No matter the time of day when you exercise, the recovery phase after sport should not be overlooked. This is essential to progress and regain form quickly, regardless of your level of training. The winning trio to manage fatigue? Stretching, hydration, nutrition. To do this, we propose you to discover the 6 golden rules to learn how to eat well after sport and recover correctly.
RULE NO. 1: EAT IN THE TWO HOURS FOLLOWING THE EFFORT
Eating well after an intense sports session helps the body to regenerate and prepare for the next workout. For this to happen, it is necessary to eat immediately after the effort or in the next two hours. During this time the body tries to replenish its reserves as quickly as possible. In fact, at this precise moment, an increase in enzyme activity allows it to store glucose (for energy) and to make proteins for tired muscles.
RULE NO. 2: DRINK WATER
Water is the first element to bring to the body after an effort. Water is used to compensate for water losses and to restore good blood circulation. Choose bicarbonate-rich water that helps regulate the body’s pH. In case of important perspiration, opt for a sparkling water rich in minerals (sodium, magnesium, potassium …). After a sports test, you can also drink a vegetable broth, excellent for rehydrating the body and reconstituting mineral reserves. It is essential to avoid coffee, tea or alcohol which slows down the recovery phase.
RULE NO. 3: THE MEALS ARE FORBIDDEN!
Have you just finished a fitness session? It’s not okay to eat anything! In addition to stretching and good hydration, recovery occurs through adequate nutrition. It would be a shame to pounce on any kind of food thus destroying the work done. Sport does not excuse gluttony … So forget the meals that are not healthy and often fat, not built and impulsive. After the sport, it is better to prepare a real snack or a recovery meal.
RULE NO. 4: CHOOSE THE RIGHT SNACK
What to choose as a snack after sport? Among the products capable of compensating nutritional and energy deficits, it focuses above all on those that contain rapid sugars, useful right after the effort: bananas, dried fruit, cereal bars, fruit juices. We remember that dried fruit represents an excellent energy snack since the natural sugars contained in it are easily assimilated. They provide specific minerals for muscle activity.
RULE NO. 5: FOCUS ON PROTEINS
Whatever sports activity is practiced, providing protein in the recovery phase is essential for good muscle recovery. During a sports session, the muscle fibers are stressed, leading to microlesions that alter the muscle tissue. In response to these microlesions, the muscle will adapt by recovering the muscle fibers thanks to the amino acids supplied by the food proteins.
- What to eat for breakfast after sport? If you train in the morning, opt for eggs and wholemeal bread. Egg yolk and albumen are high in protein and will restore fatigued muscles. Bread will replenish energy reserves. Then you can also give yourself a cup of cereal with skim milk.
- What to eat for lunch or dinner after the sport ? Fish! Preferably choose the salmon-rich in protein and omega 3 (healthy for the heart). Accompany it with black rice and steamed vegetables to provide the body with healthy carbohydrates and B vitamins that help produce energy.
RULE NO. 6: PREFER A HOMEMADE RECOVERY DRINK
Great sportsmen will also be able to prepare a home-made recovery drink to replenish muscle glycogen reserves and repair tissues after an effort. This type of drink is not necessary for people who perform a more moderate physical activity because it would cancel the caloric expenditure produced during the effort. The right recipe:
- 1 banana, 100 ml of skimmed milk (or almond milk), 1 natural yogurt (or Greek), 15 g of oat flakes. Mix the ingredients together and consume fresh after the sports session.
Note that: people who practice muscle strengthening will be able to choose a rapid assimilation protein, then whey (whey or pure whey) which allows complete assimilation in the 2 hours after stopping the activity. Discover the range of protein products for muscle building.
It is now clear, eating well after sport is essential to help the body recover. Remember these few tips to have the right reflexes after finishing your fitness session!