What is Recovery Nutrition?

In a nutshell, recovery nutrition is the process of refueling your body with food and drink after rigorous physical activity such as a practice, workout or game.

More specifically, as an athlete, you burn a large amount of calories (or fuel) during a practice or a game. While you practice and compete, energy stores are used up and recovery nutrition is important for “restocking” them. Without proper recovery nutrition, you may feel sluggish and tired during the next time you perform.

Recovery nutrition is also important for rebuilding and repairing muscle tissue that has been broken down during practices and competition.

Recovery nutrition does have a time factor: you should consume a snack or meal within 30 minutes to 1 hour of rigorous physical activity. To achieve optimal recovery, strive for a meal or snack that consists of a combination of carbohydrates (grains, pasta, fruit, starchy vegetables, bread, etc.) and protein (meats, dairy, nuts, soy).

Optimal recovery

occurs within 30 min.

of completing activity

 

For most athletes, a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is adequate. This means if you consume 15 g of protein, there should be at least 45 g of carbohydrates in your meal or snack.

For example, three slices of bread is about 45 g of carbohydrates and three slices of turkey sandwich meat is about 15 g of protein.

Not all athletes will need the same size recovery meal or snack or the same ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Depending on the duration and intensity of your workout, you may need more or less after exercise.

If you are an endurance athlete, you may require more carbohydrates to build your energy stores. (4:1 ratio)

If you have weight gain or weight loss goals, you may also need to alter the ratio of carbohydrates to protein as well.

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