When you work out hard, you need fuel. When you’re working out hard again the next day, and the day after that, and the 5 days after that, you need recovery.
Your body contains stores of glycogen, and when you exercise that glycogen is broken down into energy that you use to run, climb, jump or spin your legs. When your body is finally done exercising, your stores are empty and you need to fill them back up by consuming carbohydrates. When you put your body through intense exercise, you also create micro-damage in your muscles. The amino acids in protein are necessary for repairing those little tears and rebuilding your muscle fibers which is why having protein in your recovery is extremely important. However, you don’t want to consume too many grams, or it can actually inhibit how much glucose gets back into your muscles. You also need a combination of some fats which help you absorb nutrients better, as well as hydration and electrolytes to replenish what you lost through sweating.
The crucial window when your body is able to most efficiently absorb nutrients is within 30 minutes after you’ve finished working out. Your body will continue to turn carbs into muscle glycogen 3x faster than normal for up to 4 hours later, so what you eat continues to matter. The ideal ratios to efficiently replenish your glycogen and rebuild your muscles are 3:1 or 4:1 carbs to protein. You can find this blend of carbs and protein along with added vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in a recovery powder like Fluid Recovery
. Mix these up with milk or a non-dairy alternative or toss them into a smoothie for a great recovery shake.
The kind of recovery you want depends on the kind of workout. After intense endurance cardio workouts you need carb-heavy recovery. Strength workouts like crossfit or weight lifting require a more protein focused recovery. If you’re on the go and can’t make yourself a meal immediately after, some recovery bars like Probar Core Bar
or Vega Sport Protein Bar
are high in calories and essential nutrients and are great meal replacement options. If you are able to get to a kitchen and make yourself a whole food recovery meal we recommend that your meal be about 40% carbs, 30% proteins and 30% fats.
Recovery allows your body to heal itself and build strength in between workouts so you can get after it again and again. Try adding recovery
into your workout routine, today.