You’ve just crossed the finish line and are feeling elated and totally exhausted. But you’ve done it! So why have you now got to expend even more energy thinking about eating and drinking? It’s very simple: following intensive exertion in a competitive event your top priority should be recovery. It’s essential that you give your body the right type and amount of food and drink as soon as possible after finishing an event. Your body especially requires three things:
- Protein for the repair process and to build new muscle tissue.
- Carbohydrates to refill its depleted glycogen stores.
- Fluid and sodium for efficient rehydration.
After a competition, as well as taking on fluid and electrolytes, it is crucially important to consume two types of nutrients. The first is protein, as during exercise the body’s balance of protein metabolism shifts towards protein catabolism and muscle tissue structures become damaged. So if you straight away supply your body with the correct amount (appr. 20-25g, depending on various factors) of high-quality protein, you will assist the repair process of the muscles.
Carbohydrates are equally important to stock up on your body’s energy, i.e. glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. Accordingly, the overall carbohydrate intake is the key influence on the rate at which the body’s stores will be restored. Without sufficient amounts of carbohydrates, proper replenishment is not possible. Immediately after physical exertion our metabolism is elevated and therefore carbohydrate stores can be replenished more effectively.
Fast replenishment of glycogen stores is especially important for athletes who have to perform at their maximal ability soon after. Immediately after completing their event, they should begin refuelling with approx. 1g carbohydrate per kg of body weight. Further carbohydrate-rich snacks or meals should also be includedafter an hour.
Sodium is essential for water retention in the body, regulated fluid balance and for proper muscle and nerve function. Sports nutrition products containing sodium, as well as water in combination with salty snacks (e.g. pretzels) are very useful to help restore fluid levels and electrolyte balance. If there is sufficient time for recovery between periods of exertion or no excessive dehydration, there is no need for a sophisticated rehydration strategy straight after exercise. The deficits in fluid and electrolytes can then simply be replaced by normal drinking and eating routines.
Approx. 1g carbohydrates per kg of body weight plus 20 – 25g protein and sufficient fluids and electrolytes for rehydration
- Flavoured milk drink and dried fruits
- Rice cakes with fruit-flavoured buttermilk
- Yoghurt with cereals (e.g. instant porridge oats), slices of banana + fluid
- Semolina or rice pudding + fluid
- PowerBar products + fluid
|Recovery 2.0 (portion for after moderate and intensive training|
|Protein Plus 30% Riegel + FlÃ¼ssigkeit|
|Protein Plus 92% Shake + 2 Handvoll Trockenobst (z.B. Rosinen)|