This article discusses WHOOP Recovery and provides insight on how we report, analyze, and break down these metrics.
Recovery reflects how well prepared your body is to take on Strain, and is a measure of your body's "return to baseline" after a stressor. The size of these stressors - which can range from illness, exercise, psychological stress or sleep deprivation - determines how much your body needs to recover.
- When your Recovery is high, your body is primed to take on strain.
- When your Recovery is low, you may be at greater risk for injury, or overtraining (during intense workouts).
Recovery is highly personalized to each individual member; this means that two people with the same combination of resting heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, sleep performance, blood oximetry (SpO2), and skin temperature on a given day could get very different Recoveries.
Recovery Analysis, Reporting, and Breakdown
WHOOP learns each member's unique baseline over time and adjusts continuously to guide individual training and personal lifestyle.
Recovery is reported on a 0-100% scale and divided into three stages:
Green = Sufficient Recovery. 67% or above. The body is primed to adapt to a larger training load.
Yellow = Adequate Recovery. 34% - 66%. The body is able to adapt to high training load but might be compromised based on the lower end of the spectrum.
Red = Low Recovery. 33% or below. In most cases, you may want to consider a low load (Strain) day or a day off and consider the influence of lifestyle factors on your score.
How Recovery is Calculated
WHOOP calculates your body's Recovery during your Sleep (each night) and reports your Recovery the next morning (after your Sleep is complete).
Many metrics are factored into your Recovery:
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
- Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
- Respiratory Rate (RR)
- Sleep Performance
- Blood oximetry (SpO2) (when detected)
- Skin Temperature (when detected)
Heart Rate Variability measures the difference in the amount of time between successive heartbeats. It is calculated using a dynamic average throughout one's sleep, giving more weight to periods of slow-wave sleep (SWS). This calculation method enables you to get an accurate understanding of your baseline, from which you can monitor trends/abnormalities.
HRV is a health indicator for your autonomic nervous system, and a trending increase in HRV leads to a stronger Recovery. For more information on HRV, visit this locker post.
Resting Heart Rate measures your heartbeat using a dynamic average throughout your sleep, giving more weight to periods of slow-wave sleep.
Lower RHR over time is an indication of improved fitness and recovery.
Respiratory Rate is the number of breaths you take per minute, on average, and over the course of your entire Sleep.
On average, your RR shouldn't fluctuate too much. Significant increases to your RR could be meaningful, and a plausible indicator of illness or health complications. For more information on Respiratory Rate, visit this locker post.
Sleep is when your body recovers. Getting more sleep each night can improve your Recovery the following day, and overtime. Sleep Performance is a measure of the hours of sleep achieved compared to your Sleep Need.
Getting 8 hours of sleep does not guarantee a good Recovery. For more information on why sleep is so important to recovery and more about WHOOP’s Sleep metrics, visit this locker post.
Blood Oximetry (SpO2) is a measure of the oxygen in your blood. Low levels of oxygen in your blood can be indicative of overtraining or illness. The Recovery Score factors in SpO2 when there are illness indications from the other metrics, which are more heavily weighted.
Blood oximetry is only measured for WHOOP 4.0 members. If you do not see a blood oximetry score (ex: if you are a WHOOP 3.0 member or at times SpO2 for a 4.0 member was not measured for the night) this will not significantly impact your recovery). For more information on blood oximetry, visit this page.
Skin Temperature is a measure of the outer body temperature and is different from internal core temperature. The Recovery Score factors in skin temperature when there are illness indications from the other metrics, which are more heavily weighted.
Skin temperature is only measured for WHOOP 4.0 members. If you do not see a skin temperature score (ex: if you are a WHOOP 3.0 member or at times skin temperature for a 4.0 member was not measured for the night) this will not significantly impact your recovery). For more information on skin temperature, visit this page.