Sports Nutrition and Recovery
Sports nutrition does not need to be complicated, but it does require individualization to the athlete and the day’s training.
Here are some examples of daily sports nutrition plans from the USOC. Athletes have to view sports nutrition like a racing team looks at fuel and lubricants – would a Formula 1 team expect high performance out of regular gas? Of course not. They use top quality specific blends to based on the vehicle, course and weather conditions. That is how athletes need to view nutrition. Specific to the athlete and the training load. If you want to monitor your macro nutrition use the myfitnesspal app. To track micro nutrition I upgraded to the premium version ($49.99 per year) where I discovered my sodium intake was often twice what it should be!
If you are going to supplement PureBulk.com has clean, unflavored products. I use the Pea Protein and mix it with flavored Almond Milk or a small amount of juice.
As you can see, there are significant differences between the days based not the load and the athlete’s requirement. If you need to manage your weight, then that becomes a critical variable.
Recovery must be an essential part of the athlete’s focus. Here is a fantastic document from the USOC on recovery. I particularly like the “4 Rs of Recovery”
Are you practicing the 4 Rs of recovery?
Re-plenish muscle glycogen (carbohydrate stored in muscle) after practice. Eat 0.5 g/lb BW.
Re-pair and regenerate muscle with high quality protein. Eat 15 – 25 g (higher end for larger athletes).
Re-inforce muscle cells and immune system with colorful and anti-oxidant rich foods (e.g. fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, nuts, olive oil). Eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies daily.
Re-hydrate with fluid and electrolytes based on sweat loss in training (3 cups fluid/lb of sweat loss). Use urine color as a hydration guide pre-training.
Don’t be passive about sports nutrition or recovery, they are as critical to the athlete as training.