Thursday, January 6, 2011

Post-workout Recovery

I'm always in the market for post-workout recovery foods and drinks. I can't say I really feel like I need them too often myself, but Andrew's weight lifting routine really requires that he gets all the building blocks to recovery when he's done. Pre-raw, he swore by Nature's Path Optimum Banana Almond Cereal, previously called Rebound Cereal. It contains a lot what you need after a good workout: whole grains (for slow energy release and recovery), almonds and flax (for protein, healthy fats, to repair muscle), cinnamon, molasses, and bananas (all three of those rebalance electrolytes, and the fruit restores glycogen levels), and matcha green tea (check out an earlier post about its amazing benefits).

It was so effective that I adapted the cereal to a mostly-raw recipe a little while ago, and more recently created a 100% raw one which I have yet to measure and post. To make a good recovery snack, consider the following:

1) Pre-hydrate! Hydrate! And rehydrate! Workout recovery starts before your workout has even begun!
2) If you plan on eating, mixing carbs and protein (about a 4:1 ratio) after a heavy workout is recommended to optimally restore glycogen levels to rebuild everything that goes on in there. Try to eat within 45 minutes of your workout for best results, otherwise your body starts to get tired fast.
3) Ideally, your food should be of freshly-made pudding or smoothie-like consistency because the ingredients' nutrients will be easier to absorb.
4) Make sure you rebalance your electrolytes, especially if you've been sweating a lot (see my guest post on the Fitness Dish about that here)

In short, you need, water, carbs, protein, and mineral restoration, so when I found Green Lemonade's Matcha Green Tea + Apple Detox Smoothie, I got really excited. Today's workout was followed by might slightly amended of Noelle's recipe. As far as I know, it seems to have worked great:

Post Recovery Smoothie


2 1/2 apples, cored and loosely chopped*
1 C of homemade almond milk (unstrained)
1 teaspoon of matcha powder
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
tiny pinch of salt (think electrolytes!)

1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth
2. Top with hemp seeds or your favourite recovery cereal/bar

*again, I had an extra 1/2 apple in the fridge, I'm sure 2 or 3 would do

Finally, if you're looking for another tea (yes, I am a huge fan of Yogi Tea, they've been with me since my undergrad dorm days), we're both also big fans of Yogi Tea's Green Tea Muscle Recovery. It works fantastic! Happy workout!
(kitty pic from here)

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