Check Recovery Inside Your Muscle Fuel Stores
Am I ready to perform?
Is my recovery sufficient?
How full is my ‘tank’?
How much fuel am I using when I exercise/train/compete?
How well is my soft tissue injury recovering? How soon can I get back to ‘normal’?
Do I have balanced muscle development? How could this affect me on and off the field?
The above questions can be tackled by taking advantage of the MuscleSound® ultrasound technology that assesses Muscle Energy Status (MES) - a source of muscle energy production that is made up of muscle glycogen and muscle fluid. Muscle glycogen is where the majority of your carbohydrate is stored. If muscles are low in glycogen then this may lead to the inability to perform at your highest level and/or an increased risk for injury.
Muscle glycogen testing is another proxy in the tool box to evaluate recovery (meaning either nutrition and/or rest and/or modifying the training load) based on an athlete’s training load. Should they train or should they focus more on some aspect of recovery? If they train, could they be at an increased risk for injury because they may have an imbalance of muscle glycogen on their right and left sides? Is there a glute muscle over-activating to compensate for a poorly firing quad?
Why is it important to measure your muscle glycogen?
Readiness: to ensure that you are ready for your training or competition. It’s important to scan at least 2 days before to see your values. If they are low, then your muscles are not at optimal readiness for performance. This serves as an ‘early warning’ so you can adjust your nutritional plan and/or training load.
Recovery: to ensure that your recovery is sufficient for future training or competition. It’s important to scan 2 days after training/competition so that muscles have time to repair and return to baseline. If your value is low then recovery will need either more rest or changes in nutrition/training.
Fuel Tracking: to scan muscles before and immediately after training/competition to assess the effect on your muscle glycogen by looking at the decrease in MES values pre- to post.
If an athlete is still recovering from an injury, are they still favoring a particular side? Will they tell you that? Or even know that? Could knowing this prevent further injury?
Injured muscles have less capacity to store and use fuel compared to healthy muscles. This impacts your Muscle Energy Status. As you progress through rehab, the capacity to store fuel increases as your muscles start healing. Monitoring and tracking the improvements is a tool to gauge the recovery process. This takes the guesswork out of treatment, which can expedite the return to play.
Muscle Fuel Symmetry:
Muscle balance (bilateral muscle symmetry) is key for moving efficiently and good posture. At high intensity exercise, it serves as an injury risk, especially during competition. Muscle symmetry between the right and left sides of the body helps prevent injury and could potentially allow the body to work more efficiently.
This is a novel, highly accurate measure of muscle fuel symmetry compared to symmetry tests involving rudimentary methods like calisthenic or strength testing. The differences in muscle fuel symmetry are highly noticeable on the scans.
For sports, the value in this test is position specific and can be interpreted and applied by the coach depending on the individual athlete.
Benefits of MuscleSound
Evaluation of muscle glycogen stores to better inform your nutrition plan
Determination of optimal readiness for training
Check if your muscles are recovering from your training load
Monitor return to play following an injury