The recipe for optimal recovery
It isn’t easy trying to figure out what foods to eat after a challenging physical event such as a marathon, a triathlon or even an obstacle course like RX1 Nation. Here’s some food for thought…
Eating after your workout can help you improve the effects of your workout, increase your muscle mass, rebuild your energy reserves and help you perform better in your next workout.
WHAT nutrients to eat?
The body mainly needs 2 nutrients to recover well:
1) Protein: When you do physical activity, your body breaks down your muscle protein. By consuming protein, you will give your body the elements it needs to repair and rebuild your muscles.
2) Carbohydrates: The main role of carbohydrates is to provide energy to the body. The body has energy stores, called glycogen, found in the liver and muscles. After training, the body’s energy reserves are reduced. You can help your body rebuild its glycogen stores by eating carbohydrates.
WHEN to eat?
We must refuel our bodies, just as we do for our cars. The 30 minute period following our workout is the best time for the body to recover from its efforts. Your body will therefore assimilate proteins and carbohydrates more quickly during this period.
WHAT to eat?
Any well-balanced meal containing carbohydrates and protein is excellent after a workout. However, if you attend an event, you will probably not eat your meal within 30 minutes after your workout. In this case, it is recommended to eat a snack rich in carbohydrates and protein after training and eating a balanced meal 3 to 4 hours later.
Here are some examples of snacks:
• Chocolate milk (e.g. Lait’s Go Sport 325mL)
• Whole grain cheese and crackers
• Yogurt parfait: berries, granola and Greek yogurt
• Nuts/seeds and dried fruits
• Sandwich (e.g. tuna, eggs or other protein)
• Smoothie: (e..g protein powder and banana)
• Post-training bar (e.g. Zero Diet Post Training Bar)
What about rehydration?
The amount of water you need after an event depends on many factors such as temperature, duration of training, weight, etc. The simplest rule of whether you are well hydrated is to check if your urine is pale yellow. If it is darker, you must drink more water.