Nutrition expert Renee McGregor provides easy to prepare performance boosting food and drink recipes and tips. (Food and drink that you can prepare yourself… and yes, very easily!)
What you eat and drink after a workout/race is very important in terms of boosting your recovery. However, there are many misconceptions about timing and just what you should take on board.
Contrary to popular belief, the “20-minute window for recovery” is not applicable to all. The only time this really factors in is if you have completed a very high intensity training session and your next meal is over 2 hours away; or if you have a further training session planned within 12 hours. In these circumstances aiming for a recovery choice, preferably in liquid form, made up of fast release carbohydrates, such as lactose in milk, and an easily digestible protein such as whey will be beneficial.
For all other situations, aiming to have your recovery meal or snack within 2 hours of completing your workout/event will be sufficient to allow for muscle recovery. So what should it be made up of?
This will once again depend on what session you’ve just completed. If it was a high intensity training session then you will need to replace both carbohydrate and protein – good options would include a wholegrain bagel with scrambled eggs, which will provide around 60gs carbs and 20gs protein.
If, however, it was a lower intensity session, then aim to recover with protein and vegetables/salad – a feta and vegetable frittata makes an ideal choice.
Remember though muscle recovery continues over a period of 24-48 hours after endurance-based training and potentially up to 72 hours after resistance training, which means that your choices throughout the day, regardless of the timing of your next training session, are still going to be important.