Are you planning on making regular cycling tours of 100 kilometers or more this summer? Or will you be spending hours traversing the woods on a mountain bike? Or maybe you will be running more than usual? Then it’s important to pay extra attention to your recovery. The right nutrition at the right moment can make a huge difference.
After a high-intensity training of 45 to 90 minutes or a less intensive but long endurance training, your body has used up the glucose stored in the liver and muscles. These so-called glycogen stores supply quick energy during exercise. In addition, your fluid levels have most likely run low and post-training muscle damage has occurred.
By making the right food choices, you ensure that you are quickly ready for the next challenge. This is especially important if your training is long, you exercise frequently, or many times in a row. The key question is of course: what exactly should you eat and drink? The general rule is that you consume 0.8 to 1.2 grams of carbohydrates (to restore your energy levels) and 0.2 to 0.4 grams of protein (for muscle recovery) per kilogram of your body weight in the first two hours after high-intensity or endurance training.
If you weigh 70 kilograms, that comes down to 56 to 84 grams of carbohydrates and 14 to 28 grams of protein. You can get these nutrients from a Eurosport nutrition Recovery Shake, followed by one of the recovery meals below. These meal suggestions focus on the three standard eating moments: breakfast, lunch and dinner. The amounts are tailored to athletes (men and women) who weigh approximately 60 to 80 kilograms. If you weigh less of more than this, then eat a little less or a little more.
Drink the Eurosport nutrition Recovery Shake as soon as possible after your training. Immediately after intense physical activity, your body is extra receptive to all important nutrients. This won’t come down to seconds or minutes, but make sure you take the Recovery Shake within the first half an hour after you finish. The Recovery Shake has a 5:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein and therefore primarily ensures rapid restorage of your glycogen supply. This is especially useful if you’re training twice a day or if you have another big challenge coming up the following day.
Three meal suggestions
Good for: 72 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of protein*
- 200 grams of low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 banana
- 3 tablespoons of muesli
Good for: 71 grams of carbohydrates and 28 grams of protein*
- 4 slices of wholemeal bread, optionally spread with low-fat margarine (2 slices with chicken breast and 2 with almond paste)
- 1 small or ½ medium-sized apple
Good for: 76 grams of carbohydrates and 23 grams of protein*
- 3 serving spoons of cooked rice (roughly equals 70 grams of uncooked rice)
- 3 serving spoons of cooked broccoli
- 2 hard-boiled eggs (or about 50 grams of cooked chicken)
- 1 large glass of apple juice
* The exact amount of carbohydrates and protein in these meal suggestions depends, among other things, on the way the meal is prepared and on how ripe the fruit and vegetables are.