Refueling needs depend largely on the type and duration of training completed, body composition goals, and overall personal preferences. This blog will focus solely on refueling post-training.
- Rehydrate: Ingest fluids and electrolytes during and immediately after training within 30-minutes to jumpstart the recovery process.
- For every pound of body weight lost during training consume 16-24 oz. of fluid. Quick fact, the average person’s sweat rate is also between 25- 40 oz per hour. This translates into ½ a gallon of sweat in a 90-min training session leaving the body at a huge loss for essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium which are key for muscle function according to the National Athletic Trainers Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for Physically Active.
- Refuel: Post-training, carbohydrates are needed to restore glycogen paired with protein to repair muscle damage that occurred during training. The goal of refueling is to promote both muscle repair and muscle protein synthesis.
- The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2 to 2.0 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for athletes, depending on the type of training.
- Refilling your glycogen stores as an athlete should be a priority, especially when completing back-to-back training sessions.
Why prioritize refueling?
By immediately consuming a high-quality protein paired with a carbohydrate post-training you can enhance muscle gain, and muscle growth, reduce time to recovery between back-to-back training sessions, increase overall performance, and decrease the risk of injuries, as well as fight off on-set fatigue. Are you refueling a two-a-day? Build a plate that supports both training and recovery demands!
A post-training meal is key to supporting recovery and training. Consume 25-40 grams of protein paired with 50-100 grams of carbohydrates within 30 minutes of activity for reducing muscle breakdown and supporting training adaptations. More information on recovery nutrition here.
Soft reminder with regard to protein intake: WE USE WHAT WE NEED according to the ISSN Position Stand on Protein and Exercise . We use what we need. This means for many athletes can benefit from consuming closer to the 40g post-training due to limited protein intake at other meals or the quality of the protein. But at the least follow my “25-50-30 rule”
- Creatine is one of the most widely investigated supplements with proven ergogenic benefits along with recovery from intense training. Creatine paired with a carbohydrate immediately post-resistance training is superior to pre-workout in terms of body composition and strength. Creatine is insulin-mediated so it requires a carbohydrate. Use creatine in your chocolate milk, or Greek yogurt parfait, or pair it with a protein banana shake. For guidance on supplementing with creatine monohydrate see my previous blog here.
- 8 oz. of tart cherry juice following exercise can help reduce inflammation, muscle soreness and can even aid in reducing upper respiratory tract symptoms all of which contribute to minimizing the risk of injury, according to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
- Low-fat chocolate milk has also been proven an effective refueling choice offering electrolytes, carbohydrates, 8 grams of high-quality protein, and the scientifically proven 3:1 ratio for recovery.
Wishing you blessings of health, wellness, and optimal performance,
Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, CISSN
Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, LD, CISSN is a registered dietitian nutritionist, and performance coach. Wendi utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. She partners with parents, sports performance staff, and special needs and recreational athletes to offer nutritional guidance and optimal athletic performance and lifestyle plans. Wendi provides virtual services including telehealth but is based in Nasvhille, TN, Michigan. Wendi works with clients of all levels and ages across the US as well as Canada and the UK. You can find more about Wendi and schedule an appointment with her on her website.
What can hiring a sports nutritionist offer your program? Learn more here. Testimonials of Wendi’s expertise from colleges, coaches, parents, young athletes, and high school administrators can be found at the testimonial link on her website. You can also follow Wendi on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Service