Recovery is an integral part of a training plan, and that includes recovery fueling. However, immediate noshing after a workout is not necessary for everyone.
If you are working out hard and/or long (ie more than 60-minutes) most days of the weeks, or training for a race like a 10K, half-ironman, or century ride, then recovery fuel within 60 minutes of finishing a workout is appropriate. If you are hitting the gym a few days per week or get your exercise from walking, then your recovery window is much broader. Generally speaking you will be able to following your normal eating pattern and get in all the nutrition you need.
Recovery Snack Ideas
If you start your workouts from a place besides your home, or don’t make it home in time to meet the suggested 30-60 minute window, you may need to bring something along to carry you over until your next meal. Portions may vary based on athlete, but in general most women can aim for around 15-25 g protein and 50-80 g carbohydrate, while most men can aim for 20-30 g protein and 60-100 g carbohydrate. Antioxidantes from fruits or vegetables are also a plus, but avoid high dose supplements of antioxidants (vitamin C, E, quercetin, etc.) as these may impact training response.
Here are 8 on-the-go snacks you can try for post workout recovery:
(Tip: Bring a small cooler in your car to expand your options.)
- PB&J sandwich on whole grain + a banana
- Overnight oats: Greek yogurt + oats + milk + fruit (sprinkle of salt and sugar to taste)
- Chocolate milk + nut/dried fruit trail mix
- Turkey jerky + ½ PB&J sandwich
- Hard boiled eggs + bagel
- Protein smoothie + banana
- Cottage cheese + granola + dried fruit
- Whole grain crackers + cheese sticks + nut/dried fruit trail mix