Recovery Drinks

Recovery

Sore hamstrings and calves?

Feel like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz after a long run on Sunday?

A recovery drink will help. But what should be in my drink?

A recovery drink is used to help replenish the glycogen in your muscles that has been depleted during your workout. Glycogen is the main form of carbohydrate stored in our bodies, primarily occurs in our muscles. Why is glycogen important? When your body cries out for more fuel/energy during your run/workout, the glycogen in your muscles is converted into glucose (energy). It then gets used up by your muscles – your gas tank is empty. A quality recovery drink will help re-fuel the glycogen that has just been used up. The faster your refuel, the sooner your muscles grow and recover. This is important so you can hit it hard on your next run/workout. 

Studies¹’² show that with proper nutrition during the first hour following a workout you can increase your body’s ability to recover by more than 100%. The key component to maximizing this “window of opportunity” is a formulation of approximately 4 parts carbohydrates to 1 part protein.

Ideally a recovery drink that has the following:

  • Dextrose–based formula for optimum glycogen replenishment
  • A high Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) blend to provide the critical building blocks for rapid muscle resynthesis
  • Vitamins, including antioxidants, to help reduce muscle soreness and assist in repair and growth

So… WHAT’S IN YOUR RECOVERY DRINK?

  1. Phillips, sm, J.W. Hartman and SB Wilkinson. 2005. Dietary protein to support anabolism with resistance exercise in men. J. Am. Coll Nutr. 24:1345.            
  2. Haff, GG, MJ Lehmkuhl, LB Meloy and MH Stone. 2003. Carbohydrate supplementation and resistance training. J. Strength Cond Res 17:187.

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