Your Ideal Recovery Meal

Are you under the impression that protein powder is the only way to recover after a workout?
Athletes who train consistently hard on consecutive days are the ones who are able to get stronger and perform better in races. The key to this isn't just a loud alarm clock or superhuman willpower, however, it's recovering quickly from training so you can train hard, day in and day out. Nailing your post-workout nutrition promotes quick recovery, reduces muscle soreness, builds muscle, improves immune system functioning, and replenishes glycogen—all key building blocks in setting you up for tomorrow's session.

When we consume meals or snacks as soon as possible post workout (ex. within 30 minutes), our muscles become primed to accept key nutrients that can replenish glycogen and encourage protein synthesis. As a reminder, recovery includes everything that happens between two workouts which theoretically means that your recovery nutrition "window" is open all day.

Together, carbohydrates, protein, and fats are essential to maximize recovery, and thus, training. When athletes load up only on protein or carbohydrates—two of the usual suspects in most recovery meals—athletes will likely fall short of meeting dietary fat needs, which play an understated but important role in overall health, as well as promoting feelings of fullness.

The day to day foundation of an athlete's diet should be made up of real foods—wholesome by nature and rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Whereas the purpose of recovery nutrition is to help an athlete refuel, rehydrate, and repair (and eventually build), athletes often fall short on recovery nutrition due to a rushed lifestyle, poor planning, loss of an appetite, or the tendency to reward or restrict food (for a variety of reasons). Coupled with a body that is mentally and physically exhausted, it's not a shock that athletes find it easier to make time to train, but not to plan healthy recovery meals.

Although recovery nutrition has evolved into a precise and complicated science, taking into consideration age, gender, environmental factors, fitness level, workout intensity and duration, endurance athletes should recognize that a real world setting may not allow you to eat perfectly after every workout. Thankfully for us, recovery nutrition is quite simple. 

Check out my latest Ironman article with a detailed 4-step guide to building the perfect post-workout recovery snack or meal.
Proper recovery nutrition is at your fingertips.

CLICK HERE to read the article. 

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