Recovery is a key element to an athletes training program. Without proper recovery after a workout, it's likely you won't see the fitness gains you are working toward. Athletes of all ages, from marathoners to CrossFitters, should focus on recovery because how you fuel your body after a workout is essential for reaching performance goals.
When you exercise you are breaking down muscle, and while this is essential for better performance and training adaptations, we don't want to stay there. The key is to shift from catabolic "breaking down" to anabolic "building up" quickly after you finish working out. It's been said that you should aim to recover within 15-30 minutes of your workout.
How to refuel is a hot topic in todays sports nutrition forums, and I recently heard a great debate from the top researches on both sides of the isle at the CPSDA (Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association) conference in May 2013. One study that was presented showed that refueling with 1 gram of carbohydrate and .5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (1 pound = 2.2 kg) increased muscle mass, fat loss, and doubled V02 max!
To recover well you need the right "ingredients", remembering the "3 Rs" of recovery- Rehydrate, Refuel, and Rebuild. Not only is this smoothie tasty, it rehydrates the fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat, refuels glycogen used by working muscles with carbohydrates, and rebuilds with protein for improved training and synthesis of new muscle fibers. Recover well, train well! Enjoy!
Almond Joy Protein Shake
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 1/2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
- 1/8 tsp almond extract
- 1 banana
- 1 1/2 cups ice
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened coconut flakes
- Place first 6 ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.
- Pour smoothie into a glass and top with almonds and coconut flakes.
- Sip through a straw if desired.