Whether you are training for a race or keeping up with a daily fitness routine, eating properly after a workout can play a huge role in supporting muscles and enhancing sports performance. Recovery performance nutrition is as easy as remembering your three “R’s” – Repair, Refuel and Rehydrate.
Repair with protein. Protein helps to heal damaged muscles and stimulate new muscle growth. Foods high in protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds.
Refuel with carbohydrates. Carbs help replenish energy stores in the muscles. Good carbs include whole grains, fruits and 100% fruit juices, vegetables, and low-fat milk and yogurt.
Rehydrate to replace water and electrolytes that are lost when you sweat. Dehydration can lead to poor performance, so hydrate before, during and after any workout or activity. Water is a great recovery fluid for activities lasting 60 minutes or less, but sports drinks may be appropriate for activities lasting longer than 60 minutes, or are very high intensity.
Need some healthy recovery snacks to hit on the three R’s? Try these:
- Sports drink with a string cheese
- Smoothie made from frozen fruit, Greek yogurt and 100% fruit juice
- Chocolate milk and a handful of trail mix
- Hummus with whole grain crackers and a big glass of water
- Graham crackers topped with peanut butter and a glass of 100% fruit juice
- Protein bar and a glass of milk
- Small plate of fruit, veggies, cheese cubes and a big glass of water
- Hard-boiled egg, fruit and a glass of milk
- Homemade trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate chips and a glass of milk
- Tuna salad on whole grain pita chips and a glass of lemonade