Recover RightWhat should be in your post-run recovery drink?
Photo by Patitucci Photo
At the end of a hard run, your muscles quiver with fatigue, mouth is dry and heart pounds. You wipe the sweat from your forehead and swig water. You may not feel hungry but this is when your body needs food as much as water. Running suppresses the appetite because blood is sent to working muscles instead of the digestive system. Ironically, what you consume right after a run largely influences the quality of your recovery. As soon as you stop running, your body shifts into repair mode to heal muscle microtears, replace glycogen stores and build lean-muscle protein. These cellular reparations are what make you stronger and faster.
“Research indicates that replenishing energy stores within 30 minutes after exercising helps you train harder and better the next time,” says Lisa Dorfman, Sports Nutritionist for the University of Miami Athletic Department, professional triathlete and author of Performance Nutrition for Football. Immediately after a workout, your body is starving for carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes. Since solid food can be difficult to digest, recovery drinks (either commercial or homemade) are an effective way to take in necessary nutrients.
“Recovery drinks can reach your bloodstream within 10 minutes of consumption,” says Richard Smith, a kinesiologist and co-founder of Fluid recovery drink (see next page). “Whereas a protein- and carbohydrate-rich meal of salmon and whole-grain rice will take up to an hour to digest.”
What should be in a recovery drink?