An often overlooked key to reaching your fitness goal is rapid recovery. The primary concept of exercise is to break your body down slightly so that it builds back up. If you’re not recovering properly, your body will continue on a downward trend toward overtraining and poor results. So what’s the key ingredient to rapid recovery? – Nutrition. Here are 4 keys to boosting your recovery through nutrition.
- Pre Workout Nutrition – Natural nutrient-dense food is always a better option than chemical-laden supplements. Depending on your stomach’s ability to handle food before exercise, consume a snack (about half the size of a regular meal) 90-30 minutes pre workout. This meal should have a macro-nutrient balance of approximately 15% fat, 35% protein, and 50% carbohydrate.
Pre Workout Meal Idea – A small spinach and strawberry salad topped with hardboiled egg whites, almonds, olive oil, and vinegar.
- Post Workout Hydration – People typically reach for their protein shake immediately following a workout, but first we need to replenish our hydration. Aim for 16 ounces of water immediately following your workout and 32 total ounces within the first hour.
- Post Workout Nutrition – You have a 30 minute window following a workout where your body is in immediate need of nutrients. Consume a snack or shake with a macronutrient balance of approximately 35% protein and 65% carbohydrate. Cut the fat out of your post workout meal as fat acts as a uptake regulator, and our post workout goal is instant uptake of nutrients. Aim for an easily digestible protein source and a simple form of carbohydrate.
Post Workout Meal Idea – Small sweet potato cubed and baked with nutmeg and cinnamon with 4-6 oz of grilled chicken (This meal is very easy to prepare early in the week and toss in a container to take to the gym with you.)
- 24/7 Nutrition – How you eat day-in and day-out is the biggest contributor in how quickly you recover. Sugar, alcohol, highly processed foods, and over consumption of starchy foods can contribute to internal inflammation. Lack of recovery and soreness are both highly dependent on the level of inflammation in the body. Eat balanced meals consisting of fresh seasonal vegetables, fruit, lean meat, and healthy fats.