BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK teamed up with Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD to share some tips for optimizing your post-workout nutrition.
- After exhaustive endurance exercise, your body needs time (24-48 hours) to adequately carbo-reload and replace your depleted glycogen stores. Be sure to take adequate rest days.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Learn your sweat rate by weighing yourself with minimal clothing before and after one hour of sweaty exercise. One pound of sweat loss equals 16 ounces of fluid loss. At your next workout, you’ll know how much you need to drink to prevent the loss of that fluid.
- Pre-exercise fuel will not only help you have a better workout but will also keep your recovery needs down. Within an hour and a half or two before you exercise, fuel up with 300-500 calories of carbs and proteins (as tolerated) such as oatmeal with lowfat milk, or toast with peanut butter and a banana. The closer you get to your workout, one hour or less, fuel up with a higher ratio of carbs than protein.
- If your training session will exceed 60 to 90 minutes, make sure to consume some fuel during the exercise to help maintain your energy! Popular mid-workout snacks include dried pineapple, fig cookies or jelly beans. Experiment during training to learn what works best with your body.
- After exercise, your body wants an adequate supply of protein to reduce muscle breakdown and stimulate growth, carbohydrates to refuel depleted muscle glycogen, and fluid and electrolytes to rehydrate the body and replenish what’s lost in sweat. Plan ahead so you can eat well by having the right foods readily available at the right times. You cannot out-train a poor sports diet!
- How you refuel after strenuous exercise can make a difference in how well you can perform during your next workout. Lowfat chocolate milk offers the right balance of carbs and protein and has been scientifically shown to effectively refuel exhausted muscles.
About The Author: Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD and Sports Dietitian
Nancy is a registered dietitian (RD) and board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD) offering sports nutrition counseling to casual exercisers and competitive athletes. She teaches athletes how to have more energy, lose undesired body fat, enjoy a winning sports diet—and feel good about their eating. Her clients have included the spectrum from Olympians and members of the Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics to ordinary mortals—fitness exercisers, student athletes, and weekend warriors.