It is difficult this time of year to keep up with a regimen, and to resist the holiday treats that surround you. However, as an athlete, it's important to ensure that you're fueling yourself with the proper nutrients to maintain your level of performance.
If you would like to hear more about Sports Medicine from one of our experts, please email Rodney Dender. And, remember, we're always available on our 24/7 "hurtline" at 864-675-HURT. We appreciate your relationship with St. Francis Sports Medicine, and we wish you the happiest of holidays.
Diet is the Key to Recovery
Kenny Cabe, ATC | St. Francis Sports Medicine
As a competitive athlete, the pre-exercise meal is vital to ensure the proper amount of glycogen store is available for proper performance. The post exercise meal is critical to recovery and improves your ability to train.
Simple sugars are broken down into glycogen and stored to provide a great source of energy for short intense bouts of exercise. When these glycogen stores are full excess sugars are stored as fat which is accessed by the body during long bouts of exercise. Being able to replace these energy stores as quickly as possible is key to recovery. Here's what to look for:
- Weigh prior to and post exercise to determine the amount of fluid lost during exercise
- Consume 20 - 24 oz. of fluid per lb of weight lost
- 100-200 grams within 2 hours is essential to rebuild the glycogen store
- Longer than 2 hours results in 50% less glycogen being stored
- Carbohydrates increase insulin production
Protein + Carbohydrate
- Provides amino acids
- Helps rebuild fatigued muscle tissue
- Increases fluid absorption, which improves hydration
- Stimulates the immune system
- Research shows that ingesting carbs and protein doubles insulin production and glycogen store.
- Proper ratio 4 grams: 1 gram (carb/protein)
- Too much protein intake can slow rehydration and glycogen replenishment
- Timing - within 2 hours of exercise
- Ratio - 4 grams of carbohydrate: 1 gram of protein
- Include fluids
- Supplements (shakes / bars) may be easier or more convenient than a meal this is personal preference
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