Are you looking to make some positive changes to your nutrition for better performance? As is mentioned on various pages throughout my site, it is best to take in a high level of carbohydrates with some protein soon after you finish your main workout. Consuming something within 15 to 20 minutes after your training will be most beneficial as your body is looking to restore its energy. In order to train and continue to improve you need to recover properly. A recovery drink could ensure a quick recovery with good taste. Unlike bodybuilders, we marathon runners need more carbohydrates than protein for recovery.
When to consume recovery drinks
Not after every run do you need a recovery drink. For example: after a recovery run, an easy run day, or on a cross-training day it is enough to just eat a healthy meal afterwards. It is for the long runs, tempo runs, interval training, etc., that we use lots of energy which should be replaced as soon as possible after doing or while doing a cool-down. There is a window of 15 to 20 minutes in which our body is eager to recover as soon as it can. You do not need recovery nutrition drinks if you ran less than one hour or less than 6 miles.
Recovery Drinks vs Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are designed mainly for re-hydration purposes before, during, and after training or races. Sports drinks are a diluted form of recovery drinks where the sugar, sodium, and electrolytes are included to increase absorption of fluids. The carbohydrates provide some energy during the run.
Why Recovery Drinks
After a long run, a hard tempo run, or a marathon race, your muscles are damaged and energy stores depleted. A recovery drink will provide energy for rebuilding glycogen stores and vitamins, minerals, and protein for repairing the damaged muscles. many runners can't stomach solid food soon after a hard long run but would be able to slide in an easily digestible high carbohydrate recovery drink.
What are Recovery Drinks?
Recovery drinks or nutrition drinks are also referred to as recovery smoothies because they often contain or are based on larger amounts of milk and or yogurt. Fresh fruit can be added for taste and carbohydrates. Often runners throw in a couple of spoons of whey or soy protein.