Recovery Fueling Strategies and Recipes

“Your training isn’t over until you have fueled your recovery.”

We will never get faster, stronger or fitter by sitting on the couch we must not forget that training does damage and that recovery is how we become stronger, faster and fitter! Recovery starts with nutrition and the appropriate rest in order to make the adaptations that lead to progress, PRs,  and podiums.

Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated especially when it comes to recovery. Just 8-12oz of good old fashioned chocolate milk is often enough for recovery but it can be better! I add Whey Protein Isolate, Collagen and sometimes coffee to improve the quality of recovery.

The promise
Fast-acting whey protein concentrate or isolate will quickly be digested and go to work fast on repairing damaged muscle tissue whereas the collagen will go to work repairing the damage done to joints. The caffeine in chocolate and coffee has also shown to improve the uptake of carbohydrates. Caffeine can also decrease the pain experienced from delayed onset muscle soreness but will likely require you to consume caffeine prior to training and racing to accomplish this.

The timing
Optimally you want to consume the following recipe is within 20 minutes of completing your training or race.

How often
I only recommend consuming a recovery drink of any kind after long-duration training sessions lasting greater than 2 hours or intense sessions 1 hour or longer. Intense sessions would also include competing in races lasting longer than 20 minutes.

My Favorite Recipe

In a shaker cup or blender add the following

8-12 oz of 1% Milk
20-30 grams of Whey Protein Isolate
6-12 grams of Hydrolyzed Collagen
2 Table Spoons of Nestles Quick chocolate syrup or 1 shot of cold espresso. Shake vigorously or blend until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly

Optionally you can substitute the milk for almond milk, oat milk, water or coconut water
You can also swap the chocolate syrup for 1/2 cup of frozen berries or 1/8th cup of fruit juice.

Ingredients

Helpful kitchen items

Evidence
International society of sports nutrition position on nutrient timing
Whey improves endurance athletes’ stamina
American Physiological Society. “Post-exercise Caffeine Helps Muscles Refuel.”
Quality of protein in whey isolate better than that of protein in whey concentrate
Optimal post-workout whey dose: 20 g
Collagen supplementation reduces pain in arthritic knees
Collagen supplementation accelerates tendon injury healing in athletes
Collagen supplement eases athletes’ sore joints
Chocolate Milk has a more positive effect on strength development
Chocolate Milk possibly more effective than commercial recovery fueling supplements
Caffeine Attenuates Delayed-Onset Muscle Pain and Force Loss Following Eccentric Exercise
Researchers Find Caffeine Reduces Muscle Pain During Exercise

 

2 Comments on “Recovery Fueling Strategies and Recipes”

  1. Based on your comments, is it not really of any benefit to drink a protein drink after an easy 30/45/60 minute recovery run?

  2. Hi Len, sorry about the late response. I sort of answered this in the post “I only recommend consuming a recovery drink of any kind after long-duration training sessions lasting greater than 2 hours or intense sessions 1 hour or longer. Intense sessions would also include competing in races lasting longer than 20 minutes.” However, in your example I would likely recommend a recovery shake after an easier run of 60 minutes or longer. The optimal word is easy. Easy in my practice is a jog of approximately 4-5 MPH.

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