Fluids, Carbs, and Protein: The Post-Workout Dream Team
Recovery is an essential part of any performance-focused fitness routine – so important that many athletes treat it as part of the workout itself. Your goal during recovery is to help your body heal and regroup. It’s not the workout alone, but the body’s adaptive response to it, that increases endurance, strength, and builds muscle.
A growing body of research in the area of athletic recovery and nutrition reinforces the effectiveness of a combination of carbohydrates and protein in post-workout nutrition, whether it is the snack you have right away or the meal following the workout. Chocolate milk is an example of an ideal recovery food as it contains a good balance between carbohydrates and protein. In fact, specific studies have linked chocolate milk to three main benefits related to exercise recovery and enhanced performance.
Fluids to rehydrate
Being well-hydrated is not only important for overall health, it can actually improve performance as well. During exercise, your body loses fluids and electrolytes mainly from sweat loss. The longer and more intense your workout, the more you need to replenish fluids. Keep sipping fluids after training until your urine is the colour of pale lemon juice; a variety of fluids can do the trick - like chocolate milk.
Carbohydrates to refuel
Refueling with carbohydrates has long been known to restore muscle glycogen, the energy burned during physical activity. Quick absorbing, liquid forms of carbohydrate, such as chocolate milk, may restore glycogen faster than solid foods. The evidence continues to show that consuming carbohydrates within 30 minutes of intense exercise helps to increase endurance capacity and performance, especially when workouts are scheduled daily.
Protein to recharge
Hard-working muscles need protein to grow and repair after training. Because a 250 mL glass of chocolate milk naturally contains as much protein as a large egg, it’s a good choice for post-workout recovery. There has been a great deal of research into this area of performance nutrition, and studies confirm that drinking chocolate milk after resistance exercise promotes muscle gain and increases lean body mass.
A wholesome choice
Post workout recovery snack ideas: • Chocolate milk and fruit;
• Granola bar, cheese string, and juice
• Banana and nut and seed bar
• Smoothie: yogurt, frozen berries, milk or juice
• Greek yogurt, strawberries, and granola
Chocolate milk is a delicious source of calcium, vitamin D, and a wealth of other healthful nutrients as well. Ordinary sports drinks can’t compete with the wholesome nourishment that’s naturally found in milk. Making chocolate milk a part of your regular post-workout routine will help you recover faster and boost the effects of your training, especially if you are training again tomorrow.
Bookmark rechargewithmilk.ca to get updates, event details, and all the latest news from the original recovery drink.
1. Milk as an effective post-exercise rehydration drink. Br J Nutr 2007;98(1):173-80.
2. A comparison of the effects of milk and a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink on the restoration of fluid balance and exercise capacity in a hot, humid environment. Eur J Appl Physiol 2008;104:633-642.
3. The science of post-workout nutrition-phase III-grade A low fat milk with attitude. Stout, JR.
4. Recharge and replenish-recovery nutrition. Sport Nutrition Tip of the Month. August 2011.http://www.coach.ca/recharge-and-replenishrecovery-nutrition-p154667
5. Fluids and foods after training/competition. SNAC (Sport Nutrition Advisory Committee)- March 2006http://www.coach.ca/fluids-andfoods-after-training-competition-p154681
6. Eating for recovery. Nutrition Fact Sheet, issue 1, April 2009. Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition. American Dietetic Association.
7. Nutrition for optimal exercise recovery. .McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: HEd. ILL-189. 04-02-2008
8. Chocolate milk: a post-exercise recovery beverage for endurance sports. Med Sport Sci; 2012; 59:127-34.
9. Building a beverage for recovery from endurance activity: a review. J Strength Cond Res 2011; Nov;25(11):3198-204.
10. Running Recovery Extreme: How to Bounce Back From Hard Training Quickly. Jason Fitzgerald;http://strengthrunning.com/2010/08/running-recovery/
SWIM-EATS (SWIM-MEETS) High Performance Nutrition for Swim Meets,
Competitions and Carnivals
A Guide for Swimmers, Coaches, Parents & Clubs PART ONE By Wayne Goldsmith
Nutrition is an important area of successful sports performance in any sport. Swimmers need to eat nutritious foods to compete and train to the best of their ability. Coaches need to ensure that swimmers are eating well and rehydrating to complement their training program. Parents want to help their kids achieve their goals and are keen to support them in every possible way.
Swim Clubs and swimming organisations, selling food and drink at Swim Meets need to ensure that a variety of highly nutritious healthy options that can still generate income and raise funds are available to the swimmers.
