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Last year I went to the Montreal Salsa Convention and had lots of fun dancing all those 5 nights. I had bought trail mix bars and whole grain stuff and lots of proper health food to keep me energized, etc.

I had taken a couple of days off of work to help me recuperate. But still within a few days after the convention was over I was super exhausted. I couldn't concentrate. During dance lessons I had no strength and got sent home by my teacher. And the Saturday of the next weekend I had a lot of trouble getting out of bed and it didn't happen until 2pm. Mentally I was in great shape, but physically I was done. It took me a couple of months to fully recover.

What are some things I can do to help me recover faster? I'm currently taking BCAA for the gym. The guy at the nutrition store mentioned taking glycogen replenishers which kinda makes sense. But wondering if glycogen depletion is the real issue.

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I hear ya. I'm taking a recovery day today after 5 days of surfing (2-3 hour sessions each day) and I'm toasted. I binged on a ton of food last night and this morning (it made me ravenously hungry) and I'm just now feeling my energy levels start to climb back to normal. Muscle can take a few days to bounce back though. –  Evan Plaice Jun 13 '11 at 20:14
    
This year wasn't too bad. What I had forgotten is that last year I also had done a full day of workshops and then helped someone move the next day. Didn't help. –  Salsero69 Jun 13 '11 at 20:55
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I think there's a couple of things you can do to survive the next edition of the Montreal Salsa Convention, though you might not like all of them.

  • The easiest one is simply taking more rest and/or dance less intensive during the Convention. While this doesn't require any change in your lifestyle, its probably the least fun suggestion.
  • Make sure you get plenty of sleep, because if it were just fatigue from lack of energy, you wouldn't be able to lift your legs on the 5th day. I'd rather suspect that you didn't have sufficient sleep, which can also have quite an impact.
  • Get in better shape, not claiming you are in bad shape right now, but with a better shape you should be physically more capable of dancing for longer stretches of time and will recover faster.
  • Drink sufficiently. Associated Content says the following:

Even mild dehydration forces your heart to work harder because without adequate water intake, your blood thickens, making it more difficult for your heart to pump. Rather than aim for a certain number of ounces, monitor how often you go to the bathroom. You should need to urinate at least every two to four hours, and your urine should be almost clear and odorless. If your urine is dark or has a strong odor, you are not getting enough liquids in your diet.

But honestly, even if you followed all my tips, there's a point where too much is really too much, no amount of preparation can help you after that point. So try to listen to your body and take it in with some moderation. No event is so much fun that its worth months of fatigue afterwards!

So enjoy yourself, but with moderation

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To be honest, I think I am in better shape than last year. And I'm better prepared. But still may not be enough. Thanks for the suggestions, sometimes just the simplest points get forgotten. –  Salsero69 Apr 28 '11 at 3:32
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trail mix bars and whole grain stuff and lots of proper health food

Trail mix bars and whole grain anything is nowhere as healthy as you think. They are very pro inflamatory.

  1. Eat anti-inflamatory foods: that means large helpings of omega-3 foods (salmon, sardines, non-grain finished beef), no grains, nuts, seeds, or seed oils. No dairy, limited sugar and fructose (so no sweets and limited fruits - a little bit of 85% dark chocolate is OK). Beware of oils that have a large potential for oxydation. Consider using ghee and coconut oil for a while.
  2. Supplement with Vit D: you probably need several thousand UI over what you currently get, unless you are getting a huge amount of sun.
  3. Get at least 8hrs a night of high quality sleep in a dark, quiet room.
  4. Eat plenty of quality foods. You might need to increase your caloric intake more than you think. The body needs plenty of proteins and good quality fats to offset the damage of exercise.
  5. Supplement your food with some raw fermented sauerkraut / pickles / kimchi / etc, to make sure your gut flora is in order.
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Why no "grains, nuts, seeds, or seed oils"? –  Chelonian Nov 9 '11 at 3:35
    
These oils are super rich in omega-6, and an imbalance in omega-6 and -3 may be pro inflammatory and damaging in other ways. Our modern diet is very skewed towards omega-6 (10X or 20X more abundant than O-3). –  JDelage Nov 9 '11 at 20:16
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