The 4R’s of Nutrition Recovery Post workout

There is universal scientific consensus that diet affects your overall training performance. A well planned eating strategy will set you on the right course towards successful training, whether you are training for fitness or for competition. It promotes efficient recovery between workouts; reduces the risk of illness or overtraining, and helps you drive your workout towards a desired goal.

All meals are very important but special care should be given to your pre and post workout meals. Post workout, your body will be in dire need of proper care in terms of nutrition and rest to replenish, recover and transform. I have seen many people obsessed with protein intake which is a huge misconception. Protein alone won’t do the job, you have to include all other nutrients to create a strong energy balance to fuel your workout and recover to transform yourself.

REHYDRATE

Most people rely on their thirst signals to go for that bottle of water. Thirst signals should be understood as a state where you have already deprived your body of water… which means you are already dehydrated (mild). Post workout your body would have lost lots of water through sweating. So even if there’s no thirst signal present or even if it vanishes after a sip of water, continue to drink. The water temperature can be room temperature or cool but never hot or warm. Cold water empties from your stomach faster to rehydrate you efficiently.

REPLENISH

Your glycogen (stored glucose) are used up and depleted during exercise so you need to replenish it. This stage is very important to keep the energy cycle up and running. Failure to do this will hinder your recovery and subsequent workouts. It will jeopardise your entire training progress. I personally recommend starting the replenishing process by eating boiled potatoes or a banana to replenish glycogen store and blood sugar levels. Bananas and potatoes meet the requirements of the glycaemic index, digestibility, taste and potassium. There are other options as well but make sure that the food that you choose is light, easy and can quickly replenishes glycogen without overloading the digestive system or disrupting the blood flow to the worked-out muscles.

REPAIR

Proteins are a bit difficult for your body to digest and absorb so opting for a liquid form is recommended. A good protein /satu shake (powdered gram) can provide the body with all the required amino acids to carry out its repair work and avoid further tissue damage and rebuild muscles. Whey protein with a ratio of essential to non-essential amino acids makes it easy to digest and assimilate, and it can carry out repair work without hampering the post workout metabolic environment in the body. Whey protein contains branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) which help with your recovery by reducing muscle protein breakdown and post exercise injuries.

RECOVER

Even though exercise creates positive stress in the body, it is still a stress and the body is in a vulnerable state for 12 to 24 hours after your workout.  There will be generation of free radicals and weakening of your immune system.  This fact needs to be given a serious consideration especially after an intensive workout.

Most vitamins like C, E, A, B6 and minerals like selenium, zinc, magnesium and chromium are well known for their immune recovery and antioxidant effects.

#Please note that in terms of time, there are few stages of recovery. Studies show that maximum absorption of nutrients post workout happen within the first 30 minutes. The above recommendations are for this time slot of 30 minutes.