What is the sports recovery diet?
Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand and any athlete knows that diet is basic to achieve maximum performance. You probably control what you eat before a hard training, but then what? Take note of what a diet of sports restoration should look like now.
After a long session of aerobic work or strength, the body needs a period of restoration. After exercising, you should not only stabilize your breathing and heart rate, but also continue a diet of sports restoration with which you achieve 2 fundamental objectives:
- Rehydration, that is, the replacement of fluids and electrolytes that you have removed through sweating.
- The provision of nutrients that nourish your muscles and help your glycogen stores return to their perfect levels.
How to Continue a Restorative Diet After Exercise
Establishing the ideal food plan for each athlete depends on different variables, especially physical peculiarities (weight, anatomical mass, age, sex …) and the gender of training performed. When establishing it, it is also necessary to take into consideration the times of training ? rest, to select always and in all circumstances the one that covers your needs but adapting to your rhythm.
Starting from each and every one of the possible variables, the perfect diet to recover after exercising, must be based on 3 premises:
Carbohydrates for energy recovery
Doing sport means increasing energy expenditure. Running, swimming, pedalling? are activities with which we burn a high number of calories and, after the effort, it is essential to level this consumption to avoid our muscles pulling their reserves and enter the catabolic phase (destruction of muscle mass).
Foods rich in carbohydrates are the primary source from which we get that energy, so their intake, to a greater or lesser extent, is required within two ? three hours after training or test.
In a diet of sport restoration the ideal thing is to include foods with low or moderate glycemic index in order that the calorific intake is not excessive. It’s about restoring energy and not giving you a feast. Only if you return to training in a short period of time can you resort to higher glycaemic index hydrates.
Protein to rebuild your muscles
Proteins are macronutrients composed of amino acids, many of which are essential. They are basic because they assist in rebuilding muscle fibers that may be damaged by effort. They are also indispensable for the development of the musculature itself and, after hours of exercise, cannot be absent in a diet of restoration.
Include in this diet foods that provide protein of high biological value such as eggs, meat or fish. In order for you to get an idea, after the sporting activity, your body will need to recover about 1 gram of protein for every three – four grams of carbohydrates that you eat in the hours following the dedication.
Water and electrolytes
As we have said, one of the main objectives of the diet of sports restoration is to achieve the best hydration doing that the organism recovers its hydric balance.
Drinking enough water, at least half a liter in the hours following training and perhaps some isotonic drink, which provides you with the nutrients that are most lacking in that instant (electrolytes such as sodium and potassium), is essential to recover conveniently.
Example of post-training restoration diet
Even if you are not hungry or thirsty, it is essential to take liquids and some food once the exercise is over and after a reasonable period of time (fifteen ? twenty minutes). Always and at all times you can resort to specific drinks for athletes and traditional bars but you can also take a natural energy snack such as: a juice, a piece of fruit, for example watermelon, apple, banana, a dairy (iogur or skim milk), cookies (cereals = hydrates).
Remember that drinking at least half a liter of fluids in the hour after training is basic. Eat food/essential dinner after three ? four hours of care, in your menu do not forget to include: vegetables and / or salads, meat or fish and slow absorbing cereals such as those that provide the pasta or rice.
After exercise, eat and drink always and at all times in moderate amounts and increase them, progressively, as the hours progress.