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How to improve your recovery nutrition to get the most out of your training!

What factors are important to help you best recover after a workout? Similar to most topics regarding nutrition, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. It depends on your training phase, training load, training intensity, training duration PLUS your individual goals (i.e. body composition, training/workout goals, food preferences, lifestyle etc. etc. etc.).

Although every individual has different goals and food preferences, we suggest following the 3 R’s when planning your post training nutrition. See below for how to apply this guide to your post training meal:

1. Refuel – choose a meal rich in quality carbohydrates (e.g. grain toast, brown rice, starchy vegetables, pasta)

2. Repair – select a lean source of protein (e.g. yoghurt, eggs, tofu, chicken, salmon)

3. Rehydrate – ensure drinking plenty of fluid before, during and after sessions to replace sweat losses and electrolytes (e.g. water, milk, juice)

… at Perform Dietetics we also add in an extra two R’s, which are:

4. Reduce inflammation – add a serving of health fats to your meal to assist in reducing inflammation and fast tracking your recovery (e.g. tahini, nuts, seeds, avocado, salmon)

5. Replenish micronutrients – include a variety of colour through fruit and veg to replenish micronutrients and provide your body with antioxidants to aid with reducing inflammation.

To pull this all together, we have listed some great post training meals to get you started:

  • Eggs and baked beans on grain toast with avocado and sautéed spinach and mushrooms
  • High protein Greek yoghurt with muesli containing oats, nuts and seeds plus a handful of mixed berries

Lunch and Dinner:

  • Grain sandwich with chicken, pesto and salad
  • Grilled salmon with steamed vegetables and quinoa
  • Tofu and mixed vegetable stir fry cooked in extra virgin olive oil and served with brown rice

Sports Nutrition

Is there a magic ‘30 minute window’ for recovery?
  • The evidence tells us that if your next session is within 8 hours (i.e., training twice a day); then yes, it is important to eat within 30 minutes of training to optimise recovery. This may mean you need to take extra food to eat at training before heading home for breakfast/dinner.
  • If you only train once a day, then there is no urgency to have a recovery meal within 30 minutes, just eat when it is convenient. However, this can also depend on your goals.
  • If you have a high energy expenditure, are trying to put on lean muscle mass or have a physical job that requires a decent amount of energy – then it is definitely beneficial to have your recovery meal/snack ASAP!

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when planning your recovery meals. Getting a plan tailored to your needs and your goals from an Accredited Sports Dietitian is far superior to doing a quick Google search…

Check out our new Recipe eBooks here, for more meal and snack ideas to help meet all of your recovery nutrition needs!

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