​Eating your way to recovery

Posted on: April 01, 2019 by Totum

What you consume after you perform is a key factor when it comes to your exercise performance as it affects body composition, weight and overall health.

There is often confusion about when is the best time to refuel after exercise, however what you consume also impacts recovery.

Each individual will have different nutrition and hydration requirements based on their gender, body composition and physical activity, but there is basic advice that can be utilised to maximise recovery.

After Exercise

For maximum recovery it is important to consume nutrients that replenish glycogen stores and support muscle repair and growth.

What you consume over 24 hours after exercising/performance will impact recovery. When training more than once a day it is beneficial to try and refuel more quickly post exercise for faster glycogen replenishment to support your next training session. This means trying to eat a meal or snack within 2 hours after exercise.

Why is hydration so important?

Hydration is one of the biggest factors when it comes to recovery. When we exercise we lose water and electrolytes through sweat. If we don’t rehydrate and replace both lost fluids and electrolytes after exercising, recovery can be delayed as we are more prone to fatigue and cramp and it can impact immunity. Water alone is not sufficient to rehydrate after exercise as we need minerals and electrolytes to enable our cells to hold on to water. It is therefore important to rehydrate with water and electrolytes after exercise to optimise recovery.

How much protein should I consume?

Depending on the type of exercise and the intensity, protein needs vary. 20g of protein is often recommended for muscle growth after exercise. If you exercise frequently your protein needs will also tend to increase so it is important to take into account how often you are training and adjust your intake.

High quality protein sources are often better for optimal recovery after exercise. This includes eggs, fish, milk, meat, soya and whey protein.

Some plant sources of protein include chickpeas, quinoa, tofu, legumes and vegan protein powders. When following a plant based diet it is important to combine more than one plant protein to ensure you consume sufficient amino acids. E.g rice and peas or beans on toast with cheese.

Should I cut down on carbohydrates?

Similarly to protein requirements, carbohydrate requirements vary. Carbohydrate requirements differ depending on an individuals goals, exercise intensity and duration. If you are exercising for a longer duration, you will require more carbohydrates after exercise in comparison to a shorter training session due to depleted glycogen stores.

Good sources of carbohydrates include vegetables, oats, brown rice, potatoes and wholemeal pasta.

A combination of protein and carbohydrates is best for maximising recovery. E.g Eggs and tomato on toast or a vegetarian lasagne.

We are proud to be the headline partner for the Elite Sports Expo where we will be hosting a hydration hub throughout the event. Totum Sport is a 100% natural, mineral supplement. It provides 78 minerals and electrolytes including sodium, calcium and zinc. All 78 minerals and electrolytes are needed as they all work in synergy in the body for optimal absorption and function. As mentioned minerals and electrolytes aid hydration post exercise. They are also needed for various functions in the body including the absorption of protein and the breakdown of carbohydrates, transferring food into energy. By taking Totum Sport post exercise prior to a recovery meal or snack, this supports glycogen replenishment and muscle repair so recovery is enhanced. Due to the body being put under stress from exercise, mineral demands tend to increase. Minerals support the immune system helping to prevent the risk of illness. This is important in recovery after exercise to ensure you can keep up with your training sessions and continue to reach your goals.

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