What to eat after a workout
This third time (often associated with the 3rd half!) is conducive to the overall regeneration of the organism. Capital therefore! Especially when the rider goes on training and competitions – week after week – and the frequency of effort to be provided is high.
The needs of the organism after a long competition or outing differ from the other phases (waiting and effort). As a result, specific inputs are preferred during this period. Starting point to be taken into account: each rider is different. It is therefore imperative to consider nutritional care while remaining attentive to his body.
Some fundamentals that must be common to all:
- Rehydrate and remineralize the body (especially in terms of sodium and potassium – especially if the weather is hot).
- Ensure the resynthesis (reconstruction) of the muscular and liver glycogen stocks.
- Promote muscular reconstruction, waste disposal and acid-base balance, more acidic than basic at the end of an intense effort!
Food and recovery : act 1
First recommendation : facilitate the rebuilding of the body with carbohydrates
Carbohydrate intake after exercise is particularly important. It contributes directly to the resynthesis of glycogen stocks. In practice, an intake of glucose and fructose is advised. Glucose is used mainly for the resynthesis of muscular glycogen, fructose more to the resynthesis of hepatic glycogen. In addition, insulin plays an important role in the regulation of protein metabolism. The advantage of ingesting carbohydrates at the beginning of recovery makes it possible to potentiate the protein syntheses.
Second recommendation : bring protein bricks to restructure the tissues
Carbohydrate intake after an effort is particularly important. It contributes directly to the resynthesis of glycogen stocks. In practice, an intake of glucose and fructose is advised. Since glucose is mainly used for the resynthesis of muscular glycogen, fructose is more important for the resynthesis of hepatic glycogen. In addition, insulin plays an important role in the regulation of protein metabolism. The advantage of ingesting carbohydrates at the beginning of recovery makes it possible to potentiate the protein syntheses.
The consumption of proteins after an effort, especially of long duration and / or intense (marathon type, ultra, training force / resistance), is essential to limit the catabolism (destruction) and to favor the anabolism (construction) of the proteins within the different tissues (muscles, bones, viscera …).
In other words, this contribution must make it possible to promote muscular construction. However, attention must be paid to excesses which may have an effect contrary to the desired effects. The athlete must therefore seek an adequate supply: neither too much nor too little. An average intake of 10 to 30 g of protein seems to be optimal, depending on the intensity and the duration of the effort.
Note: a lipid intake associated with proteins and carbohydrates potentiates all the more protein synthesis.
Question timing, it should be done immediately after the effort and as soon as possible (within 30 minutes of the end of training or competition). This is due to the fact that the faster the consumption, the greater the amount of resynthesis: it is often called a « metabolic window » (for half an hour, the metabolic window is considered closed). Consuming a suitable beverage and / or salad bar is a good, practical and digestible alternative to satisfy direct nutritional needs!
Third recommendation : decrease acidity
To fight against acidosis, it is recommended to consume alkalizing drinks (drink rich in bicarbonates for example) or natural supplements based on citrates, better tolerated on the digestive level.
Food and recovery : Act 2
During the hours following the end of an effort, consume solid foods promoting the overall reconstruction of the body. Prefer dried fruits (grapes, apricots, figs …), proteoletic fruits (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds …), fresh ripe or cooked raw fruits but also cereals (rice, quinoa, tapioca …) (soya, almond, hazelnut, oats …) more or less sugared (honey, fructose jam, full sugar, full, maple syrup, agave syrup). Important, do not forget to keep on hydrating until the next meal.
A key point: think about adjusting dietary and micronutrient intake according to their specific needs. Keep in mind: what applies for a person does not necessarily apply to the workout partner!
Finally, rely on professional coaching (qualified coaches, graduate physical instructors) and healthcare (sports doctors, dieticians, state graduates, psychologists). They alone can guide the performance approach.
Sports Dietitian Nutritionist