As most runner’s know, post-workout recovery is the key to consistent practice and not getting hurt. I can’t emphasize how important this is. So what do most runner’s do….? They don’t eat or drink properly. So here is a really simple guide to recovery:
As a rule of thumb, you want to finish a workout with no more than about 2% body weight loss, and certainly no weight gain. Weight loss in excess of 2% signals performance decline. Drink a pint of water per pound loss or 16 ounces. So whatever you lose, simply replenish. Simple and Easy.
When you begin a workout or race, your body uses your carbohydrate storage (glycogen) for the first hour to 90 minutes. As your stores of muscle glycogen become depleted, your body switches over to burning fat reserves along with carbohydrates and protein consumed during exercise.
So if you don’t replenish after a workout, your next workout will really suffer. Studies have linked pre-workout glycogen levels to workout or race performance. Here is the key, you have only roughly 30-45 minutes after you take your last step of your workout until carbohydrates are absorbed and replenish your storage. So the quicker, the better.
Carbohydrates can’t do it alone. They need a friend to help you recover. Protein will help rebuild stressed muscles, give the carbs a helping hand in re-storing glycogen, and help maintain your immunity. This essential to having good workouts on a daily basis.
Our bodies need antioxidants to protect us from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals (of which there are several types) are unstable atoms or molecules, usually of oxygen, containing at least one unpaired electron. Free Radicals will destroy tissue, cells, and anything else in sight.
Dr. Bill Misner writes:
“Oxygen has the capacity to be both friend and foe. When energy fuels are metabolized in the presence of O2, 5% of them create molecules that contain an odd number of electrons. If free radicals are not neutralized by on–site antioxidant body stores immediately, tissue damage occurs to absolutely every cell membrane touched by these imbalanced molecular wrecking machines. Some theorize soreness and stiffness result because free radicals and waste metabolites build up during either prolonged or intense exercise. The more volume oxygen that passes into our physiology for energy fuel metabolism, the more increased free radical–fatigue symptoms may be experienced.”
The key is keep it simple so you can stick to it and BALANCED. The more disciplined and balanced your routine and recovery are, the more success you will have.
I am going to take you through a guide of what I think makes the most amount of sense to eat before, during, and after a run. You will have to tweak and decide what makes the most amount of sense for you.
Try to eat good slow burning carbohydrates prior to a workout. More importantly, make sure you give your body enough time to digest prior to running. I know personally, I need an hour after a snack and 2 hours after a meal. Ideally, the meal prior to exercise will contain 2 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (roughly 70 kilos), then you will need about 140g of carbohydrates.
Meals or Snacks that I like are:
1- Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich on Whole Wheat or Rye
2- Fruit (Banana, Orange, Apple)
3- Trail Mix
Remember, you don’t want to be too full before a workout, so eat moderately so you can work out comfortably.
Carbohydrate gels and drinks are good way of keeping your blood glucose levels sustained during a race or long run. Once you begin running for more than two hours at a clip, glycogen storage typically depletes and now your muscles begin depleting glucose in your blood.
Good ways to keep your glucose levels in check are consuming Gatorade & Gu Gel. A less tasty /more disgusting mix is mixing whole wheat flour and Gatorade powder into your water bottle. The Whole Wheat Flour is slow burning. In 32 ounces of water, quarter scoop WW flour, ½ scoop Gatorade. I know it sounds gross, but it works really well.
Recovery time. High Carbohydrates is the typical answer, but I prefer a balanced meal no longer than 45 minutes after you finish. A quick banana or yogurt right after you finish is ideal and a meal balanced in protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins/minerals. There are two goals for the post-exercise meal: 1- to replace glycogen stores and 2- to promote muscle and tissue repair. Therefore, a meal should be selected as follows:
1- Pick a Carb: Rice, Whole Wheat Pasta, Oatmeal.
2- Pick a Protein: Chicken, Steak, Eggs, Fish
3- Pick a Vegetable: Fresh Salad, Steamed Asparagus, Baby Bok Choi, Mushrooms, etc.
4- Pick a Anti-oxidant dense fruit: Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Oranges, Pomegranate, Goji Berries, etc.
This should be a good guide to helping you be ready and recover from your workouts. Train Hard!
If you don’t have a can of salmon in the cabinet, go get one. This is one fish that is crammed with nutrients and is ideal for runners. From a monetary standpoint, it is a great value as opposed to purchasing fresh, which can get very pricy. It is ready to eat out of the can, but has barely, if any, detectable levels of mercury, making it preferable to tuna. In addition, most canned salmon is wild, not farm raised, leaving it less susceptible to contaminants. Here are a few facts you should know: 1. PROTEIN
A typical four-ounce serving of salmon has just 130 – 170 calories and 23 grams of protein
This is an ideal post run recovery meal as the protein will help repair muscles
Canned salmon is one of the most calcium-rich, non-dairy foods.
One 3.5 oz. serving contains two thirds as much calcium as a cup of milk.
This is great for runners to maintain immunity and bone health
Omega-3’s have been suggested to help oxygen uptake during exercise, which means better endurance for a runner.
Omega-3 oils also exert additional protective effects against coronary heart disease by:
decreasing blood lipids (cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins or LDL, and triglycerides)
decreasing blood clotting factors in the vascular system
increasing relaxation in larger arteries and other blood vessel
decreasing inflammatory processes in blood vessels
4. Recent Wild Salmon Vitamin Benefits
Salmon is also a good source of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants, which also include Vitamin C and beta carotene, act at the molecular level to deactivate free radicals.
Free radicals can damage basic genetic material, and cell walls and structures, to eventually lead to cancer and heart disease.
Salmon contains zero grams of carbohydrate.
ALASKA SALMON AND THREE BEAN SALAD
20 Minute Meal
1 can (14.75 oz.) or 2 cans (7.5 oz. each) traditional pack Alaska salmon OR 2 cans or pouches (6 to 7.1 oz. each) skinless, boneless salmon 8 oz. tender green beans, halved 1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1/2 cucumber, chopped into chunks 12 cherry tomatoes, halved 6 green onions, finely sliced Handful young fresh spinach leaves or watercress
Dressing: 3 Tablespoons olive oil 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons grainy mustard Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad: Drain and chunk Alaska salmon, removing skin and bones (if any). Cover and set aside. Cook green beans in lightly salted boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, until just tender. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to a salad bowl; add cannellini and pinto beans. Add cucumber, cherry tomatoes, green onions and spinach. Toss together to mix; add salmon chunks and toss again gently.
Dressing: Mix together olive oil, lemon juice and grainy mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over salad just before serving, tossing gently to combine with ingredients.
Makes 4 Servings.
Nutrients per serving: 382 calories, 17g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 42% calories from fat, 58mg cholesterol, 28g protein, 27g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 981mg sodium, 313mg calcium and 1.9g omega-3 fatty acids.
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