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Race Recovery Nutrition

Today is the big race! Hilton Head Health‘s staff has been bustling around all week long finalizing all of the exciting activities for this weekend.  And you, I bet you have been preparing too! You have been training these past few months, eating mindfully, and stretching/rolling it out. All of your preparation is admirable but what about crossing the finish line? You have finished the race (yay!), then what? Let’s chat about that post workout meal/snack.

What you eat after your workout is crucial for optimizing the recovery process (and feeling great). The recovery process begins immediately after your workout ends. When choosing a post workout meal/snack choose an option that will supply your body with the nutrients it needs to ensure full recovery and enough fuel  allowing it to adapt and improve the way you want it to. The two important nutrients that we need in a post workout meal/snack are carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates will replenish muscle glycogen that was depleted during your workout. Protein will reduce muscle breakdown caused by exercise. When choosing your post workout meal/snack keep in mind your goals. Whether you are looking to lose weight or maintain your weight, choose options that fit comfortably in your meal plan and daily caloric needs.

Here are a few post workout meal ideas:

  • Banana (carbohydrate) and hardboiled egg (protein)
  • Apple (carbohydrate) and protein shake mixed with water (protein)
  • Whole wheat bread (carbohydrate) and Almond butter (protein)
  • Smoothie: mixed berries, yogurt, and skim-milk (carbohydrate and protein) (This is what H3 is serving at the post race party!)
  • Pineapple (carbohydrate) and low-fat cottage cheese (protein)
  • Whole wheat pita chips (carbohydrate) and H3 Light Hummus (protein)
  • H3 eye-opener oatmeal (carbohydrate and protein)
  • Fresh fruit (carbohydrate) and low-fat yogurt (protein)

Don’t worry, the second you cross the finish line you don’t have to immediately start eating. However, you should consume your post workout meal within 30-60 minutes prior to your workout.

P.S. Don’t forget to hydrate before AND after your workouts!

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