Nutrition for Better Recovery
* ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSION/MEDICAL HELP BEFORE STARTING OR CHANGING ANY EXERCISE REGIME.
The more you train the more important it is to recover quickly. But this is also true for those who work out just once or twice a week. Whether it’s a long steady ride or a hard short training session, you’re muscle fibres are going to take a battering. Whenever you do something different (gardening, DIY, a longer or faster ride) you will break more fibres (and be more sore the next few days too).
Muscles are made of two types of protein, myosin and actin, these proteins literally pull on each to get closer and this causes contractions. These are microscopic and there are millions upon millions of them doing this at the same time. When you work hard (or do something different) some of these fibres are damaged and need repair.
The process is called protein synthesis and it happens every day whether you train or not. New fibres are created to replace old damaged one, the debris is then removed and you can start training again. If your body does not have protein then it cannot itself.
What does your body need after a hard ride?
In simple terms protein! But your body will also be low on carbs (assuming it wasn’t a leisure ride), so it’s essential to throw some of them in too.The aim of recovery fuel/food is to;
1) Get protein into the body
2) Replenish carbohydrate stores
3) Replace any vitamins and minerals used up during exercise (your salts are the main minerals that need replacing, as you lose them when you sweat)
1) Sources of Protein
Meat Meat Meat, it’s the best source of protein. You can also get protein shakes designed for recovery. Although I still prefer the old fashioned cooking option, but if you are in a rush or do not feel hungry after, shakes are a good way to get protein (and carbs) into you.
2/3) Sources of Carbs & Minerals
Although pasta, rice and potatoes are great for replenishing carbohydrate stores, they aren’t exactly high in vitamins and minerals. A better meal replacement would be a mix of vegetables alongside your meat.
Vegetarian / Vegan?
What if you’re a vegetarian or vegan? Well it gets very hard to get your protein intake. However there are chicken style pieces you can buy from your local supermarket which are high in protein. Again add veg to increase carb, vitamins and minerals consumed.
Cycling Shorts Resident Personal Trainer & Conditioning Coach