If we exercise regularly then we are probably aware of the kind of nutrition we should be giving our body on a daily basis to aid our regular training regime.
Following a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals our bodies will allow us to train harder and longer. But how about when it comes to endurance events?
Endurance events are categorised by an event, which requires your body to be put under a prolonged period of physical stress without sustaining undue fatigue. This could be a long distance race, cycle, or survival of the fittest event.
In the lead up to an endurance event, we should be building up our ability to sustain a fast pace over a prolonged period, whilst keeping our lactic acid within normal levels. This requires a bit of extra consideration and preparation to make sure that your body has the nutrients that it needs to go the distance, and recover afterwards.
Planning on taking part in an endurance event soon? Follow our step- by- step guide to support your recovery.
- Drink Water
The most important thing you can do after finishing an endurance event is drink water. Over a long distance, your body is being putting under a degree of strain & water that is being lost. Your body will therefore most likely be dehydrated upon finishing, You will need to rehydrate your water store immediately to replace the lost fluids.
Many endurance athletes use drinks infused with electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium, to replace those which are lost in our sweat during exercise. These isotonic drinks are also more rapidly absorbed than plain water, which can supress thirst and cause bloating.
It is estimated that you lose 1.5 to 2 litres of water per hour in an endurance event. Ideally you want to consume 150% of the fluid weight lost within the first 4-6 hours after an event.
- Have a protein snack or shake
The exhaustion of an endurance event will probably mean that you can’t eat properly straight away, but you’re still going to need something to start refuelling your body.
After an event requiring a lot of stamina, our body will need both carbohydrates and protein to refuel, and promote muscle repair. Muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. Restoring adequate glycogen levels helps to minimize muscle stiffness and soreness.
Ideally you want a drink or snack, which has a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, as well as a rapid protein absorption to begin the recovery process immediately.
A protein drink such as RECOVER 2:1 ISOLATE has the perfect protein to carb ratio, and specially formulated to increase muscle glycogen replenishment following strenuous exercise. It’s a whey protein isolate which means that it is rapidly absorbed, and contains essential amino acids to feed the muscles.
3. Load up on protein and carbs for dinner
Your body is going to need its fair share of protein to repair your depleted muscles after an endurance event. For a high workload, such as an endurance race, an athlete should be eating 1.7-2.0 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight spread throughout the day.
This is why it’s important to have a dinner full of high quality, and preferably lean protein such as chicken, tofu, eggs, nuts or fish.
Recipes such as our high-protein sesame salmon burger are perfect after strenuous exercise – loaded full of healthy fats, protein, iron and omega-3s to fight inflammation. For a vegetarian/vegan alternative, try our Pumpkin Protein Burgers.
Filling up on carbs is also important. The recommended amount of carbs for an endurance event is 60- 100grams per hour or exercise, depending on the type of event. This means you should be opting for large portions of healthy carbs such as chickpeas, squash, and sweet potato to go alongside your protein portion.
Add some foods high in antioxidants such as blueberries, goji berries or dark chocolate to your dessert to start fighting muscle inflammation overnight! Our dark chocolate krispie cakes, or very berry shakes, are ideal contenders!
Making sure that your body has enough proteins, carbs, vitamins and minerals when you go to sleep is essential to carry out muscle repair work overnight, and minimize soreness the next day. So make sure you give your body what it needs – it deserves it!