You crushed the sprints, rocked the hills and are feeling great after your ICOD class – YES! In order to fully reap the benefits of your hard work on the bike, you need to replenish your energy reserves and jumpstart muscle recovery. A Google search of post-workout recovery yields tons of (sometimes conflicting) results, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Follow these 3 guidelines and you will see faster results AND have more energy for your next ride.
- Eat within 30 minutes (1 hour max) after exercise to regulate blood sugar, curb hunger, stimulate muscle repair, and replenish glycogen stores (your muscle’s fuel source).
- If it’s meal time, aim to eat 400-500 calories. For a snack, aim for 200-300 calories.
- Include complex carbohydrates (such as whole-grains, beans, fruits and vegetables) protein and some healthy fats. A good rule of thumb is a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein.
This of course is a guideline so take the time to find the ratio that works best for you.
Here are some of my favorite post-workout snacks:
- Whole-grain cereal (I prefer Kashi) & almond milk with 1 TBSP of PB2. Note: I add PB2 for protein since almond milk has almost no protein. You can skip the PB2 if using regular milk.
- Greek yogurt & fruit
- Whole-grain toast with 1 ½ TBSP almond butter. If you are gluten free, sub the bread for Crunch Master Toasted Sesame Rice crackers
- My favorite go-to is my Simple Berry-Green Smoothie + 1 slice toast OR 1 serving of Crunch Master Toasted Sesame Rice crackers
Simple Berry-Green Smoothie
- 1 C Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- ½ scoop Chocolate Whey Protein Powder (I aim for about 12g of protein)
- 1 C Organic Frozen Berries (if you use fresh fruit, be sure to add some ice)
- 1 C (large handful) Organic Baby Spinach
Blend everything until smooth and enjoy immediately!
- Use ½ C non-fat yogurt + ½ C water in place of almond milk
- Use ½ C other fruit such as banana, pineapple or mangoes + ½ C berries for a sweeter smoothie
- For extra protein, add 1 TBSP PB2 or any other nut butter
With this recipe, you can have your own pre-made, well-balanced breakfast to give you the energy to kick-start your day. Combined with your favorite ICOD class in the morning and you will be ready for a productive and successful day!