Are you searching for the best meal to eat after a tough training session or a race? Should it be something that’s full of carbs? Or is protein more important? And how about recovery shakes? You will be able to answer all of those questions if you understand what your body needs. This article will help you with that and it will also provide a tasty recipe for you to put that knowledge into practice!
Sometimes your body just needs calories quickly
Most people consider protein the main recovery nutrient. But for well-conditioned endurance athletes, it’s actually calories that are much more important, regardless of their source. In cycling, you’re not breaking down muscle, you’re mainly just depleting fuel sources. So, if you’re riding a lot and regularly, chances are a quick source of glucose immediately after a hard ride is just what you need to kick-start your recovery.
Protein and complex carbs for a speedy recovery
If you’re not an aspiring pro cyclist but still want to recover well, you need to supply your body with a good source of carbs and protein to replenish and rebuild. To effectively reload your glycogen stores, consume about 1.2 g of carbohydrates per 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of your body weight, starting within 30 minutes of finishing your ride. This can be done with real foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta or breads, the protein should be of a high quality, like fish, eggs, or meat. If this is not possible or palatable after your effort, a recovery shake might come in handy for easier digestion. Just make sure you select a high-quality product and ingredients.
Recipe: Baked Lamb
This recipe is a great example of a recovery meal after a race or a hard training session. The potatoes and carrots will supply enough carbs, and the lamb will provide a high-quality protein for your hungry body.
1 kg (2.2 pounds) lamb leg
4 large carrots
5 sprigs rosemary
6 cloves garlic
salt, pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil for stir-frying
1. Put lamb leg into a baking dish, cover and bake for 4 hours on 170°C/325°F, or alternatively slow-cook it for 12 – 16 hours on 90°C/194°F.
2. Boil potatoes and set aside.
3. Chop all carrots, 5 onions, and peel all garlic cloves. Add these ingredients to the baking dish, along with 3 rosemary sprigs, and bake for another 45 minutes on 150°C/300°F.
4. Heat a frying pan to medium heat, add oil, 1 chopped onion, and rosemary from two sprigs, and stir-fry until onion turns soft.
5. Add the stir-fried onions to the potatoes and mash.
6. Serve the lamb on a bed of mashed rosemary potatoes, and baked vegetables.