Triathlon Magazine Canada - - CONTENTS - By Lucy Smith LifeS­port coach Lucy Smith has won 19 Na­tional Cham­pi­onship ti­tles, and two sil­ver World Cham­pi­onships Medals. Visit

Re­plen­ish to Re­cover

Set yourself up for the long haul with proper re­fu­elling. The well-fu­elled en­durance work­out takes into ac­count the nu­tri­tion and calo­ries needed to com­plete the ses­sion suc­cess­fully, but also the nu­tri­tion needed to re­plen­ish and re­cover for sub­se­quent train­ing.

Just how im­por­tant is post-work­out re­cov­ery nu­tri­tion? Su­san Kitchen, sports cer­ti­fied di­eti­cian, usat coach and owner of Race Smart ex­plains that “the goal of re­cov­ery nu­tri­tion is to con­vert the body from a catabolic state ( break­down) to an an­abolic state ( build­ing).”

Kitchen ad­vises re­fu­elling in the op­ti­mal win­dow of 30 min­utes post-work­out. There are sev­eral rea­sons for this: the blood f low to the mus­cles is greater im­me­di­ately af­ter ex­er­cise, di­ges­tive en­zymes are most ac­tive, and the mus­cle cells are more sen­si­tive to the ef­fects of in­sulin which pro­motes glyco­gen syn­the­sis. Re­search shows that ath­letes who fol­low the 30-minute rule will store up to three times more glyco­gen than those who wait two or more hours to eat post work­out. The faster you re­place glyco­gen, the faster you re­cover.

Con­sume foods high in car­bo­hy­drates and in­clude some protein. High car­bo­hy­drate foods will re­place the glyco­gen your mus­cles need in or­der to re­pair and re­cover from the stress they were un­der dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion. Gen­er­ally, ath­letes need one to 1.5 grams of car­bo­hy­drate and 10 to 25 grams of protein. For ex­am­ple, a 145 lb. per­son should con­sume one gram of car­bo­hy­drate per pound of body weight plus six to 15 grams of protein (e.g. 1.0 x 145 = 145 grams of car­bo­hy­drate plus six to 15 grams of protein).

While your nu­tri­tion win­dow post­work­out is im­por­tant, so too is the food you eat dur­ing the rest of your day. Your body is a fine-tuned ma­chine sim­i­lar to a sports car. The type of gas you use has a di­rect cor­re­la­tion to how well the en­gine runs. Choose foods that nour­ish and sup­port your train­ing.

Good choices

Con­sume fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, whole grain rice and pas­tas and bread, eggs, lean un­pro­cessed meat like steak, chicken breast, pork and turkey. Opt for food that’s as close to its nat­u­ral state as pos­si­ble is the rule to fol­low. A pre­pared chicken meal that was pre­pared three months ago and frozen in a fac­tory is go­ing to be less nu­tri­tion­ally dense than a grilled fresh chicken breast, with fresh steamed broc­coli and brown rice. A bagel with al­mond but­ter and banana is a bet­ter choice than a pack­aged cookie, muf­fin or gra­nola bar.

The ba­sics to eat­ing for triathlon are sim­ple: fol­low a gen­eral diet that is nu­tri­ent­dense, whole and con­sis­tent with the en­ergy ex­pended each day. Kitchen sums it up well: “A well-bal­anced diet is im­por­tant for body, mind, dis­ease preven­tion, qual­ity of life, per­for­mance and weight man­age­ment. Eat well to­day for a great work­out to­mor­row.”

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