Why You Should Get Drinks With Friends This Week May 15, 2018 12:46
Find out the incredible effect a night out with friends can have for your brain.
There are numerous ways of expediting recovery in the athletes after intense training sessions, but by far the most effective is social interaction. That's right the secret isn't massage, compression, or cryotherapy. It's cultivating fun and laid-back environments where athletes can hang out with each other. Following competitions or especially challenging practices, some coaches more or less mandates their athletes attend team breakfasts, lunches, or movie/game nights. Fascinating new science backs them up.
The ratio of the hormones testosterone to cortisol acts as a good indicator of systemic recovery (the higher this ratio, the better). A study out of Bangor University in the UK found this ratio was higher in athletes who went through their post-game analysis in a social environment with friends than in athletes who went through it in a neutral environment with strangers. What's more is that the group in the social environment actually performed better in competition a week later. The lead author on this study, Christian Cook, PhD, professor of physiology and elite performance at Bangor University, told us that "a friendly post-exercise setting—particularly being able to talk, joke, and debrief with other athletes—seems to help with recovery and future performance."
Yes, that's right, we just provided you with the scientific basis for getting drinks with friends. (Note: We did not say "happy hour." Happy hour tends to be a time when people who work together go out to commiserate about work. As such, far too often these hours are generally not very happy. Go hang out with your friends instead.)