After a long cycle, you need to refuel your body to assist in recovery and replenish the glycogen needed to power your exercise – especially if this is something that you do daily. It would be best if you replenished your glycogen stores using glucose to keep you going. It’s recommended that you refuel on carbohydrates 30 – 60 minutes after your session. This allows the body to transform glucose into glycogen.
Another helpful nutrient to consume after a ride is protein, which is important for repairing, strengthening and facilitating the growth of tissue that may be broken down during the exercise process. We also cannot forget the importance of adequate hydration.
What Should You Be Eating After A Gruelling Ride?
A Sports Recovery Drink
While water is a great source of rehydration, your body also needs to replenish its glycogen stores and refuel the carbohydrates in your system. This is a great option for immediately after your exercise. Fruit and vegetable juices will also be sufficient.
Not only is it a tasty treat, but it also provides the perfect carbohydrate to protein ratio. It’s also a convenient and quick way to refuel.
Another quick and convenient option that can be used during a ride as well as after. They’re high in protein and carbohydrates and can curb any unhealthy cravings after a long ride.
Lean protein helps your body recover and repair itself between exercises. One hundred grams of chicken equates to 19 grams of protein. Chicken also contains omega-3 and important amino acids which will help you durn protein into lean muscle. Carb-rich foods act as a great recovery meal.
The carbohydrates in rice provide glycogen a lot faster than brown rice and is an essential nutrient after any vigorous activity. It’s a simple carbohydrate with a high glycaemic index.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce muscle inflammation after exercising. It also lowers the presence of prostaglandin in the body, which is responsible for inflammation. The lean protein also contains vitamins D, B6 and B12, which boosts energy and promotes quicker recovery.
The protein on eggs, paired with the carbohydrates from bread, are a great post-workout meal. Opt for scrambled or poached eggs as they’re the healthier option and can be made before your ride to enjoy immediately after.
This complex carbohydrate restores glycogen levels and is also rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and manganese.
Dry Fruits And Nuts
These quick and easy snacks are great to eat after a ride before making a meal. They’re easily digestible, quickly boost your body’s energy levels and replenish your glycogen levels.
You can eat it on just about any carb after a ride, giving you the ideal protein to carb ratio. Natural peanut kinds of butter are a better option as they contain lower levels of cholesterol.
The first step to post-exercise recovery is a proper, nutritional meal. Reloading on protein and carbohydrates will assist your body in recovering and repairing itself while staying hydrated will keep you going for longer.
To learn more about sports nutrition, then you should do our Sports Nutrition Diploma. For more information, please follow this link.