Nutrition can play an important role in optimising your recovery post training or event. A proper nutrition strategy is essential in helping to speed up the rate at which the body restores and recovers.
1) Immediately Post Training/Event
This should begin immediately post event. For those who use a fluid rehydration strategy, you will know that weighing yourself before and after training or events can provide you with your total fluid loss.
After a high endurance event you can begin rehydrating with 150% of the fluid lost over the following 4-6 hours. For example, if 1kg of fluid is lost, you can try rehydrating with 1.5L of fluid.
It’s also important to replenish your electrolytes (salts) after training sessions and events exceeding 1 hour and within which a high sweat was broken. Whilst sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade do a good job of delivering electrolytes (and fluid) during the marathon, don't rely on them solely afterwards.
Coconut water also an excellent and natural form of electrolyte replacement as it contains five key electrolytes sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
Another good electrolyte replacer is ‘Dioralyte’, aim for a minimum of
1 sachet Dioralyte x 700ml of water
We want to replenish the muscle fibres as quickly as possible to improve muscle recovery. Look for whey protein or vegan protein blend with a good amino acid (protein building block) profile
The body is most effective at replacing carbohydrate and promoting muscle repair and growth within the first 60-90 minutes post exercise, however this will continue to occur for another 12-24 hours.
This is due to the rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis being highest during the initial 1 hour post training or event. It has even been suggested that consuming carbohydrates within 1 hour post exercise can increase the rate of glycogen resynthesis by as much as 45%
Your Recovery Snack could Include:
- Greek yogurt, granola and a banana
- Lean meat/egg/low fat cheese sandwich, banana and sports drink
- Granola Bars, raisons & mixed berries
Your post workout meal should contain complex carbohydrates as well as a source of protein as these accelerate the recovery process
-Carbohydrates – Your level of carbohydrate ingestion post training/event can influence your rate muscle glycogen synthesis and repletion
You should aim for approximately 1.2g of carbohydrate x kg body weight/hour
- Protein – Muscle recovery and repair is dependent on a positive muscle protein balance
You should aim for approximately 0.4g/kg/hour
2) Post Event Nutrition - 1 week
The focus for the week post endurance event is to rebuild, restore and refuel the body and we can do this though consuming
As the body will be in a state of inflammation it’s also recommended to include plenty of anti-inflammatory foods such as
3. Additional Tips for Enhancing Recovery
1g of caffeine x kg bodyweight x 4 hours
*Please note, that individuals with certain medical conditions or taking particular medications must take caution with consuming caffeine
0.2 x kg bodyweight + 1 Litre of Water (flavoured if required)
*It is recommended that if you take sodium bicarbonate prior to an event that you test it well in advance as it may cause stomach issues in small amount of individuals
I hope you found this helpful and please feel free to contact me here if you have any questions
Laurann O'Reilly - Nutritionist
A farmer’s daughter from Tipperary, Laurann has always had an appreciation for food, nutrition and health promotion.
Laurann has an honours BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Nottingham and a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from University College Dublin. She is also an Associate Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society London.
With a passion for nutrition and experience working in Ireland and the UK, Laurann uses her knowledge and skills to help people achieve optimum health and assists in the prevention and treatment of nutritional related problems through means of nutritional consultation, personalised diet plans, health promotion and education.
Laurann has an Honours BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Nottingham, a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from University College Dublin, is an Associate Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society London, a professional member of the Celiac Society Ireland, is registered with the Institute of Public Health Ireland and fully insured.