By Marion ROUXEL, Sports dietician and nutritionist
Recovery is an integral part of your training. Proper recovery from a nutritional point of view means allowing your body to regenerate as quickly as possible while limiting the negative impact of tiredness on your physical condition. Consuming carbohydrates and protein as soon as possible after your activity is essential to recharge your body. Indeed, it is just after the activity that your body reconstitutes its energy reserves and repairs the muscles most effectively. So recovery depends on eating correctly. Follow these few pieces of advice...
Proper hydration helps your body eliminate waste better by reactivating the renal function and by reducing acidity connected with the activity. You must hydrate immediately after the activity in order to provide the intake your body requires to rebalance your water and mineral levels (minerals, bicarbonates). To hydrate effectively, you must drink small, regular mouthfuls. Just after completing your training session, drink regularly until you go to bed.
2- RECONSTITUTING CARBOHYDRATE RESERVES:
During the hours after your activity, the muscles are more sugar-hungry and are able to constitute the energy reserves used up during training. This energy recharge is made possible by eating carbohydrates as a snack. If the next meal is more than 2 hours away, eat a recovery snack. The following meal should be made up of the usual ingredients: starch with vegetables, and meat, fish or egg. Finish off your meal with a dairy product or a piece of fruit.
3- MUSCLE REGENERATION:
Amino acids are the components of muscle protein. They are essential for recovery because they enable muscle fibres damaged during training to reconstitute themselves. Some amino acids are particularly useful, namely BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) such as valine, leucine and isoleucine.