Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fuel Your Body-Post Workout Recovery Nutrition

You just swam 100 laps, pressed your barbell in a Les Mills class over your head. Spin your bike, Run 10K, or hopped around with Tony Horton in P90X, or bench-pressed a ton of weight like the incredible Hulk. Whatever you did to get your heart rate going and sweat pouring down your forehead, you need to have the proper nutrition to help you recover from your strenuous workout.

So if you notice that after a running race especially a marathon, you will see tables covered with cups of water. Well, it’s important to rehydrate to replace any fluids lost through urination and mostly the flop sweat. However don’t wait until the end of the workout to drink your water, you should also continue to hydrate during your workout also.

Now that you are not thirsty, you will need to replenish your muscle glycogen stores by drinking or eating carbohydrates. Glycogen is what fuels muscles to move. That is why Gatorade and PowerAde sponsor so many sporting events. I recall Gatorade being given out at the end of the New York City Marathon and PowerAde over at the Disney Marathon.

At the same time your muscles need to start repairing itself, so protein is needed to start the rebuilding process. Kara Goucher, Third Place Finisher of the 2009 ING New York City Marathon, said that her body would feel beat up after a training session. After her coach, Alberto Salazar suggested to include a protein drink did she start to recover faster

By adding protein to carbs, insulin facilitates the glucose uptake in the muscle and the conversion into glycogen, which helps absorb the protein to make repairs. In a study done by Dr. John Ivy at University of Texas, the 4:1 Carb to Protein Ratio should be taken within 15 minutes of finishing the workout for maximum performance and growth for the muscles.

The risk to your body by not rehydrating, getting enough carbs and protein is that you will be dehydrated, tired, have a weaker immune system, and damage to the muscles. Which in turn will make it much harder to recover and be ready for your next workout.

Some examples of the 4:1 Carb to Protein Ratio are
· Chocolate Milk, which will help rehydrate, has simple carbs and the right amount of protein, however does not include complex carbs, the protein most likely no be a high protein efficiency ratio, does not have the other vitamins for the body, and creatine
· Bagel and Peanut butter, is a complex carb and protein combo, but it’s hard to gauge the ratio, in addition, peanut butter can be tough to digest.
· P90X Results and Recover Formula really prepares you for your next workout by including simple and complex carbohydrates, high protein efficiency ratio, antioxidant Vitamins C and E and a small amount of creatine to boost performance.

Keep a journal of what you fuel your body with post workout, and how you felt the next day, so that you find the right combination to perform to the best of your ability. Contact a nutritionist should you need more assistance in fine-tuning your nutrition.

Now go enjoy your workout and take your post workout nutrition so you can workout the next day!


Dr. John Ivy, Research at Univesity of Texas, 2004

Amy Reinink, Running Times Magazine, 2009

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