Swim Meets, Swim Competitions and Swimming Championships are the places where all the vested interests in swimming nutrition come together: swimmers, coaches, parents and administrators. Everyone is looking for the same thing: how can we maximise the opportunity presented by the competition?
Swimmers want to maximise the opportunity of swimming fast at the Meet. Coaches want to maximise the opportunities for the individual swimmers and team to compete successfully. Parents want their kids to make the most of the competitive opportunity and swim well. Administrators want to maximise the opportunity to generate income from the fund raising activities at the Meet.
Is it possible to develop an overall nutrition strategy to meet the needs of everyone?
A feature of successful athletes in any sport is how they take responsibility for their own performances. As swimmers get older and approach open level competition they should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own diet and nutrition
program – to become coach and parent independent as far as food preparation and consumption are concerned.
On Meet day, swimmers should check their own bags to make sure all the fuel they will need over the day has been packed. This includes not only an adequate supply of food and drinks for the Meet day but enough nutritious snacks to cover the crucial post race recovery period. If for example, the last race of the day is 4pm and the swimmer is unlikely to eat dinner before 7pm, it is important that foods like fruit, sandwiches and other nutritious snacks are available to munch on between 4 and 7pm. (It is unlikely you can “ruin the appetite” of a competitive swimmer!)
Athletes, by their actions, are above average people. They choose to push themselves to their limits and in doing so are “high performance” human beings. Just as high performance motor vehicles use a high grade, high-octane fuel, “high performance humans” need the best possible fuel to perform at their best.
However, athletes do not need to live a hermit type existence and abstain from all takeaway foods, snacks, nibbles, lollies, etc. The pressures of advertising and their peer group will make a totally junk food free existence near impossible for kids in the current times. The goal should be to practice sensible nutrition habits the majority of the time, to understand the basics of high performance eating and to be aware of the link between good food and fast swimming.
Immediately after racing, DRINK. Water is perfect, or try other fluids such as sports drink, cordial or fruit juice. Also eat something light within 10 minutes of finishing the race. This is the time when your body is best able to absorb and utilise new fuels.
If the Meet is two days or longer in duration, RECOVERY NUTRITION is an important part of racing successfully. Recovery nutrition is about planning an eating and drinking strategy that helps your body:
Recover from the physical stresses of racing
Prepare for the racing to come
This is also called the REPAIR – PREPARE approach to Swim Meet eating.
Recovery nutrition is a technique which provides the swimmer’s body with what they need to recover ... e.g. carbohydrates to replace used up energy, proteins for muscle building and repair ... and prepare for the next day of competition. In between races, recovery nutrition is about replenishing energy stores quickly and effectively so that the next race can be completed at maximum speed.
Foods that aid in a recovery nutrition program between races include fruit, blended fruit packs, tinned fruits and sports drinks – things that are easy to digest and absorb into the body. To maximise the impact of these “recovery foods” they need to be eaten or drunk as soon as possible after racing.
A key element of a successful Swim Meet nutrition program is EATING TIMING. Swimmers need to ensure that their eating program is as finely tuned as their training and racing schedule.
If competing early in the morning some swimmers may find it necessary to rise early (3-4 hours before warm up) eat, then go back to bed for a little more rest. Other athletes may chose to eat, then go for a short walk or jog to start the warm up/race preparation process going.
An important aspect of being a senior athlete is knowing what foods help you to swim at your best and when to eat them.
In minor Meets and lead-up competitions try keeping a NUTRITION DIARY for the day before, the days of competition and the day after the Meet.
Record what you eat, when you eat, how much you eat, how you felt and how you raced. By keeping the nutrition diary, you can evaluate what eating strategy works best for you.
An Example of a Typical Meet Nutrition Diary
TONY JOHNSON’S MEET NUTRITION DIARY 2 day meet
What I ate and drank
When I ate it
Coco Pops, Chocolate
Breakfast (around 7am)
Felt flat in warm- up, raced poorly in 100 Backstroke
Fruit, Water 1⁄2 a chicken salad sandwich
10am (30 minutes before 200 Freestyle)
Pasta, Potato in Jacket, Fruit, Water, Juice
Lunch (around noon)
Race 10 minutes after big lunch – felt heavy in the water and lethargic
Fired up – felt strong
Rice dish, vegetables, juice, ice cream and banana cake
I was starving!!! Ate everything in sight
Wholegrain toast, Yoghurt, Fruit and juice
Felt great – the earlier breakfast really helped!
