Recovery Nutrition

The body stores carbohydrates, in the form of glycogen, in very limited amounts. It is thus important to maximize that storage capacity, to prevent the risk of running out of energy before the training session is over.  

The enzyme responsible for storing glycogen is elevated after exercise.  It is elevated within 30 minutes post-exercise, but remains above normal levels up to 24 hours later.  It is therefore vital to take in an adequate amount of carbohydrates as soon after exercise as possible.  Adding some protein to that meal or snack will not only enhance glycogen storage capacity, but it will also aid in muscle recovery.

The following calculation can be used to figure out how much is an adequate amount of carbohydrate to consume after your intense workouts.

Body Weight (lb.) x .5 g/lb = _____ g of Carbohydrate
In your case, it would be 140lb x .5 g/lb
= ~ 70 g of carbohydrate is required for recovery

The following is a list of carbohydrate-rich foods and the amount of grams of CARBS found in each item.  Consume a combination of preferred foods that equals the grams of carbohydrates calculated above, as soon after exercise as possible.

Examples of Carbohydrate-Rich Foods:
(mix these with about one quarter of the grams of protein to make a good recovery meal)

Clif Bar – 43 grams
TruSoy Bar – 27 grams
Gatorade – ~25 grams/8 oz. (or 1 cup)
1 slice of whole wheat bread – 15 grams
½  whole wheat bagel – ~30 grams
½ cup ready-to-eat bran cereal – ~30 grams
WholewheatEnglish muffin – 15 grams
1 apple, banana, orange – 15 grams
1 cup orange, apple, grapefruit, or cranberry juice – 33 grams
16 pretzels – 27 grams
16 animal crackers – 27 grams
1 granola bar – 15 grams
½ cup yogurt – 15 grams
1 cup skim milk – 12 grams (say a latte)

*Any of the sports bars listed also have protein – this is a GOOD thing.  If you choose other foods other than protein bars, add some protein (yogurt, milk, peanut butter, cheese, etc.) to facilitate glycogen resynthesis as well as muscle recovery.   

Furthermore Using your whey isolate / protein powder or a carb powder such as endurox (which has appropriate carb:protein mix) as recovery is your best option. You can also use energy bars such as Luna, Pria, Myoplex light,  as a recovery snack.