Just like getting your heart rate to a certain target area for recovery, proper nutrition and hydration play a key role in exercise. Your body performs better when it is well hydrated and fueled. It will also stimulate muscle protein synthesis, improve recovery and enhance performance during your next workout.
Main Goals for Recovery
- Restore fluid and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) lost in sweat; weigh before and after exercise and replenish what was lost. One pound of fluid lost should be replenished with 16-20 oz. of water.
- Replace muscle fuel (carbohydrate) utilized during exercise.
- Provide protein to aid in repair of damaged muscle tissue and to stimulate development of new tissue.
- Begin nutrition recovery with a snack or meal within 15-60 minutes following practice or training session. Individual needs will vary, however, the appropriate ratio of carbs to protein is 2-3:1.
It’s best to get your body hydrated before you even think about heading to the gym. One way to determine your overall hydration status is to check out the color of your urine first thing in the morning. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, lemonade-colored urine is a sign of appropriate hydration, while dark colored urine (think apple juice), indicates a deficit in H20.
Snack: A smoothie with 1 cup of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables (drink half before the workout and half after)
Snack: An apple or pear with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
Snack: ¾ cup of Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon granola and ½ cup of berries
Snack: 2 tablespoons of dried fruit and 1 tablespoon of raw, unsalted nuts
Snack: 100-calorie granola bar
Snack: 1-2 rice cakes topped with 1 tablespoon of nut butter
Meal: Oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ cup of fruit
Meal: 4-ounces of baked salmon, ¾ cup of brown rice, with 1 cup of roasted veggies
You need to eat after a workout. Period. For one, it’s important to replenish the glycogen that has been depleted during your exercise. Secondly, eating protein after a workout is a must for a speedy muscle recovery (particularly after weight training).
Post workout ratio of carbs and protein is 2-3:1 (carbs to protein). I usually do 40 grams of carbs to 20 grams of protein. Everyone is slightly different.
Snack: 1 cup of chocolate milk
Snack: 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ sliced banana
Snack: 2 graham crackers with a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack: 1 to 2 hard boiled eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast
Meal: 1, 7-inch round whole wheat pita stuffed with grilled veggies and 2 tablespoons hummus
Meal: A protein-rich green smoothie
Meal: Veggie omelet with avocado and ½ cup of roasted potatoes
Meal: 4-ounces of steamed trout with a baked sweet potato and sautéed spinach
Nutrition plays such a large role in our health. If you have questions about your nutrition habits, call us at 330-499-2266 to get set up with a free 15 minute consultation with Courtney!