Getting the most out of your workout continues after you hit the save button on your device. As athletes, we are often zoned in and focused during our workout but as soon as we have completed our prescribed session our minds (and bodies) are already onto the next task of the day, often missing out on a key to completing the workout.
If you are training one or more times per day consistently refueling for the next workout is key to helping your body recover properly and get refueled for the next session. Refueling accurately and consistently after workouts will restore muscle and liver glycogen stores, replace fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat, promote muscle repair and support the immune system. Athletes who hone in on post-exercise nutrition will perform better in their next training session and accumulate more fitness with quality sessions than the athletes who skip out on this key piece of the puzzle.
When you eat is just as important as what you eat. We have a small physiological window when the body is better equipped to absorb the fuel we are consuming. Within 30 minutes of completing your session start replenishing fluid, electrolytes, carbohydrates, and protein. These are the foundational parts of proper recovery nutrition. As soon as you finish a workout, start replacing fluid and electrolyte losses with a sodium containing drink or water plus sodium containing food. Estimate fluid losses by weighing yourself before and after training and drinking 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every one pound lost. To restore muscle glycogen consume 0.8g per kg of bodyweight of carbohydrate and 0.2g per kg of bodyweight of protein within 30 minutes of finishing exercise. A 155lb athlete this would be 56g of carbohydrate and 14g of protein. An example of what this could be is one cup of greek yogurt with 2.5 cups of mixed berries. In addition, there is no need to fear the fat in the post workout window.
As athletes we spend a lot of time and energy training, seeking out the best gear, implementing recovery and doing all in our power to get faster and stronger. Making sure to add in proper recovery once you have saved your workout is a key part to making sure you get the most out of training.