Training and the Recovery Process.

Training and the Recovery Process.

We all have our own reasons for training, and each of us do so to different intensities, however, what many of us fail to understand is that the most important part of any training routine is the recovery process afterwards. It is during the recovery process that performance gains are made. Consuming the right nutrition during this period can help speed up recovery and supply your body with the correct resources to develop.

When thinking about your recovery nutrition after a training session there are three key components to consider:

  1. Protein for repair.

Protein is the essential element for muscle repair and growth; it is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of our muscles. The optimal amount of protein intake post training is 20-25g, any more is probably a waste as that’s all our bodies can process in one sitting. An example of foods containing 20g protein are 2 large eggs, a tin of tuna, a chicken breast, a pint of milk or of course a protein shake.

  1. Carbohydrate to refuel.

Carbohydrates are needed to replenish muscle glycogen that is used during exercise. Our bodies can only store a certain amount of carbohydrates in our muscles and liver. These stores are usually fully depleted at the end of a hard training session so it’s important to top them back up.

  1. Fluid to Rehydrate.

Fluid loss during training can vary drastically between individuals depending on intensity and sweat rates, but whatever the loss is, it must be replaced, after all the human body consists of about 60% water.

Most of us place a great deal of emphasis on protein intake after training; however research has shown that a combination of both protein and carbs is most beneficial. Carbohydrate consumption stimulates an increase in the hormone insulin, which in turn stimulates the muscle to take up amino acids. Timing is also an important consideration. Try to consume your recovery food as close to the end of training as possible. The 30 minute period straight after training is known as the ‘window of opportunity’ as it is this time when there is an enhanced uptake and retention of amino acids.

To assist in your recovery and muscle building, consume further protein rich meals (20-25grms) or snacks every 2-3 hours.

Finally, a protein rich snack before bed is said to help recovery whilst you sleep, and prepare you for your next day’s training session.