Racing can take a lot out of a horse. Just like human athletes that have to replenish and recover, so do horses. We at racehorsemeds.com go over key steps to optimal equine recovery after a race or workout.
Optimal recovery post-exercise or racing enables horses to continue to train and perform at peak levels. Poor recovery from racing or exercise can lead to injury, sub-optimal racing performance and may even affect future racing longevity.
Strenuous exercise affects many areas of body function; muscle function & damage, blood acid-base balance, fluid & electrolyte loss and energy storage. Adequate nutrition enables the replenishment, repair, and recovery of all these processes is critical to the overall well being and optimal performance of the horse.
The harder the work, the higher the B-Group vitamin requirement. A lack of B-Group vitamins will significantly impact muscle function and energy utilization which will have negative implications.
Electrolytes play a critical role in a horse’s fluid balance, nerve/muscle function, and maintenance of blood pH. High levels of electrolytes can be lost particularly via sweat but also from urine and feces. Travel, nerves, humidity and excessive heat increase the loss of electrolytes and lead to premature fatigue, reduced stamina and poor recovery. Replenishment of electrolytes is critical to ensure the optimal functioning of muscle & nerves, maintenance of fluid balance, rehydration and blood pH. Electrolyte losses must be replaced on a daily basis.
High-intensity exercise causes the breakdown of muscle fibers and stimulates the body to increase muscle mass. High-quality protein is required to aid in the repair of muscle fibers and supply the building block for new muscle cells. Inadequate muscle mass will affect muscle function and lead to faster fatigue. Post-race muscle soreness and loss of muscle mass usually indicate poor protein intake.
Inadequate lysine intake will lead to the loss of muscle from the top of the rump and front of the shoulder. Racing rations deficient in lysine will cause horses to lose muscle mass 2-3 runs into a campaign.
Acid Base Balance
Acidosis or lowered alkali reserve causes muscle fatigue, mental irritability, poor performance, and muscle soreness.
Muscle cells and blood become acidic following exercise (particularly sprint work or maximum exertion). Optimal acid-base balance (blood pH) is critical to peak performance. Body acid neutralizers reduce excess lactic acid, restore lost sodium (alkali) and balance both tissue, and blood pH for maximum performance.
Anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals produced through exercise which have a detrimental effect on muscle tissue damage. Studies have shown supplementing with anti-oxidants will help reduce the risk of muscle tissue damage and allow the resumption of work and racing sooner.
Anti-oxidants help protect muscle tissue from free radical damage, as horses get older the ability to fight free radical damage reduces and therefore supplementing older horses with anti-oxidants will aid the bodies natural defense processes.
We at racehorsemeds.com hope that this information is informative when choosing the post-race recovery products and supplements that you need for your horse of stable of horses. And remember that racehorsemeds.com has all of your equine, camel, alpaca, greyhound and pigeon supplements, vitamins and performance products. Our online superstore is easy to navigate and our prices are amazingly low. If you need amino acids, bleeding products, calming products & sedatives, explosion products, joint supplements, pastes & powders, post-race recovery supplements, stomach medicines, weight & conditioning supplements, blood builders, breathing & respiratory agents, pain supplements, performance supplements, power builders, and buffers.