Did you know…?
Did you know that an ‘all-out’, twenty-minute workout session can deplete glycogen levels down to 50% of maximum capacity?
Glycogen is the main fuel used during a workout. Glycogen is stored in the body but its stores are limited and must be replenished when depleted. If glycogen is not replenished adequately it can impede the quality of an athlete’s training as he/she may feel more fatigued and weaker than usual. Replenishing glycogen is particularly important when training sessions are less then 24 hours apart. The post-workout meal is one of the most important meals for athletes to replace lost glycogen and enhance recovery.
A post-workout meal should ideally be consumed within 30 minutes after training. Experts believe that athletes can replenish glycogen stores at a faster rate within about a half-hour time window following training compared to any other time. If possible, refuel with quality food (avoid processed foods) within 30 minutes of training to optimise and replenish glycogen stores.
An ideal post-workout meal or snack would consist mainly of quality carbohydrates, and a small protein portion. The common thinking on this is four parts of carbohydrates to one part protein source (4:1 ratio) to enhance optimal recovery.
If eating a meal within the first 30 minutes is not practical (e.g. due to travelling back and forth or having forgotten snacks left at home), drink a glass of whole milk—not low-fat milk as young athletes need a source of healthy fat, as well low-fat milk also tends to be more processed. Milk naturally has a complimentary carbohydrate protein blend to support workout recovery.
Some post-training snack ideas may include:
- wholegrain bread, nut butter (cashew is a good choice) and 1/2 a banana,
- plain full fat yogurt with fruit & granola and
- tuna, or chicken, sandwich on wholegrain bread or pita with lettuce and cucumber.
Enjoy your training, work hard and (most importantly) refuel the smart way!