We often think about what to eat to fuel our workouts – but what about post-workout recovery? Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on post-workout fueling: who needs it + best strategies for nutrient timing to help your body refuel efficiently.
Post-workout recovery: essential to optimize power & performance, reduce risk of injury & minimize fatigue
To Refuel Efficiently:
Process of rehydrating & refueling starts immediately post-workout; ideally within 20 to 30 minutes.
Muscle cells are like sponges, ready to soak up and replenish with fast-digesting carbohydrates. Including a source of protein can enhance this recovery process.
A 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein has been shown to be effective when it comes to replenishing glycogen stores (e.g. 60 grams carbs and 15 grams protein); at the very least aim for 2:1 carb:protein ratio.
Can be “real” food or supplements like bars or protein powder, or a combo of both.
5 “Real Food” Recovery Snacks:
Per cup: 160 calories – 30 grams carb – 27 grams sugar – 8 grams protein
The pair = 150 calories – 16 grams carb – 15 grams sugar – 7 grams protein
280 mg sodium & 700 mg potassium
~2:1 ratio carb:protein
Turkey Sandwich on Whole Grain bread
Turkey is naturally rich in protein, potassium + sodium; bread provides sodium + carbs
Carb:protein ratio varies with type of bread + amount of turkey
Smoothie: Whey Protein + Milk or Almond Milk + Tart Cherries + Banana + Sea Salt
Whey protein = fast-digesting, enters muscle cells quickly
Tart cherries can help reduce muscle soreness
Sea salt helps replenish electrolytes lost in sweat
Banana helps boost carb:protein ratio closer to 4:1
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD