Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Visit From Our Resident Science Geek

Carbohydrate for Recovery

Today I will focus on carbohydrate intake for recovery. Protein also has a role in recovery, but I will touch on that in a later post.

After an endurance race or training session your glycogen stores will be reduced or depleted. During exercise the muscle's ability to uptake glucose from the blood is greatly increased. This up-regulation continues for a short time after exercise ends. During this time the muscle replaces glycogen at a faster rate than when it is at rest.
To take advantage of this time period where muscle tissue is up-regulated you should aim to take in 1.2 g/kg of carbohydrate per hour for the first few hours after exercise. The sooner your next bout of exercise is, the more important it is to get the carbohydrates back in a timely manner.
Some things to consider:
1. When there is muscle damage (soreness is an indicator), recovery will take longer.

2. Try and get some of the carbohydrates from liquids, this will also help your hydration status recover.

3. While carbohydrates are important, don't neglect the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential for maintaining your health. Try to get your recovery carbohydrates from well balanced foods.

As always, if you have questions or want more information or references let me know.
Happy Training,


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