How to Use Food to Optimize Recovery
Written by: Coach Slater
TLDR: Protein & Carbs around your workout, Protein & Fats (with some Carbs) at other times of the day.
Protein plays a wide variety of roles in our body from rebuilding muscle tissue to providing the building blocks for various cells, enzymes, and hormones. After a workout, our bodies breakdown old proteins and we need to synthesize new ones to rebuild our muscles. Protein intake varies person to person, but a good starting point for someone who’s active is 0.8-to-1.0 grams per pound of bodyweight. We recommend dividing that amount evenly amongst your meals and snacks for the day. There’s no need to slam a shake post workout (unless you want to!), but do plan to get some protein in with a meal or a snack within a couple hours of a hard training session.
Carbs are what give us energy, and they’re depleted from our bodies, in the form of glycogen, by a workout. Eating carbs pre-workout will give you energy and eating them post workout will replenish your glycogen stores. The amount each person needs varies *greatly* based on how hard you’ve trained, what your goals are, and your physical size. We recommend consuming anywhere from 25-40% of your carbs within the 3 hours prior to your training, and 25-40% of your carbs within the 2 hours after. Fill in the rest of your meals with protein and fats.
So, someone who works out in the morning will have mostly protein and carbs until mid-day and then begin adding fats in and reducing carbs while keeping protein steady throughout the day. A person who works out in the afternoon/evening, would have protein & fats in the morning, reduce fats and add carbs mid-day and post-workout, then add back additional fats prior to bed.