This is typically neglected by many amateur athletes and gym goers in Ireland. The perception is the hard work is done so that you can relax after the training session. The training adaptations take occur from training take places in the hours after training. You do not get bigger, fast or stronger during your training sessions. You are actually causing stress and trauma on your body and breaking it down during training. Your body is in a catabolic (breaking down) state post training and you need to switch this to an anabolic (building up) state as soon as possible. This process is done with correct nutrition.
I would go as far to say that most athletes or people that complain of over training are actually under recovered. If someday is not going to eat and recover post training, they would nearly be better off not doing the training in the first place, it is that important.
We follow a two phase recovery plan here.
Phase 1 – Immediately after gym/training. This is before you get home or into the shower. Have your food or shake ready to go and keep it in your bag and make it a habit. Ensure that this feed is within 30 minutes of finishing training for optimum recovery. Don’t waste your workout. Always get something into you straight away. This feed should contain protein and carbohydrates (2:1 ratio carbohydrate: protein ideally. The average recovery supplement should already be formulated like this. A recovery protein shake is convenient here but good whole food sources include chocolate milk with a banana.
Gym Session – Whey Protein shake with a banana
Running Session – Recovery (4:1) protein shake
Phase 2 – Your following meal, a big meal within 3 hours of your exercise. Can be straight after phase 1 either but better after about 2-3 hours. You want to keep insulin elevated here so this is a regular lunch/dinner (meat + veg + carbohydrates). You have earned these carbohydrates essentially. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night you do a training session or workout, follow the recovery plan.
Alan Kenny BA, MSc, CSCS
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