90 grams of carbohydrate per hour during exercise and even that is impossible for many products. Immediately after exercise, during Phase 2, we suggest consuming a gram of carbohydrate per Kg of bodyweight and 1/4 gram of protein per Kg of bodyweight, so this leaves a large span of time between these interventions and your next exercise session. It’s during this time, that more work can be done, if exercise load has increased to the point where even diligent fuelling and consumption of recovery products still isn’t enough!

First of all, you need to look at your general diet again. Can you eat more? Can you make some better dietary choices so that you are consuming more high quality rich carbohydrate and protein sources? Sometimes, when training load is particularly high, it’s literally impossible to consume enough calories to replace those lost through exercise and this is where TORQ Energy Organic is a saviour. Dubbed ‘The Invisible Calorie’ – TORQ Energy Organic is precisely that – it’s a 100% complex carbohydrate source which has no sweetness, yet has the density of sugar. It can be added to sweet or savoury dishes to boost the carbohydrate content significantly without having any impact on flavour. It can even be added to tea or coffee and is Soil Association Certified Organic.

The TORQ Snaq range of products is currently under development and we have kicked off the range with a snack bar, available in 3 flavours, designed to support the recovery process. Keep an eye on the Snaq section of this website for the latest developments. The rationale behind the TORQ Snaq range has been to create a range of enriched foods to be consumed outside of exercise, specifically focused at supporting athletes and physically active people to assist in the recovery and adaptation processes. This range will become key to supporting Phase 3 of the TORQ Recovery System, so please pop back to our pages every now and then to follow developments.

PHASE 4 // Consume TORQ Recovery Plus twice per day, every day: This phase of the TORQ Recovery System is all about ‘putting the icing on the cake’ so to speak and we’ve formulated the highly advanced TORQ Recovery Plus Hot Cocoa drink to facilitate both a higher training load and exemplary recovery and adaptation. Please take the time to read the ‘Recovery Explained’ section below so that you can fully understand the interplay between the training stimulus, recovery from the stimulus and ultimately adaptation as a result of receiving the stimulus.

TORQ Recovery Plus contains 3 key potent ingredients: HMB (Beta-Hydroxy-Methylbeutyrate), Beta-Alanine and Sodium Phosphate. HMB has amazing nitrogen-retention qualities, which makes it both naturally anabolic (body building) and anti-catabolic (prevents muscle breakdown). Beta-Alanine is a branched chain amino acid that helps to increase lactic acid buffering (removal), which results in increased anaerobic power, as well as aiding recovery between high intensity racing/training bouts. Sodium Phosphate complements Beta-Alanine by empowering the aerobic system to round off a truly comprehensive system.

Ultimately, TORQ Recovery Plus doesn’t only aid recovery during periods of high training stress, it contains key ingredients to boost performance as well. As a brief guide to usage of this product (comprehensive information below), TORQ Recovery Plus will provide benefits if taken continually during any high load training period, because of its HMB content, but the Beta-Alanine and Sodium Phosphate offer most potential during high intensity interval training and racing. Therefore, TORQ Recovery Plus is ideal for use throughout the competitive season, or in the lead up to (and including) a training camp or cycling holiday, where exercise intensity is going to be mixed (intense and prolonged).

It is the interplay between Beta-Alanine and HMB in TORQ Recovery Plus that is the most interesting and exciting. Beta-Alanine essentially creates a greater anaerobic training stimulus, by allowing you to maintain higher top-end power outputs for any given interval duration. This causes muscular damage (the section below explains how this is actually a good thing) and what HMB is particularly good at doing is knitting damaged muscle fibres back together again. The two nutrients work harmoniously together resulting in a greater training stimulus and stronger adaptation.

There are other beneficial uses for this product as a stand-alone training aid for some sprint-based disciplines, which you can read about on the TORQ Recovery Plus product page. Within the context of the TORQ Recovery System though, this product should always be used as part of the system, not on its own.

The Products

All of the products used within the TORQ Recovery System have been discussed in detail up to this point, but here’s a summary to confirm:

TORQ Recovery Drink: To be used in Phase 2 of the TORQ Recovery System onwards. For further information on this product, click HERE or on the image.

TORQ Recovery Bar: To be used in Phase 2 of the TORQ Recovery System onwards. For further information on this product, click HERE or on the image.

TORQ Energy Organic: To be used in Phase 3 of the TORQ Recovery System onwards. For further information on this product, click HERE or on the image.

TORQ Snaq Bar: To be used in Phase 3 of the TORQ Recovery System onwards. For further information on this product, click HERE or on the image.

TORQ Recovery Plus: To be used in Phase 4 of the TORQ Recovery System only. For further information on this product, click HERE or on the image.

Recovery Explained

To understand the recovery process properly, first of all you need to consider the training process. Once you understand this, it will be clear how attention to your diet, in combination with following the TORQ Recovery System, will help you to achieve your highest level of performance.

Figure 1: Diagram adapted from Bompa ‘Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training.’ Human Kinetics (1999).

This diagram above explains the training process beautifully. If you consider the vertical axis to be your ‘energy level’ and the horizontal axis to be ‘time’, Phase I shows the fatigue induced by a training session. Phase II demonstrates the body recovering and Phase III indicates an over-energised state, where the body has actually over-recovered (stronger than it was before the training session). Phase IV shows a regression of form as the over-energising wears off.

Each phase is of importance, but it’s Phase III that we’re obviously interested in – the getting stronger part. How does this happen? Clearly and simply, this is how all biological systems respond to a stimulus. We are not machines, so we don’t perform the same amount of consistent work, day in day out and get parts changed when they wear out or break. We are adaptive organisms, which means that when we’re put through hardship, we become weaker for a short time (Phase I). The shock of the stimulus causes our  body to throw every resource it has at the situation (including important components of our diet) to facilitate repair and re-energising (Phase II). It’s little wonder then that we get Supercompensation (Phase III) when you consider how over-resourced we become.

Figure 2. Adaptation Strategy ‘A’.

The diagram above shows what happens when you throw a few well-timed training sessions together.

Figure 3. Adaptation Strategy ‘B’.

Or you could string a number of training sessions together, deliberately allowing inadequate recovery, thus producing a deep trough of fatigue and a subsequent peak in form for a big event.

As much as we’d like to separate the concepts of fuelling and recovery and discuss them independently, it’s impossible, because they are unquestionably linked and this is why Phase 1 of the TORQ Recovery System is the TORQ Fuelling System. It goes without saying that a well recovered athlete is going to be in a better physiological state prior to an important training session than someone who is tired and under-fuelled. The diagram above demonstrates how a well-prepared athlete is able to generate a bigger training stimulus and therefore gain greater fitness benefit from a training session. Also, consider how an effective fuelling strategy during exercise could prolong and intensify the workout.

This next diagram shows how much quicker an athlete will recover if he/she uses an effective recovery strategy post exercise – the TORQ Recovery System perhaps? If you combine the key concepts in both of the last two diagrams, it becomes clear that a performance-fuelled athlete will be able to both train harder and recover quicker. Your best performances really are as simple as that!

If you have any questions at all about the TORQ Recovery System or any of the products/concepts discussed on this page, please don’t hesitate in contacting us on enquiries@torqfitness.co.uk or by phone on 0344 332 0852.

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