Despite increasing participation rates in masters sport and extensive research examining age-related changes in performance, little is known about the effect of age on recovery kinetics in masters athletes. This narrative review focuses on the relationship between aging and sport participation, and the effect on both performance and recovery following an exercise bout. Current research suggests the effect of age on performance and recovery may be smaller than originally suggested and that increasing sedentary lifestyles appear to play a larger role in any observed decrements in performance and recovery in masters athletes. Currently, it appears that performance decrements are inevitable with age. However, performance capacities can be maintained through systematic physical training. Moreover, the limited current research suggests there may be an age effect on recovery kinetics following an exercise bout, although further research is required to understand the acute and chronic recovery processes in the masters athlete.
Borges and Reaburn are with the School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia. Driller is with the Department of Sport and Leisure Studies, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Argus is with the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia; and ACT Brumbies Rugby, Canberra, Australia.