It might seem counterintuitive, but you become stronger, faster and more resilient when your body is at rest. During your runs and workouts you are imposing different types of stress to your system. This isn’t just limited to your cardiovascular system, but includes your musculoskeletal and central nervous systems as well. In training, you are taking one step back during a workout in order to take two steps forward during recovery.
In order to continue to progress (and see the most benefit from a training program) it is imperative to fuel your body the right way. We break ourselves down during a run, so you need to have the right building blocks in place for your body to repair itself. Too many people don’t treat their post-workout nutrition regimen as part of a comprehensive recovery protocol, and consequently leave performance gains on the table or set themselves up for injury.
After a tough workout, you’ll want to make sure that your body is getting enough fats, proteins and carbohydrates to restore and replenish. A post-run sports drink like Nuun is a good idea, but it’s also helpful to include food and drink containing more than just sugar and salt. Some things that can help after a long run or tough workout session are:
Trail Nuggets. 10 grams of all-natural protein (contains nuts).
Huma Recovery. 14 grams of plant-based protein.
Chocolate milk and a banana. Get your carbs, fats, protein and a potassium boost all at once!
All too often I see people getting into the calorie counting game at the same time they are trying to make performance gains. It’s crucial to remember it’s not just the work that makes you better, but it’s how you respond to the work as well. Without proper recovery methods like wholesome nutrition and adequate sleep, the mileage you log isn’t going to do much more than simply run your body down.