Sansum Nutrition for Athletes: Eating for Recovery and Performance

Sansum Clinic Dietitian Gerri French explains recovery nutrition. When is the best time to eat after training? What foods provide optimal nutrition for recovery of muscles and cells? What is the focus of nutrition recovery?

RECOVERY NUTRITION:


The focus of recovery nutrition
is to rehydrate, replenish muscle fuel
and repair damaged muscle tissue.
Restoring fluids is extremely
important and is individualized based
on each person’s loss of fluids.

One of the best times to eat for your continuing sports performance is after you train or participate in an event. Nutrition after performance is also called recovery nutrition. The focus of recovery nutrition is to rehydrate, replenish muscle fuel and repair damaged muscle tissue. Restoring fluids is extremely important and is individualized based on each person’s loss of fluids. The focus of this article will be on replacing fuel utilized while performing and healing which ultimately may give you a competitive edge.

For your good health

Nutritional information specialized for athletes is provided by registered dieticians at Sansum Clinic of Santa Barbara.

After a strenuous workout or competition many athletes may not be immediately hungry and not interested in eating, however liquids are usually enjoyed and well tolerated. In addition to water and electrolytes, drinking beverages that contain carbohydrates and protein are beneficial. Foods with carbohydrates provide glucose needed not only for energy but they are essential to load your body with the glycogen used during exercise to be used for future activity.

Foods with protein are also necessary to repair muscle damage and stimulate development of new tissue. There is debate about how soon eating after exercise is ideal for maximum replacement, nonetheless the consensus is: the sooner the calories are consumed, the better. For those athletes who are overweight, this “post workout window” may be when the body is primed to store carbohydrates as glycogen rather than store fat.

Finally, drinking beer exclusively after workouts instead of eating can be a dangerous way to get fluids and is not recommended.

–       Gerri French, MS, RD, CDE – Sansum Clinic

The following are suggestions for recovery liquids or meals:

Featured Recipe for Recovery Snack: Dynamite Date Balls

Makes 20-25
Calories: 94, Protein 2 gm, Carb 14 gm, Fiber 2.5 gm
Fat 4 gm, Saturated fat 0 gm, Calcium 16 mg

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