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Post-Workout Recovery Nutrition for Athletes

Author:FTM
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Recovery nutritionEvery athlete should create a training schedule that allows for ample rest and off-days to help the body recovery and rebuild after training. While this helps address the physical stress of training, this does not address the nutritional stress of training. In addition to physical rest and recovery, the body needs recovery nutrition to support the rebuilding process. If this important step is missed, the body will not perform at optimal levels, and the next day of training and performance will suffer.

In general, recovery nutrition involves a combination of proteins, carbohydrates, electrolytes and fluids to provide proper rehydration, refueling, and rebuilding. The amounts can differ from athlete to athlete and there is no single drink or bar that will work for everyone. Many variables such as age, athletic activity, gender, body size, fitness levels, and environmental events (such as temperature and altitude) will affect recovery needs. As always, trial and error is the best way to find the best nutrition program for YOU. In addition to a well balanced diet, below is a breakdown of a few essential components to recovery nutrition:

Protein
This is the major macronutrient responsible for the rebuilding process. During strenuous physical activity the body undergoes varying amounts of muscle breakdown and, in some cases, tissue damage. Protein is needed to repair damage to muscle fibers. Not all proteins are created equal, however. There are nine essential amino acids that the body needs through food and supplementation. To get the full benefit of proteins and their muscle building qualities, it’s important have a diet that includes complete sources of protein that are made up from all essential amino acids. Protein sources such as chicken breast, lean beef, tuna, salmon, and eggs are all great sources. Vegetarian sources include quinoa, buckwheat, hempseed, chia, and soy. Many recovery protein powders, such as SFH Recovery, Klean Recovery and Recoverite contain these essential amino acids. Suggested recommendations for protein post workout are 0.3 to 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (roughly 20-40 grams of protein total).

Carbohydrates
This macronutrient is our number one energy source during physical activity. Once our glycogen storage has been tapped (the storage form of glucose, aka sugar), our body will turn to other forms of fuel such as protein and fat. During lengthy training sessions (that last more than an hour), carbohydrates should be used during training and after for recovery. As endurance athletes, training can consist of several hours of physical activity, and often more than once per day. For these athletes, carbohydrates are crucial during recovery in order to maintain optimal energy and performance levels during the next training session. Recommendations vary from 0.8 to 1.5 grams of high glycemic carbohydrates per 1 kg of body weight within 30 minutes of exercise. Depending on your level of activity, you can play with these amounts. Sources within the diet could include fruit (such as bananas or oranges), whole grain toast or recovery bars, whole grains and potatoes. Many recovery drinks such as Fluid, Klean Recovery and Recoverite also contain carbohydrates in the form of maltodextrin, dextrose, and fructose.

Electrolytes and Fluids
It’s no surprise that every athlete should rehydrate during and after workouts. As we engage in physical activity, our body loses fluids and electrolytes through sweat. An easy way to gauge your hydration and electrolyte levels is through your urine (amount and color), energy levels, and muscle cramping. To maintain hydration levels, athletes must start training already hydrated. Drink about 20 ounces of fluid an hour or so before training and continue to drink throughout workouts (about every 15 minutes or so). After physical activity, aim for 20 oz of fluid for every pound of weight lost during activity. For training that is over 1-1.5 hrs, consume fluid with electrolytes and calories added to replenish your magnesium, sodium, calcium, and potassium levels. Fluid is a great example of electrolyte rich recovery drink with added calories for fuel.

Recovery Nutrition by Numbers
- In general, athletes should begin their recovery nutrition program within 15-45 minutes after training. - Ratios for carbs to proteins during recovery should be at minimum, 2:1. Many products focus on a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio, depending on the intensity and the length of training. - Daily fluid requirements are roughly 2 Litres per day, with 20-24oz of fluid needed for every pound lost during physical activity. - Any training lasting more than 1-1.5 hrs requires electrolyte replacement. - Protein recommendations are 0.3-0.4 gm/kg or 20-40 grams total. Carbohydrate recommendations are 0.8-1.5 g/kg.

Recommended products
The following products contain all recovery components of electrolytes, protein and carbohydrates. Each provides their own unique ratio of carbohydrates to protein.

Klean Recovery:
Klean Recovery is a milk chocolate flavored powder made with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, sourced with all non-GMO ingredients and is gluten free. A 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio designed to be taken post-workout or competition, formulated with a marine protein that is absorbed more efficiently than other sources and rich in amino acids such as Methionine, Histidine, and Arginine. Fuel your training and optimize performance with Klean Recovery so you can continue to train, recover, and repeat.

Recoverite
: Recoverite supplies carbohydrates and protein in an ideal 3:1 ratio using a high quality whey protein isolate, along with glutamine, l-carnosine, and a full-spectrum electrolyte profile for superior glycogen synthesis and muscle tissue rebuilding. It functions as both a meal replacement drink and recovery drink.

Fluid Recovery
: Fluid Recovery is a protein and glutamine fortified drink for after exercise muscle recovery. When taken immediately following exercise, its unique formula helps the body repair damaged tissue and adapt to the demands of exercise training. It contains carbohydrates, proteins, L-glutamine, electrolytes, and Vitamin C, creating a comprehensive & natural formula for muscle repair, regeneration, and recovery. For athletes looking for additional protein added to their nutrition program, SFH offers a high quality whey protein with no carbohydrates added. This would serve as a great morning or evening protein supplement, in addition to a recovery drink used directly after a workout. This protein also functions as a great supplement for athletes doing anaerobic workouts, such as CrossFit and strength training, providing additional protein for muscle building and synthesis.

SFH Recovery:
Finding clean high quality whey is not easy but SFH hits the mark and that's what matters to us. Their whey comes from grass feed, free range animals without the use of antibiotics, and hormones. In addition, their Recovery Whey product is unique in that it doesn't come with added carbohydrates like many other recovery powders. As a result, it's a good product for those looking for a protein heavy recovery drink. Recovery Whey also comes with added amino acids and other nutrients known for speeding up the recovery process and building muscles.

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