Give your body nourishment. 

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After training, in addition to taking on fluids and electrolytes, two types of nutrients are especially important; the first is protein. During exercise, the body’s protein metabolism balance shifts towards protein degradation and muscle tissue structures become damaged. After exertion, our body’s metabolism is working flat out, and once training is over, the growth of new muscle tissue (protein) is stimulated. If you supply the body with the optimal amount of high-quality protein at this time-point (approx. 20-25g, the exact amount depending on numerous factors) muscle repair is supported amongst other things.

Carbohydrates are equally important for refuelling your body’s depleted energy stores, i.e. glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. Immediately after exercise, there is a short window of enhanced replenishment of glycogen stores with carbohydrates. The fast replenishment of glycogen stores is especially important for athletes who have to repeatedly perform at maximum intensity after only a short period of rest. In this case, refuelling should begin immediately after training. Following the initial refuelling you should schedule more carbohydrate-rich snacks or meals after one hour has passed.
The most important factor affecting the rate at which the body replenishes its glycogen stores is the total carbohydrate intake. Incidentally, intake of sufficient carbohydrates at the right time can also limit the possible ‘weakening’ effect on your body’s immune system caused by intense training, thus minimizing the risk of infection after tough training sessions.

How much carbohydrate is required immediately after a training session depends on factors such as your training plan, the intensity of training, as well as your meal schedule. For example, after a moderate training session it may be sufficient to just drink a protein shake (e.g. 1 portion of PROTEINPLUS 92% or 250ml of PROTEINPLUS Sportsmilk). However, after a long and tough session, a combination of protein and carbohydrates, for example in the RECOVERY Shake or a PROTEINPLUS 30% bar with a glass of juice, may be the best option.

Examples for a recovery snack with approx. 50-60g carbohydrates and 25g protein to consume immediately after intense training:

  • 1 PROTEIN PLUS 92% shake + 2 handfuls (approx. 70g) of raisins
  • 200g of cottage cheese with 2 tsp honey & 1 sliced banana

Advice on how to maintain proper hydration levels

Sweating while training not only makes you lose water, but also electrolytes, the main one being sodium. Sodium is a mineral contained in table salt and plays a vital role in fluid balance. Sports nutrition products containing sodium, as well as water in combination with salty snacks (e.g. pretzels) are very useful to help restore fluid levels and electrolyte balance. If there is sufficient time for recovery between periods of exertion and no excessive dehydration, there is no need for a sophisticated rehydration strategy straight after exercise. The deficits in fluid and electrolytes can then simply be replaced by normal drinking and eating routines.

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Kind Regards

Hennie Kriek Email Signature

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