An example of a Competition Eating Schedule
What to eat
When to eat
Early Morning Heats (8am- 10am)
Breakfast – light meal, complex carbohydrates the focus
Afternoon Heats/Semi Finals/Finals (2pm-4pm)
Light lunch – salad and sandwiches – cooked lunch of rice or pasta
11am-1pm depending on start time – allow approx 2 hours between eating and racing
Evening Events (6pm-9pm)
Late afternoon meal (early dinner) – small quantities of rice, pasta, vegetables – bread, bread rolls – fruit
Ensure you understand the basics of good nutrition and plan an effective education program for your swimmers. This includes a program of classroom education, Supermarket visits, teaching swimmers to read food labels and educating them about what’s in food. Senior swimmers need to learn to cook a few basic meals (for example pasta and sauce, vegetarian fried rice, potatoes in their jackets and apple crumble) utilising low fat cooking and food preparation techniques. Parents of young swimmers also need to be aware of how to cook with less added fats and oils.
If you, as a coach, lack the necessary knowledge to take an active role in the nutrition education program of your club, enlist the services of a qualified sports dietician or sports nutritionist.
If a sports nutrition specialist is not easily available, read one of the many good books on the topic and prepare an athlete and parent nutrition education program that is swimming specific, easy to understand and simple to apply. Alternately approach the local hospital dietician and ask them to help out with your education program.
An important area of nutrition education is to educate parents. Remember that in general KIDS DON’T SHOP and KIDS DON’T COOK! Educating young swimmers is of limited value unless the parents are similarly educated and have the commitment to support their children’s healthy eating program.
Do a pre-meet checklist for swimmers and parents to follow AND ask them to sign it before the swimmer leaves home for the pool.
Medal winning Meet morning breakfast try some of these suggestions... • Cereals (not the popular chocolate or sugary
Lo. • Low fat fruit yoghurt. • Selection of fresh and/or tinned fruit (in natural
juice). Sliced banana goes great on Weetbix and
Vita Brits! • Selection of bread, toast, crumpets, muffins, and
spreads such as margarine, jam, vegemite and
honey. • Drinks – fruit juices, water, and milo. • Spaghetti, baked beans or creamed corn on toast. • Poached eggs or grilled tomatoes on toast. • Pancakes or pikelets (with small amounts of
The team breakfast is also a great way to build
team unity and go over team strategies for the Meet. For a few laughs, select a swimmer at “random” and empty the contents of their swim bag in front of the rest of the team to check if they have packed it with all the healthy, nutritious food and drink they will need for the Meet. (By “random” it is a good idea to pre-select someone you know has done the right thing rather than publicly embarrass someone who hasn’t). You can do the same fun educational exercise and check the swimmer’s swim bag for other essential items ... e.g. cap, goggles, towel, sun screen, hat, etc., etc., to ensure they are packing for
If travelling to a Meet where you are likely to be
arriving early in the morning or late in the evening have swimmers carry their first two meals with them. This reduces the temptation to seek Fast Food for dinner or breakfast. Arriving in a competition venue in the evening means that the only food outlets open will be Home Delivery Pizza and the Hamburger chains. Arriving at the competition venue early in the morning means coffee and donuts or the Fast Food chains.
Weeks of hard work and tough training may all be for nothing if the final two meals before competition are high fat, high salt and high sugar food choices.
Have swimmers follow a set nutrition and rehydration routine around every race. Try the R-D- T-E-R routine (RACE-DRINK-TALK-EAT-REST). Swimmers race, then grab their drink bottles and take
Swimmer’s Swim Meet Nutrition Checklist
th JULIE SMITH’S SWIM MEET CHECKLIST FOR 16 OCT
Packed in my Swim Bag (Yes or No)
2 x 200mls
2 (chicken and salad)
Low Fat Fruit Yoghurt
Pre-cooked Pasta with tomato based sauce
250gms in a sealed container
As an alternative, have a team breakfast on the morning of the Meet. If competing close to home, have the team breakfast in the Club Meeting room. Away from home, find a pleasant venue for the Team breakfast (beach, park, near a river) with an alternate site nominated in case of cold or rainy weather.
Ask each family to bring something for the team breakfast, (give them a list of what you want) – Smiths bring cereal, Jones family brings milk and Yoghurt, Wilsons bring Fruit and Juice, etc. At the very least you can then be certain that the team has had one nutritious meal before competing. For a
a sip, go to the coach for the post race review, have a bite to eat then rest.
Keep your eyes open! Swimmers who are poorly prepared and have not brought healthy foods from home will be rushing to the Canteen or Shop for high fat/high sugar products early in the day.
