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Post-Training Food

training post training foodSwimming in the next SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim?

Swimming 3.6km can put a massive strain on our body so it is crucial to start our recovery nutrition plan as soon as possible for quicker muscle recovery. While we might be in a celebratory mood after completing the race, eating lots of fast food and chugging down a beer or two can negatively impact the body’s recovery. If we don’t pay close attention to what we consume, we will feel exhausted and may risk injuring ourselves when we even return to light physical activity.

To maximise our recovery process, it is vital to remember these key post-training nutrition goals:

  1. Replenish muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores
  2. Restore fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat
  3. Provide nutrients to aid in muscle repair


Immediately after training

The sooner we eat, the better. It is recommended that we eat within a 30-minute window after training, so our body gets all the nutrients it requires to repair itself afterwards and start the recovery process. Carbohydrates are important as these are the main fuel source that our body burns. Delaying our carbohydrate intake by just two hours has been shown to slow the process of glycogen replenishment by 50%. We can replenish muscle glycogen stores by eating carbohydrate-rich foods such as:

  • Bananas
  • Granola bars
  • Brown rice
  • Chicken breast
  • Avocado

Protein Intake

As important as carbohydrates are, protein is equally as important post-training. In fact, protein is also required to aid in muscle recovery. For optimal recovery, our muscles need around 20g of protein and these protein-rich foods include:

  • Protein shakes
  • Natural yoghurt-based fruit smoothies
  • Lean meats, eggs, or low-fat cheese
  • Greek yoghurt, granola, and mixed berries

Electrolytes

Sodium and potassium are minerals that we lose through sweat. These minerals aid in sustaining fluid balance and controlling muscle contractions. Sports drinks are good alternatives but there are plenty of other sodium/potassium-rich whole foods that can replenish our electrolyte stores such as:

  • Milk
  • Bread
  • Juice
  • Nuts
  • Bananas
  • Raisins
  • Leafy greens

These nutritious foods will supplement our body with all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to aid in muscle repair. Our body repairs itself mostly when we are asleep so consuming a nutritious meal will assist with overall recovery.

Reference:

Aragon, A., & Schoenfeld, B. (2013). Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window?. Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition, 10(1). doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-5


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