Eat Early and Often to Recover Well
Knowing how much carbohydrate, protein and fat to get in a day is good. But knowing when you should be getting those nutrients is even better. When it comes to optimal nutrition, timing really is everything.
In general, following these guidelines for incorporating carbohydrate, protein and fat into your day:
- Spread carbohydrate intake out over the course of the day (i.e. smaller meals and frequent snacks). This keeps blood sugar levels adequate and stable.
- Eat some carbohydrates before morning practice. Note: This can be in the form of juice.
- Eat carbohydrate in the form of a carb-electrolyte drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade, during workout IF workout is 90 minutes or longer. Gels are also acceptable.
- Eat carbohydrate and protein within the first 30 minutes after practice. This enables the body to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle tissue. This is perhaps the most important time to eat!!!!
- Eat again (something substantial, like a real meal) before 1 hour post-practice has elapsed. This is critical to maximizing recovery!!!!
- Incorporate fat into the day at times that are not close to workout. Fat is necessary, but contributes little to the workout or immediate post-workout recovery period.
- Chocolate Milk is also good after practice/meets to restore bone mass.