This last lifting cycle has been intense hasn’t it? You’ve been crushing PR’s and making sweat angles that make even a jacked unicorn jealous. Now it’s time to talk about giving your body some much needed love for all the awesomeness it did. It’s time to talk about recovery and what that means. The biggest factor in recovery is post workout nutrition. That’s what we are going to spend our time on today. You’ve probably seen Coach Shoe and I sipping on some concoction in a shaker bottle right after workouts but what’s all the hype?
After a workout your glycogen (carbohydrate) stores are depleted and your muscles are broken down from crushing that last set of back squats. We need to replenish these as fast as we can for…those gainz! Your post workout nutrition plan should be as important as getting your first pull-up or handstand. So let’s break it down into 3 stages…
Protein will help rebuild all the muscle tissue you just destroyed hitting your snatch PR. Whole foods are ideal but it can be hard to eat chicken right after a workout. A post workout protein shake is equally as good and can absorb into your system faster than whole food. Whey protein is the easiest to digest and usually is the easiest on the belly. Protein shakes aren’t just for Bro’s, ladies you need them too.
Carbohydrates are also a must. You used up your last bit of carbs during the AMRAP and must replace them to decrease muscle soreness and keep crushing your day. Use quick digesting carbs like fruit, fruit juice or potatoes. Bananas are a great choice as they pack a lot of great nutrients.
Fat is best left out at this time as it slows protein uptake and delays those gainz.
Hydration is huge at this time. We probably don’t drink enough water so get to sipping, coconut water is a great recovery drink as well.
Stage 2: 2-6 hours post WOD crushing
This is usually the time to get some whole foods in. You want a 2:1 carbohydrate protein ratio. Use simple clean foods for a nice post workout meal.
Stage 3: Beyond 6 hoursNow is the time we want to maintain blood sugar and eat a balanced meal with protein, carbs and fat. Choose good for you fats like nut butters, avocados, coconut oil. If possible choose higher quality proteins, such as grass fed beef. And of course you want healthy carbs vs empty heavily processed ones, such as sweet potatoes.
These are some very general recommendations to get you ready to crush a workout the next day. The most important of these being the 30 minutes directly after your workout. Protein and carbs are key to keeping your body healthy and ready to attack the next days WOD. With optimal recovery you can workout harder, which will lead to quicker results i.e. becoming a jacked unicorn.
Thanks for visiting the nerdry if you ever have any questions come ask Coach Shoe or myself!
Sara Mozingo is the Co-Owner, head coach, and programing wizard at CrossFit Icehouse. When she’s not developing rep schemes and diving into the nerdery she enjoys hanging out in nature hiking trails or climbing rocks with her side-kick Mr. Mosely.