Some recommendations for good recovery practices:
- If the period between exercise sessions is less than eight hours, an athlete should begin carbohydrate intake as soon as practical after the first workout session. Eating carbohydrates can be in the form of small snacks to minimize gastrointestinal discomfort.
- During longer recovery periods it may be helpful to have a meal plan that organizes the pattern and timing of carbohydrate and protein rich foods according to what is comfortable and practical for the athlete.
- Quick releasing (glycaemic index) carbs such as sugars are favoured right after training because the sugars can rapidly enter the bloodstream which maximizes carbohydrate uptake.
- Protein ingestion before sleep improves post-exercise overnight recovery.
- High protein foods include - bran cereal, lite milk, Swiss cheese, lean steak, baked potato, broccoli. Beans, lentils, cottage cheese, spinach and yogurt are also good sources.
References from the SIRC Collection:
1. Etheridge T, Philp A, Watt P. A single protein meal increases recovery of muscle function following an acute eccentric exercise bout. Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism. June 2008;33(3):483-488.
2. Hofmekler O. Recovery Meals - The Key for Maximizing Muscle Gain. Pro-Trainer Online. April 2005.
3. Kiens B, Ivy J, Burke L. Carbohydrates and fat for training and recovery. Journal Of Sports Sciences. January 2004;22(1):15-30.
4. KURIEL V. NUTRITION BLUNDERS. Australian Triathlete. November 2012;20(1):46-48.
5. Lunn W, Pasiakos S, Rodriguez N, et al. Chocolate Milk and Endurance Exercise Recovery: Protein Balance, Glycogen, and Performance. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise. April 2012;44(4):682-691.
6. Stevenson E, Williams C, Biscoe H. The Metabolic Responses to High Carbohydrate Meals with Different Glycemic Indices Consumed During Recovery from Prolonged Strenuous Exercise. International Journal Of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism. June 2005;15(3):291-307.
7. Wong S, Chen V, Fung W, Morris J. Effect of Glycemic Index Meals on Recovery and Subsequent Endurance Capacity. International Journal Of Sports Medicine. December 2009;30(12):898-905.