Recovery Meal

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18 Aug 2016 - General

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What do you do immediately after a workout? Do you shower and speed off the gym? Do you starve yourself to even glorify the effects of a workout? If you do, you are missing on an equally important part as training- recovery. This phase is where muscle repair and building takes place. Hence, it is important to acknowledge the importance of a recovery meal. A recovery meal is a meal designed to facilitate muscle growth through proper nutrition. Over time, it has been discovered that the recovery meal should be consumed immediately post-workout within 30 minutes and intermediately within 2 hours after.

Immediate recovery

Immediate recovery focuses on replenishing glycogen stores and spare protein use for energy. The most ideal immediate recovery meal should consist of a 2:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. Studies have shown that a cup ( around 12 oz.) of chocolate milk is an immediate recovery meal since it fulfills the recommended ratio. The sugar content in chocolate milk replaces the glucose used in workout. Therefore, the protein from milk is allowed to do its main job of repairing damaged muscles. Will the drink make you fat? In the right propotion, it will not because the muscles utilize the nutrients.  Even the Los Angeles Lakers use chocolate milk for their immediate recovery.

Intermediate recovery

Intermediate recovery aims to augment tissue repair with increased protein intake. A high-protein, low -carbohydrate meal is advisable during this period. We can be sure that protein will be used for muscle building since the glycogen stores have already been replaced. Some good examples of intermediate recovery meal are grilled chicken breast or seared tuna with vegetables, rice (not more than 1 cup), or bread (not more than 2 slices) on the side. If you are taking protein supplement, this is the best to use it.

Starving will make you lose lean mass instead of fat. Do yourself a favor by recovering with adequate nutrition. Make sure you pack a bottle of chocolate milk for immediate recovery in your next jogging or crossfit session. Then, recovery properly with the right source of protein. 

For the MIMS community, do you have more creative recovery meal suggestions?


Virgilio Montero You are correct. Chocolate milk indeed has a lot of sugar in it. However, you need sugar to quickly replace your glycogen stores immediately within 30 minutes after a workout. This makes the chocolate milk a perfect recovery drink because it contains both sugar and protein to prevent further protein breakdown for energy. Complex carbs need to be broken down into simple sugars before it can get ab...
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you will want to eat something to both replenish your glycogen and refuel/repair your body. You'll want protein, healthy fat and complex carbs. Since you are trying to lose weight I would suggest eating something with a lower glycemic index so that you don't just get hungry again. Something like chicken , broccoli and a little bit of rice would be perfect. I'd stay away from chocolate milk as the high sugar will just make you really hungry again an hour or so later which will go agai...
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I usually have a few pieces of chocolate after working out. I workout a few floors above my clinic and I have chocolate in my clinic and that's what I immediately have. Hehe. As for the actual meal, it will really depend. On a normal day, I would have one serving of any dish we have at home (without rice) but if I'm going out for dinner then I eat anything. Before, I would take a meal replacement shake for dinner, after workout but I mix it with fruit. I do not like chocolate drinks thou...
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Since I do not work out routinely (mainly because I barely have any adipose tissue to loose) I am fairly new to this concept of immediate and intermediate recovery meals. I had known for a fact that after a workout you need a protein dense meal to facilitate muscle regeneration, but didn't know that there should be an element of carbohydrates im the meal as well. It actually makes sense. During a workout what immediately burns out are the glycogen stores. Later only fatty acid metabolism com...
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Tarah Cadiz Thank you for showing interest in the topic. In the right time (30 minutes after a workout) and proportion, chocolate milk is your ally. In fact, many athletes swear by the good effects of chocolate milk for recovery after training bouts. You will be surprised at how popular it is. Even a 2 billion dollar worth NBA team would keep coolers full of chocolate milk for their players to drink after each ...
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