Every time they are on the field, athletes need to produce their best results. Proper recovery helps the body rebuild & improve itself so that in each session/match, athletes give their 100 percent. It also decreases the risk of an accident happening.
If you are an athlete and want to know what to eat to recover faster? How to eat to recover more quickly? Here are 5 best food practices that you follow to enhance recovery time.
1) Ensure to consume carbohydrates as source pre-training
Plan your diet such that you can get the right quantity of carbs 1 hour before the training. If you have a training session/match early in the day and don’t feel like eating after you wake up, try to get up early to allow the body to settle in but don’t miss out on your recommended food intake.
Foods that you eat have a significant impact on how you feel. Certain foods can make you feel active, dull, improve sleep health or affect moods.
So food is a significant component of your performance and should be on the top of your priority list.
Rajma and Chana are my two favorite food options for athletes. Apart from the nutrition that they have to offer, they are also very convenient to carry.
When they travel for competitions, many of my athletes boil soaked rajma and chana and store them in the refrigerator for the entire week. This ensures that they don’t rely on outside foods and have healthy snacking options at their disposal.
Add apple cider vinegar or a tinge of salt if you don’t like the taste of boiled rajma and chana.
2) Protein powders
Another convenient way to carry a food source to your training/competitions, as you can’t be sure of the type, quality and protein content of food that you might get.
I suggest my athletes take protein within 20 mins of finishing their training. Suppose athletes feed the body with the right nutrients within the window of opportunity. In that case, energy levels and recovery will be better, and the athlete will drive more out of their training sessions.
When you are cooling down with your trainers, coaches, and teammates, post-training ensures you provide some nutrients to your body.
If you are into high-intensity training, try to maintain the protein to carb ratio of 1:3, i.e., if you are taking 20 grams of protein, complement it with 60 grams of carbs.
Every athlete has glycogen as a battery in their muscles which they need to charge to keep performing at the highest level. So if the diet lacks in carbs, the body will not get enough nutrients to charge glycogens.
Athletes, for performance, need their battery to be charged every day, and for that, carbs are essential.
So along with your protein shake, eat a banana or a sandwich as a carb source.
Many of my athlete clients who travel abroad for competitions find it hard to get the food they like and worsen if you are vegetarian. That’s why it’s so crucial for athletes to learn to carry their food.
Serious athletes even carry their pressure cookers and cook at their hotel rooms to ensure that they are getting the right carbs, protein & fats and completely avoiding unhealthy outside food.
3) Sports drink
Get a sports drink that is designed for athletic performance. Have you ever taste your sweat? is it sweet or salty?
When you sweat, you lose salts, and when you lose salts, the water level in the body becomes imbalanced.
The brain needs salts to send a signal to muscles for contraction and relaxation. So when you lose salts, it will impact muscle contraction and relaxation movements.
Athletes suffer cramps when there is a shortage of electrolytes in the body.
4) Green peas
Green peas are an excellent source of the heaviest amino acid, arginine, which will give better muscle protein synthesis.
It also dilates the blood vessels meaning more oxygen, glucose, amino acids, salts getting delivered to muscles.
Avoid green peas if you are allergic to them.
5) Eat Pineapple, Purple Cabbage & Broccoli
For recovery, my list of best foods includes pineapple, purple cabbage, and broccoli. Pineapple contains the natural chemical bromelain. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce inflammation in the body and speeds up recovery.
Purple cabbage contains anthocyanin, which has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping athletes recover faster.
The sulfur compounds in broccoli are beneficial for athletes. In addition to this, broccoli is also a natural testosterone booster that is favorable for building better muscles.
To get yourself a customized sports nutrition plan call us at +91-9743430000.
Ryan Fernando is an Award-winning celebrity Sports Nutritionist with 2GUINNESS world record and 2 Olympic medals under his belt. His client list include Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar, cricketer Shikhar Dhawan & bollywood superstars Aamir Khan & Abhishek Bachchan. He is Chief Nutritionist at QUA Nutrition Signature Clinics.