Recovery Pro or Nightly Recharge – which is the right one for me?
As a Polar Vantage V user, you can choose from two different recovery tracking solutions: Recovery Pro and Nightly Recharge. Both solutions are based on top-notch science, and make use of generally accepted tools for measuring training, stress, and recovery. The choice is yours, but we’ve collected some information here to help you decide.
If you’re highly performance-oriented, Recovery Pro could be your choice. Achieving your goals not only requires hard work, but also the daily evaluation of your readiness to train and the ability to adjust your training plan accordingly. Adjusting your training based on recovery can make a huge difference in your development. Recovery Pro makes use of Orthostatic test, a generally used tool for athletes to monitor their recovery.
You might want to go with Nightly Recharge, if you’re a regular trainer looking for balance between training and other commitments – such as work, family and friends. You want to reach your goals without compromising overall well-being. Nightly Recharge is an automatic overnight recovery measurement that helps you make optimal choices every day.
Orthostatic test is a part of the Recovery Pro feature, but you can also use it independently.
Heart rate variability is the key
Recovery Pro and Nightly Recharge have a common foundation. They both assess the function of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The autonomic control of the heart changes in response to increased training load and mental stress. Measuring heart rate and heart rate variability is considered a reliable means to indirectly estimate the autonomic control of the heart. Both features make use of the same heart rate variability metric (RMSSD, Root Mean Square of Successive Differences in beat-to-beat intervals) which reflects activity of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. Despite the common foundation, Recovery Pro and Nightly Recharge can sometimes give you different feedback. This is because they measure heart rate variability in different conditions and combine it with different metrics.
Keep reading to dig deeper into the scientific backround of each feature.
In Recovery Pro, the autonomic control of the heart is assessed with Orthostatic test. The test measures your resting heart rate variability (RMSSD rest) and standing heart rate variability (RMSSD stand) with a heart rate sensor worn around your chest. These values are then compared to your individual 28-day baseline. To make sure that your results are as reliable as possible, we recommend taking the Orthostatic test in the morning in similar conditions each time. If the heart rate variability values are within your normal range, your cardio system is considered to be recovered. If either of the two heart rate variabiilty values are below or above their normal range, your recovery is considered incomplete. This is called cardio recovery level and it forms the core of the short-term recovery feedback. In addition, Recovery Pro also gives you feedback on whether you've been training too much, too little or just right recently. It does this by combining your training history with your long-term cardio recovery level and your perceived recovery (evaluated with questions about muscle soreness, fatigue and sleep).
Nightly Recharge status consists of ANS charge and sleep charge. ANS charge looks at how well your autonomic nervous system calmed down during the first hours of your sleep compared to your usual level. Your individual 28-day baseline is used as a point of comparison. ANS charge is formed by combining heart rate, heart rate variability (RMSSD) and breathing rate that are measured automatically with an optical sensor from your wrist during roughly the first 4 hours of your sleep. Heart rate has the biggest influence when forming ANS charge and breathing rate the smallest. The higher the ANS charge, the better your cardio system has recovered. This is because increased heart rate and decreased heart rate variability are considered to indicate poor recovery while decreased heart rate and increased heart rate variability are considered to indicate good recovery.
Sleep charge is built on Polar sleep measurement that automatically measures the amount and quality of your sleep each night. It combines the amount and quality metrics into a single number, called sleep score. Sleep charge reflects how well you slept by comparing your sleep score to your usual level. Your individual 28-day baseline is used as a point of comparison. Based on your Nightly Recharge status, you get personalized daily tips on exercise, sleep and regulating energy levels.