Sam Mewis is a FIFA World Cup winner and professional player from Kansas City Current. However, when it comes to his recovery, the thirty year old star is like you and me: she sticks to the essentials. This includes a regular eight-hour sleep schedule, good nutrition, and a little help from a few beloved products.
Stick to the basics of sleep
You won’t catch Mewis sacrificing sleep. “The older I got, the more sleep became such an important part of my routine,” Mewis says. “I need eight hours of sleep, otherwise I really don’t feel well at all.”
For Mewis, the secret of Restorative sleep lies in the preparation. Mewis tries to go to bed at 9 p.m. and wake up at 7 a.m. every day. She also stays away from screens before touching the pillow as much as possible. Whether it’s sipping tart cherry juice (as she often does) or taking melatonin and reading, for her, the regular relaxation routine is essential.
It’s a philosophy Jason WerslandMD, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Therabody, also echoes: adults need sleep routines. When you’re a kid, you’re taught to prepare for bed at a certain time and have a set pattern, he says. These principles must not disappear when you become independent. For example, if you get rid of emails at 11:30 p.m. and expect to fall asleep at 11:32 p.m., your brain doesn’t work like that, says Wersland. You need to help your body get into the restorative state that sleep requires. Regular routines, coupled with a lack of screens, help solidify this.
Recovery goes far beyond sleep and stretching, it’s also food. “As women, we’re so socially trained to watch what we eat,” Mewis says. “But as an athlete and as someone trying to heal and recover and be strong, I need to eat a lot.” To that end, Mewis is focusing his attention on foods that can fuel him and directly benefit his athletic performance on the field.
That doesn’t mean she’s snacking on bland protein bars. It is in fact the opposite case: her husband is a cook. And while Mewis focuses on her vegetable and protein intake, she says she’ll eat any dish he puts in front of her. In the morning, she says she loves eating a frittata. Her husband will make it on weekends, and she will eat it throughout the week with toast and vegetables. Because, yes, even professional athletes need meal prep.
Turn to tools
But she also loves the company PowerDots– And she’s not the only one. Like a massage gun, these little dots stimulate your muscles to relieve pain and improve performance. “You’ll see a lot of people around the locker room with the PowerDots on before they go out and play,” she said.
Mix hot and cold
After practice, you won’t find Mewis lingering in one place for too long. “I like the contrast,” she says. It means mixing temperatures and braving extreme heat and glacial cold. She often alternates between an ice bath and a hot tub in one session. And when she has time, she loves spending 20 minutes jogging and stretching in the pool. “I think pool compression is super valuable for swelling and pain.”
Due to Mewis’ current knee injury, she is intentional with her recovery. “Especially with the injury I’m dealing with, the swelling is preventing me from playing and performing,” she says. As a result, she spends a lot of time with compression products, including Therabody’s famous compression boots that many stars swear by, as well as the RecoveryTherm hot and cold vibration kneea therapeutic device.
You can see professional athletes dropping ice packs on their muscles and joints after a game. And while there’s nothing wrong with using icing, it may not be the most effective approach to supporting tired muscles. Wersland explains that when you throw an ice pack on your legs, your skin may stay cold at first, but over time the ice begins to melt, making the treatment progressively less effective. However, when using a temperature-regulated device, such as the sleeve used by Mewis, it remains at 46.4 degrees, a therapeutic temperature, throughout the session.
Professional athlete or amateur, we could all take a little something from the Mewis routine: rest, refuel, and take care of our joints and muscles. Here’s to winning big the way that matters.