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What’s needed for a good recovery

Recovery after a training session is very important in the life of active people. Its part of the training such as the workout itself. It’s finishing up the training. Activities trigger certain physiologic processes which make us fitter, stronger, better and more resistant to fatigue. All this can only happen when our body is given enough energy and nutrients.

 

For a good recovery, it’s important to pay attention to four aspects:

  • REPLENISH: after a workout we need to replenish our glycogen stores. as soon as possible after a workout or a competition, ideally within 30 minutes, we should aim at consuming some carbohydrates: fruits, bread with jam or honey, some pasta, some rice, dried fruits, chocolate milk, a smoothie
  • REPAIR: every exercise session stresses our muscles. They need to recover and to be able to do that, they need some high quality protein. 30 g of good protein are enough to support the muscle protein synthesis. Athletes often think they need big amounts of protein but the more doesn’t necessarily mean the better or more in synthesis rate. There’s no further increase in protein synthesis with more than 30 g of protein, so keep it at 30 g. Like with carbohydrates, it’s important to consume the protein soon after the session, within 30 minutes.
  • REINFORCE: after trainmen we also want to boost our immune system. Intense activities and competitions are a big stressor for our defensive system. A meal rich in antioxidants will help boost the immune system and recover from exercise. Best choices are vegetables and fruits with dark colors. Make your plate as colorful as possible!
  • REHYDRATE: during exercise we lose some fluids and need to replenish. Who does not rehydrate after a session will most likely not recover as well as others because dehydration slows recovery. Alcohol and high sugar beverages (soda pops) are not the best recovery option, better choices include diluted fruit juices, electrolyte drinks, sports drinks, teas or sometimes water. Milk is also an option and it actually is a perfect recovery tool as it combines fluid, carbohydrates and high quality protein (*cow milk) when we think of chocolate milk.

 

If you consider all the above mentioned points and make sure you get your nutrients right after training, you are on the best way to a speedy recovery for your next training session!