By Brooke Schohl, MS, RD
Recovery is a very important part of training, one that rejuvenates the body and prepares you for that next workout. Make sure you will be ready to go by smartly refueling your body after workouts that demand it.
What types of workouts require refueling? Generally anything longer than two to three hours. The longer the workout, the more fuel stores are depleted. Focus on carbohydrates to fill up glycogen stores, amino acids to halt muscle breakdown and build new muscle, and fats to keep blood sugar stable and continue fat oxidation.
Here are some carb-fat-protein combos you can take on-the-go.
Vegetarian or Vegan Performance Protein Shake
Simply mix one scoop of vegetarian or vegan protein powder with cold water and you’ll get about 25 grams of post-workout protein. If you can, blend the protein powder with fruit and maybe some leafy greens. But if you’re on-the-go, consume a half banana with the protein for carb replenishment.
Pecan or Coconut Rolled Dates
Dates are an excellent source of carbs plus selenium, manganese, magnesium and copper. Roll them in chopped nuts or shredded coconut to add fat and/or protein to the mix. Some stores, such as Whole Foods, sell pre-rolled dates.
Banana + Almond Butter
Bananas are a great carb source, but don’t consume them alone – keep blood sugar stable and halt muscle breakdown by adding nut butter to the snack. Some nut butters, like Justin’s Nut Butters, are sold in convenient single serving pouches that are easy to pack.
Bars make perfectly packable recovery snacks. Look for bars that boast just two to five ingredients – and make sure they are ingredients that you recognize. Pick a non-chocolate flavor to avoid melting issues. These bars contain quality sources of carbs (like dates), as well as protein and fat.
This snack provides a good carb-plus-fat-plus-protein mix from dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Avoid mixes that include ingredients with added sugar (such as chocolate or yogurt chips, M&Ms, etc.). Even better: Make your own.
Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, METS, is a registered sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an avid triathlete, having completed many triathlons of all distances including three Ironman races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific, metabolically efficient fueling plans for her clients. Brooke and her husband, John, own two Scottsdale, Arizona-based triathlon stores named Destination Kona. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website at www.fueltothefinish.com.