We love to push our bodies hard, but are we taking the right steps in recovering after exercise? Nutritionist Samantha Peris takes us through the steps to making sure we’re adequately recovering (and offers a great recipe, too!). She introduces some funky ingredients, but explains each of their benefits. It might be worth a trip to the health food store to stock up on items you might not already have. – Highline
Post-exercise nutrition is especially important for a speedy recovery. As Brendan Brazier, formulator of VEGA products and vegan triathlete, says, this is the most important factor for building athletic performance once general health is achieved is recovery. However, this concept is not only important for athletes, but even the moderately active. While exercise breaks down muscle tissue, post exercise recovery food helps cellular reconstruction.
Here’s the deal:
After endurance or power workouts & sports…
- Within 15 minutes, eat a healthy carbohydrate like bananas, fresh fruit, raisins or other dried fruit. (This will help to replenish glycogen our carb stores in our bodies).
- Wait half an hour, then have a meal. Have a 2:1 Carbs:Protein meal OR a protein shake (see recipe). If it is an ultra endurance sport, consume 3:1 Carbs:Protein.
The basic recipe below is a fantastic start to protein smoothies. Once you master the basics, start adding some of the additional superfoods – like spirulina – to boost nutrient content and make your cells smile.
Super Recovery Protein Smoothie
1 scoop (or 2 tbsp) Protein powder (whey or vegetarian – AOR Advanced Whey, hemp, VEGA Sport Protein)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or organic soy, brown rice milk)
1-2 tbsp chia seeds (start with less and gradually work up to 2 tbsp) or have a mixture of ground flax, chia and brown sesame seeds – an extremely high source of calcium!)
½ cup frozen berries (or any frozen fruits)
½ – 1 banana or avocado
1 handful spinach or kale you wont even taste it, I promise.
1 tbsp lecithin granules (to help digest fats, excellent for brain & nervous system. Try Now Nutrition Non-GMO Lecithin)
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (and a splash of fresh lemon juice or Vitamin C to add extra iron, calcium and potassium)
1 tsp buffered Vitamin C/calcium ascorbate (This is especially good if you are low in iron and are adding blackstrap molasses to your smoothie)
1 tsp - 1 tbsp spirulina or broken cell wall chlorella (blue-green algae FULL of nutrients, great for athletes, vegetarians or anyone!)
1 tsp – 1 tbsp maca root powder (for strength and endurance, hormones, libido)
1-2 tsp fish oil supplement (to ensure you are getting enough omega-3 fatty acids for your brain and nervous system; try NutraSea +D)
Add cinnamon for extra flavour, to kill excess yeast & balance blood sugar.