We are back this week answering another question from Susan, the OG parent from my online course Raising Elite Level Athletes. Question: What are the best low carb recovery drinks?
This question sparked an idea to cover the sports nutrition recovery process as a whole and provide an answer to Susan’s question.
Recovery after a hard workout, game, or training is essential to keeping athletes strong and minimizing injury. However, so many teen athletes are skipping this process.
They are hitting the drive-thru like, yo – I’ll have a double cheeseburger, fries, and a large coke, wait let’s make that a large fry too.
Their brain is like yeah yeah yeah, but their body is like… why? ????
When you have worked out and pushed your body to the limit, it’s craving electrolytes, carbs, and protein. That is what it needs to properly restore and preserve your muscles and to rehydrate you.
So let’s start with hydration, are you drinking at a minimum half your body weight in ounces of water per day? As an athlete, you need more water than a regular individual. That might look like a gallon of water a day or more.
To enhance your hydration with water, add a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt and drink up. You can also enhance the flavor with all-natural water flavorings such as Stur.
A great way to achieve getting in more water is to start and end your day with a big glass of water. This helps to fill the gap.
Recovery drinks can help as well, here are a few that have made it to my favorites list:
These types of drinks jump-start the recovery process delivering vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, anti-inflammatory properties, and some carbs – but not a lot. This would be the low carb option.
Now let’s discuss proper muscle recovery. If you are not able to eat within 1-2 hours after your workout, training, or game or you are just starving, then grab a protein shake and a starchy carb. Some quick starchy carb options like a banana, PB&J, or good ole’ fashion chocolate milk get the job done.
You need protein to repair, preserve, and build your muscles and you need a starchy carb to replenish the glycogen stores (water lost) in your muscles. You don’t want flat muscles, do you? Pump em’ up! ????
The drive-thru meal I mentioned at the beginning is going to cause more inflammation than recovery. And look – you’re already creating inflammation by working out; don’t add fuel to the fire. Recovery is about cooling down the fire.
After a hard workout, your body is primed for starchy carbs and can effectively utilize them to help you recover. Eating starchy carbs or drinking a big sugary drink alone will only skyrocket your blood sugar.
If you can, eat an energy balanced meal within 1-2 hours after your workout, your body will shower you with so much love and recovery!
Here’s what that looks like:
Alright, if you have any questions around sports nutrition and recovery then hit me up on social @strengthbykris or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, if you are looking to get specific guidance for your athlete, schedule a Sports Performance Nutrition Evaluation. Let’s gooooo!