You've had an intense session of intervals or drills. All after a long day of school or work. You're tired on the commute home but want to eat before bed without overdoing it. How do you recover with bedtime looming?
Carbohydrates - Quick and Simple
Having some simple carbohydrates is a good way to ensure you're refuelled for the next day and are eating enough to match your energy demands - a key thing for young athletes (Meyer et al., 2007). These are generally sugary, low-fibre options, but it could be as simple as having some fruit packed in Tupperware, juice, or - if a very intense session - a sports drink may benefit you. Don’t forget fluids. Use the urine colour scale to help. Aim to get these within 30-60 minutes of finishing training but prioritise eating and drinking enough. Carbs and fluids are crucial for subsequent performance (McCartney et al., 2017 – although in over-18s, these are still important parts of recovery).
Lean Protein - A Champion's Essential
Protein aids muscle growth and repair. Having protein with carbohydrates after a session will help your muscles recover. For young athletes, lean protein sources should be consumed wherever possible (Desbrow et al., 2014). Lean meats (skinless chicken breast, pork, ham), fish (tinned tuna, salmon) or dairy (milk, yogurt) are good sources.
Tips for Your Travels
When travelling home from training, you could:
Some practical examples:
Recovery is key after a tough evening session. Getting in some quick carbohydrates and protein will help you feel fresh next time around. Convenience doesn't have to mean compromise. The biggest thing is eating enough!Prioritise recovery and happy eating!
Liam Oliver, Nutrition Student.
Desbrow, B., Mccormack, J., Burke, L., Cox, G., Fallon, K., Hislop, M., ... Leveritt, M. (2014). Sports Dietitians Australia position statement: Sports nutrition for the adolescent athlete. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24(5), 570-84.
McCartney, D., Desbrow, B., & Irwin, C. (2017). Post-exercise Ingestion of Carbohydrate, Proteinand Water: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis for Effects on Subsequent Athletic Performance. Sports Medicine, 1-30.
Meyer, Flavia, O'Connor, Helen, & Shirreffs, Susan M. (2007). Nutrition for the young athlete. Journal of Sports Sciences, 25, S73.
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