Nutrition plays a huge part in recovery in preparing the body for your next run or event. Whether you’re an elite athlete or not, muscle glycogen stores need to be replenished to feel tip top after each sporting event or training session.
What you fuel your body with will affect how you feel in the hours after and the day after. I have previously covered ideal recovery foods, but it is also important to talk about what not to have. Not all the foods listed below are bad foods, but avoid them post exercise. Read on the see why.
Raw vegetable sticks
It sounds funny saying avoid foods we normally think of as nutritious. The reason is after a big workout to aid recovery, you need to fuel your body with carbohydrates and protein to replenish glycogen stores and facilitate muscle repair. Veggie sticks like carrot, capsicum and celery don’t have enough carbohydrates or protein to be of any benefit.
Fast food / take aways
If you eat foods high in fat and sugar, you are likely to consume more calories than you initially burnt. The lack of nutritional value won’t aid recovery either.
This contains too much fat and refined sugar for chocolate to be of any benefit. A glass of chocolate milk and a piece of fruit is not too bad if you are craving something sweet
Pastries / bakery treats
You need good quality carbohydrates rather than high GI refined carbohydrates. The fat content of pasteries and bakery treats slows digestion.
High Salt foods
Cravings for salty foods are common after exercise, but too much salt lowers potassium levels, which is needed for potassium for muscle recovery. Try having a banana instead.
Sugary foods and beverages
Refined sugar has no nutritional value.
Definitely a no-no after a workout. It can dehydrate you and reduce protein synthesis, resulting in you feeling worse the next day.