You’ve just finished a morning run with training partners and you are high on an endorphin rush, ready to conquer the day ahead. The intervals and sweat are behind you, so what now? Stretch? Head home for a shower? Get to the office for a 9 a.m. meeting? Bring the kids to school?
We all have varying schedules and daily routines, but proper nutritional timing should be of importance to all athletes. You have between 30 and 60 minutes after a workout to replenish your muscles for optimal recovery. If you are training more than once a day, this is even more important in preparation for the next workout.
Breeze Brown, a registered dietician, cyclist, triathlete, and the owner of Breeze Bars, believes that a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio following a workout is ideal.
“At this point your metabolism is still in high gear and seeking fuel,” Brown said. “Use this opportunity to get in a recovery drink, or for that matter, some food.”
Brown designed her nutrition bars with this concept in mind. The bars are not only sources of fuel to use before and during training, but also great for post-workout recovery with quality protein to increase carbohydrate absorption.
Since all athletes differ in their nutritional needs, the strength of their gut and allergy-related problems, the emphasis should be on finding a system that works for you.
“It is important to have foods in your diet before and after activity that are satisfying, yet do not sit in your stomach like a rock,” Brown said.
Breeze Bars are a gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free option to try, made with nuts, crispy rice, nut butter, soy beans and dried fruit. Brown’s focus in designing all five flavors was to create a nutritionally dense product that would be gentle on the gut, making it easy to digest before, during, and after exercise.
Use this time of the year to experiment with different types of nutrition for recovery and performance in training. Hone in on the 30 to 60 minute window of recovery and 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio and evaluate how your body feels when you go off to train again later in the day. Keep a journal of notes and comments on the changes you make and how you respond. You may not get it quite right in your first try, but chances are you will begin to see the benefits over time.
With most important triathlon races still months down the road, you can find a system that works well for you now, and once the racing season is here, you will be ready to rock and roll!