After a long run or ride, I'm too tired to think about what to eat, never mind fix it and eat it within 30 minutes. As you may know, there's that magical 30-minute window after a workout where your muscles are like sponges. They'll replenish their glycogen stores quickly if you feed them - and that sets you up for tomorrow's training. But if you're like me, and prefer to have real food instead of recovery drinks, it takes a bit of forethought. And a couple of pieces of toast.
Sports dietitians recommend 1.2g - 1.5g of high glycemic carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight and 20 - 40g quality protein within 30minutes for optimum recovery. Just to give you a feel for what it would take to hit those numbers, I've included some nutritional values below. While it would be interesting, I haven't measured and calculated what I eat.
My philosophy is to eat food that has both carbs and protein; and to let my hunger dictate the quantity. I have noticed that if I consume gels/sports drinks during my workout, my performance is better and my post-workout hunger is tempered. So I don't need as big of a recovery snack. Likewise, if I'm starving after a workout and eat a decent recovery snack, I won't be eating everything in sight (and I mean everything!) at dinner time. Between us, I'm starting to wonder if my body demands the same overall amount of food in a day, it's just a question of how I distribute it during the day that makes a difference to my performance and recovery.
Okay, philosophy aside. Here are some of my quick after-workout snacks. Top toast with:
1. Ricotta cheese, berries and honey.
2. Melted cheddar cheese and mango chutney.
3. Peanut (or almond) butter, banana slices and maple syrup.
4. Goat cheese, chopped nuts and honey.
5. Cream cheese, prosciutto ham and rocket (arugula)
6. Mashed avocado with feta cheese
7. Hummus, grated carrot and sliced cucumbers
8. Peanut (or almond) butter and chocolate chips.
If you're interested in the math, here are some approximate nutritional values to ponder:
If you'd like to read more, here are a couple of articles to check out:
-I'm sick. But smiling because the sun's on my shoulders and I'm riding my bike. Should I train when I have a cold? That depends on how I feel.
If I have no energy, no. I stay in bed. If I feel sorta okay, I'll hop on my bike for a easy recovery ride. I just seem to get better quicker if I do something. And there's some scientific validity to this.
As many of us know, the high levels of endorphins released during an intense session or race can weaken immune system. But some endorphins from lower intensity exercise can help our immune system. So keeping the intensity down is key to recovering from a cold. In addition, when your heart is pumping, it helps white blood cells circulate, oxygenate your muscles and raise your temperature slightly - all of which also help you get better. So a little bit of easy to moderate training has lots of benefits.
Perhaps the hardest part is knowing when you shouldn't do anything at all. Coach Phil Mosley who has written for numerous endurance magazines wrote an excellent blog at https://www.myprocoach.net/blog/should-you-train-when-youre-sick/ . While I typically prefer more scientific-based articles, like Coach Mosley's, I did find this Shape magazine article ( https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/how-get-rid-cold-lighting-fast) interesting because it gave a day-by-day account on how to treat your cold. I do think zinc helps but I haven't tried the other suggestions; let me know if they work for you.
And just like talking to a friend - not a doctor or an expert - about your cold, at the end of the day you need to do what is right for you. But hopefully we can all get back to training faster.
Okay, yummmm. I'm calling them recovery food because they're loaded with carbs (dates) and protein (peanut butter). And, well, they're easy to make, grab and go; they're filling and they taste good.