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Post-Workout Nutrition

Posted by bmagnus On September - 14 - 2009

While water is probably all you need during and after a light to moderate workout, once you get into long or vigorous workouts, you will need to consider your options more carefully. If you are burning several hundred calories at once, it is entirely reasonable to replenish your body with the fuel it needs to recover and prepare for the next workout.

Current research suggests that your body needs fluid, carbohydrates, and protein. The fluid replaces what your body lost through sweat; depending on how long and hard you work out, you may also need to replace some minerals. The carbohydrates are not only the fuel your body needs, it will be converted to glycogen — which in turn will be used for fuel on your next vigorous workout. The role of protein is a little more complicated. Not only does your body need protein to build and repair muscles, it helps the body turn those carbs into glycogen. You don’t need a lot of protein — maybe half as much as the carbohydrates — but it will help speed your recovery.

Be sure to consume your recovery drink or meal within a half hour or so after exercise for the best benefit.

His Take:

Having finally found a use for the blender other than the occasional daiquiri is exciting all by itself but formulating a recovery drink that serves as post workout meal is even better. My personal fave is as follows:

  • 4 oz plain yogurt
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 scoop Trader Joe’s Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Several large ice cubes

Assemble the ingredients in whatever order your blender will tolerate. For our Waring it’s yogurt>banana>strawberrie>honey>powder>ice. Continue blending throughout the process, as the ice breaks down the mix will thicken to a smoothie/shake texture. This all comes home under 350 calories. That’s a perfect number for a meal.

Basing it around bananas has the added bonus of lots of bonus nutrients. A single banana contains 35% of the RDA of vitamin B6, 18% of the RDA of Vitamin C, 14% of potassium RDA, 12% of dietary fiber , 10% of manganese, 6% of magnesium. Bananas also contain tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters and proteins that help maintain a positive mood.