Be aware of gimmicks and misinformation. Parents and swimmers can be easily influenced by the media and advertising campaigns to buying items that are not really high performance fuels. Food supplements, vitamins and minerals and fashionable products advertised by successful athletes rarely deliver on their promises of improved performance.
Parents’ vulnerability to a quick fix, instant success products and promises means that coaches need to focus on parents at every stage of their nutrition education programs.
Swimmers don’t always notice it, but sweating occurs when training and racing – even though the activity happens in the water. It is vital that a good supply of cool water, cordial, sports drink or juice is on hand at Swim Meets. Purchase a team 40-50 litre capacity Cooler, give the team captain or a committee member the responsibility for filling it and take it to every Meet (and also for cleaning it AFTER every Meet).
Here is an article written by a nutritionist that I really thought did a good job on explaining basic athletic needs for nutrition without getting too much into all the extra information that is out there. Take what you need or want from it as thoughts vary widely on these subjects.
Eat, drink and be merry. Oh- and don't forget to exercise too? Lauren Vredenburg
After a long hard workout, or between races ? food should be the first thing on your mind. Having a quick bite to eat very soon after a workout is extremely beneficial. Most people get hungry after a long workout but even if you aren't it is very important to have a little something before getting on with the rest of your day. Eating following a workout or game is essential to ensure your body?s proper refueling and recovery.
During moderate to hard endurance exercise, two major things are happening in your body. The energy needed in order to perform the strenuous activity comes from blood glucose and muscle glycogen stores. This in turn depletes glycogen stores. Also, in the process of running those 10 km or playing that game of soccer there is an increase in muscle protein breakdown. Consuming both carbohydrates and protein in a post-exercise snack or meal makes the recovery process much smoother ? Especially some PROTIEN!
Despite the negative rep. that carbohydrates have been given with all these fad diets, they are very significant to our diet, especially for athletes. After a workout carbohydrates should be consumed as soon as tolerable. This is because storage of muscle glycogen will occur significantly faster if consumed immediately afterwards. There is a 20 minute window in which the body can store an extra 50 grams of glycogen which would normally take between 24-48 hours to replenish. It is suggested to consume 0.5grams of carbohydrates per pound body weight.
Okay, so now you know that you should be having carbohydrates after your workout but what kind of carbohydrates should you eat? Foods classified to have a high glycemic index are beneficial to consume during this time. The glycemic index is a scale which describes the extent to which the carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels. Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) are rapidly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream which is why they are excellent recovery foods BUT often they do not have a lot of vitamins or are particularly healthy. Use them when you need them.
Protein is also crucial in the recovery meal. It is needed in order for muscles to begin protein synthesis in muscle repair. For athletes doing training for strength it is suggested that 0.7-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight should be consumed daily. Athletes training for endurance should consume 0.5-0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight, daily. Most people easily attain these protein intake levels. Immediately following a training session of that total daily protein intake, 10-20 grams should be consumed. It has been shown that protein consumption right after exercise causes a significant increase in protein synthesis. Sometimes eating protein comes with a food that is higher in fat, be careful of these but you don?t need to avoid them. Choose foods low in fat especially if you are doing repeated activities that day ? Like RACING AT A MEET. At night a slightly higher level of fat is ok for your dinner if you are not racing until the next day.
The post-workout and swim meet snacks or meal should contain both carbohydrates and protein. The balance of these two nutrients should be 4:1 carbohydrates to protein. This ratio results in faster glycogen replacement and optimizes muscle repair and growth. There are many simple food options which contain the 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Commercial products, such as whey powder, can be bought but you can also just as easily have a bowl of cereal with milk, a bagel with peanut butter, chocolate milk or a yogurt smoothie.
Fluid replacement is equally important following a strenuous workout. Most athletes drink water at a rate of 30-70% of their sweat loss while exercising. Therefore, it is extremely important to become fully rehydrated after the workout in order to perform properly in the next workout. Unfortunately, athletes typically feel full and rehydrated when they are only at 70% of repletion. This results in the athlete starting at a level of hypohydration in their next workout which makes it easier to go into heat exhaustion. A rule of thumb for fluid replacement is to drink one more glass of water after you feel like you?ve had enough. Another way to monitor your level of hydration is to weigh yourself before and after exercising. When you stay hydrated your weight before and after should be the same.
Food and water play a surprisingly large role in allowing the body to recover properly from exercise. Consuming a nutritious snack following a workout containing a carbohydrates and protein allows for fast glycogen store replacement and greatly increases muscular repair and growth. Fluid replacement to maintain a constant weight helps prevent hypohydration and risk of heat exhaustion. So to all those athletes eat, drink and be merry after every workout!