Make sure you eat well overall
It’s a common misconception that recovery is all about protein and hitting a specific refueling window. While it is definitely important to have enough protein in your diet to recover fast, there’s no need to overdo it. And similarly, research shows that the total amount of protein and carbs in a day is more important than nutrient timing. So, as your top priority, make sure you have a good diet full of veggies, fruits, quality protein, healthy fats, and slow carbs before you start optimizing for recovery.
Have a good meal 1-2 hours before and after
After you take care of your diet, make sure to have a good meal 1-2 hours before and after you exercise. This meal should have a ratio of 3 g of carbs to 1 g or protein, and not too much fat and fiber so it’s easy to digest. There is no rush to fuel ASAP when you finish exercising if you stick to this schedule.
Fuel while exercising
Another thing that will help your recovery is if you fuel properly while exercising. This means proper hydration, roughly 500-1000 ml of fluid per hour of exercise. And for long endurance type of activities, also up to 60 g of carbs per hour.
Supplement with amino acids and fish
And finally, if you nail all of this, you can further improve your recovery with the right supplements. Try experimenting with amino acids, namely BCAAs and Beta-Alanine to limit muscle breakdown and fatigue. And make sure you have fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or sardines a couple times a week to help reduce inflammation. Omega-3 capsules can do that job too if you’re not a fan of fish.
You should have no problems deciding what to eat for recovery now. Try our QUIZ from the first article again to see how much you improved! Next time we will continue with race day nutrition.