Post-exercise nutrition can improve the quality and the rate of recovery after a bout of serious exercise, such as a one hour swimming, a weight training session, or a longer run. Post workout nutrition for recovery is also important if you will be exercising within 8 hours of your last session.
Recovery – the essentials
Research has shown that nutrition ingested right after training, and up to two hours later can drastically improve one’s recovery time. Ideally, this should be a meal consisting of protein, carbohydrate and fruit/veg, or for convenience a recovery drink followed by a meal as soon as possible.
Recovery drinks are convenient, easy, portable and good if you have a poor appetite after training. Not only can they replace carbohydrate and protein, but also fluid.
Ideally, a drink should contain at least 50g carbohydrate and 15-25g protein. More protein does not equate to more muscles or better recovery.
Most commercial supplements have additional amino acids such as glutamine, Branch Chained Amino Acids eg. leucine. The evidence for BCAAs and/or glutamine supplements for muscle formation and enhanced athletic performance is controversial with conflicting evidence from studies.
WARNING: if you are trying to lose weight or body fat, be careful with increasing your overall daily calorie intake with shakes. Adding extra calories to your daily intake, even if from protein, will not help.
Here is a comparison of some of the most popular recovery shakes and a homemade version:
|Calories (kcal)||Carbohydrate (g)||Protein (g)||Cost|
|MyProtein Recovery Evo||295||49||23||£1.50|
|Kinetica 100% Recovery||267||41||25||£3|
|For Goodness Shakes||275||52||17.5||£2|
You can easily make your own recovery shake in seconds. Here’s
the recipe. It won’t break the bank, has optimal amounts of protein and carbs, as well as fresh fruit for the antioxidants. And it tastes really, really good.