Recovery: The What, When and How.

By Adam Galuszka
December 3, 2013

You've just tackled a new workout, put yourself through the ropes, pushed yourself harder and gone longer than ever before. It's time for recovery. But does it really work? Do you really need it? Are some foods better than others?  Here's our quick guide to understanding recovery and making it work for you: WHEN: If you wanna make your recovery work, you want to start refueling your body within 15-45 minutes. Why? You body's metabolism is still cranking, and your muscles and cells are ready to suck up the vital nutrients and minerals in recovery like a dry sponge. As your body cools down, you'll be at a reduced capacity to mainline recovery straight to your muscles.   WHAT: Since you need to get this recovery in you within 15-45 minutes of completing a workout. Be prepared. Carry recovery bars with you, in your car, or in your locker. You'll get the most from your recovery if you don't have to wait until you get home to refuel. Here are the general guidelines for recovery, but what you need may vary:
  1. 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during your workout.
  2. 12-15 grams of protein
  3. 30-35 grams of carbs
You can find these things in food or shakes. Combine a recovery shake with a handful of AllGood Provisions Nuts, Cherries or Trailmix, with a Clif Builder Bar. Be conscious of how many calories you're consuming, and remember, this is not a meal.   HOW: How much should recovery do you need? It depends on the duration and type of exercise. A recovery meal is not the size of a full meal. Don't over do it. This is why single serving recovery mix packets can be great. They offer a controlled amount. If you're the type of person who finishes a run or hard workout without an appetite, this should be an amount you can stomach, without feeling stuffed. Example: for a run, a small fist sized amount of food will work - think small recovery shake, or bar. If your workout butts up against meal time, that's great. Use your recovery as an appetizer. It should be as filling as an appetizer as well. Then make sure your meal contains a nutrient dense balance of carbs, lean proteins,  a little fat and fruits/vegetables.   And don't forget to stretch.