Recovery drinks are designed to maximize post workout refueling of muscle glycogen. Research shows that athletes who want to store maximal amounts of carbohydrate for peak performance might profitably shift their intake of nutrients to immediately after workouts. They should also use a carbohydrate-protein combination in place of carbohydrate alone to enhance the muscle glycogen storage and amino acids for muscle cell repair and synthesis. Recent studies at McMaster University in Canada, have shown that protein synthesis is an important component of post-exercise muscle recovery. Supplying the fatigued and depleted muscle with protein may enhance that repair process. Recovery drinks have been designed to promote greater recovery of muscle energy and muscle protein re synthesis than carbohydrate-alone sports drinks.
Most of these recovery drinks contain carbohydrate and protein as this has been found to be an effective way to replenish muscle glycogen and to encourage amino acid (protein is important for cell repair and growth) uptake by the muscle. These drinks also have key carbohydrate and energy metabolizers including sodium, potasium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins.
What to look for:
less than 10% of Calories from fat (preferably NO FAT)
carbohydrate protein ratio of 4:1 up to 3:1
fluid form is best to help with re hydration
avoid high fiber foods/drinks
The current recommendation or refueling is 1-2 grams of carbohydrate/ kg of body weight to be consumed within the first 15-30 minutes post workout in order to maximize refueling. For most individuals that will be 50-100 grams of carbohydrate. Check out the table of Recovery drinks to see how much you might need to consume post workout.
Make your own:
Skim milk fruit yogurt, liquid yogurt drinks, or chocolate skim milk are other ways to encourage post workout refueling with LIQUID forms of carbohydrate protein combinations.