Recovery Meals (of all kinds!)

Ever wondered what you should eat after a hot sweaty run? What about before? How about after a iron pumping session? Or what about after you’ve been on vacation all week & feel a little bloated/tired/off-key? We have all been in one of these situations at least once, and it’s amazing that the way you fuel your body can help it bounce back from anything you throw at it. Let me break it down for you:

Pre-workout:

This depend what you are trying to accomplish. If your workout for the day is a long run (somethin’ greater than 6 miles usually), eat simple carbs so your body can easily digest them and get energy! Good ideas for this include bagels, anything with jam or jelly, or fruit. Bad ideas? Dairy products, anything with fiber, and anything that may bother your stomach. If you have a muscle blasting workout planned, eat lean protein & complex carbohydrates at least an hour before the meal. Any sooner & you may have some stomach problems.

Post-workout:

After a difficult workout, your body needs carbohydrates to replace energy lost and protein to help rebuild muscle. Some tasty ideas include chocolate milk (perfect carb to protein ratio, and better than any protein shake!), string cheese & an apple, or a whole grain english muffin with laughing cow cheese on top. Make sure to drink plenty of water. If you have been working out in very high temperatures for over an hour, refuel with an electrolyte drink (such as coconut water, sport’s drinks, or nuun). Anything less than an hour and the sports drinks’ are unnecessary.

Post-vacation:

I spent a few days at my cabin this past week, and my body needed a reset button afterwards. My philosophy is that vacation is not the time to diet or deprive yourself, so I try to get in exercise (because I enjoy it) and eat what I want. This includes burgers, chicken sausages, pasta salad…you get the picture. It’s all great during the vacation but afterwards I always crave fresh fruits and vegetables. The best thing you can do for yourself after splurging for a few days is to fill up on fresh produce – the water & fiber make you feel full, while the fresh foods provide phytonutrients and vitamins you may have missed. Try to avoid processed foods, added sugar, and added salt for the day after you get back to get back to feeling great. After a day of clean eating, I feel a million times better.

Check out this bounty I picked up at the local farmer’s market with my mom and sister – can you tell we love fresh produce?

I’ll be back tomorrow with some detoxifying workout ideas – workouts to make you sweat hard!

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