Your Questions, Answered
Should I skip a recovery drink after a recovery ride?
Q. Should I skip a recovery drink after a recovery ride? I?m not really burning any energy on those days. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
A. When in doubt, drink. More specifically, go ahead and drink a carbohydrate recovery drink laced with protein after those recovery rides. As a general rule, you never want to mess with your caloric intake from fluids or foods right before, during, and immediately after your workouts. This is because glycogen, the stored form of glucose, is depleted to some degree during any activity. Obviously a six-hour ride is going to deplete more of your energy stores than a 60-minute recovery ride, but you?ll still have burned through some glycogen on that easier ride. Plus your body?s very busy on recovery days making you stronger, and this physiological process requires a full tank of fluids and fuel to do its job effectively.
The CTS Recovery Plan
? Within the first 15 to 60 minutes following any exercise session, swallow 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate (or roughly one serving of a recovery drink, such as PowerBar?s Recovery beverage, along with an energy gel). You?ll take advantage of the ?glycogen window? that exists right after exercise, when your elevated insulin levels and more permeable cell membranes are primed to process carbohydrates quickly and turn them into glycogen.
? The easiest way to take advantage of the glycogen window is with a recovery drink that packs a 7:1 carbohydrates-to-protein ratio, as found in PowerBar?s Recovery beverage. The protein, just so you know, is there to aid the absorption of all those carbs into the body, not build muscle.
? Two hours after your workout, eat a carb-rich meal, such as whole-wheat pasta with vegetable sauce, stir-fry with a healthy serving of brown rice, or whole-grain pancakes with sliced fruit.
? If you want to cut down on your caloric intake because it?s a ?light? training day, do it with meals eaten two or more hours before or after exercise.
Wishing you a full and speedy recovery,
Alicia Kendig, MS, RD
CTS Sports Dietitian for Roadcycling.com