If you are looking for ways to push your training and recovery to the next level, the following article will help you get there.
Post training there are 3 different things to focus on.
- Protein intake depending on whether your male/female and body weight I would aim for 20-30g of available protein. Anything greater your body will excrete and not utilise!
Post training your body requires protein for a few different reasons. First of all to help rebuild the muscle mass damage throughout the session. This will help your muscle grow stronger. Your body is working for 24-48 hours after training to develop that muscle. As a result you need to feed it consistently (every 3-4 hours) or you will lose it!
Protein is found in eggs, red/white meat, fish, dairy products, legumes, soy products and protein powders.
- Carbohydrates are our primary fuel source. Without them our energy levels are poor, training will only ever go to a certain point of intensity, recovery will be poorer, and cravings can set in.
Carbs are found in fruits, starchy vegetables, breads, pastas, rice, muesli, oats, crackers, dairy and are all good sources of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate consumption will vary as a result of different types of training in terms of intensity and duration. For example, an Olympic weightlifter who trains for 2-3 hours in one session will require more carbs during the session to keep their energy levels high and a moderate intake after the session. Someone who trains for 45 minutes with a combination of strength and high intensity training would not require anything during the session, but a high to moderate amount of carb after. If it is a 45 minutes of pure aerobic/high intensity, you will need a higher amount of carbs after. Every training session unless it is exactly the same which it rarely is requires a different intake of carbs. Your food intake should never be the same unless your training is. So unfortunately for this I cannot give you something to aim for in particular.
However, the easiest way to tell if you have not had enough carbs is to go off how you feel. Are you craving foods, are you feeling lethargic or tired. Don’t blame the workouts you do for being tired. If you are fuelled well, you should not be tired after every training session especially if you train in the morning. Your body is a smart organism; it tells you what it wants and needs. Listen to it. Most cravings are a result of not eating the right carb at the right time of the day. Don’t set yourself up for failure by not eating any carbs after training!
- Fat slows down digestion which is great to help keep you fuller for longer, however after training. You need the protein for muscle repair and growth, and the carbs for refuelling glycogen stores and also to help fuel the muscle repair process. IF you have something quite high in fat like, nuts/avocado/oils/fatty cuts of meat, then you are slowing down the muscle repair and growth process.
Sports nutrition is all about eating the right food at the right time. Be careful about your macronutrient timing and ask for help if you need it! Your training, recovery, energy levels and quality of life all depend upon it. If you don’t ever know what it feels like to be properly fuelled, how do you know you are doing the right thing?