You’ve exercised, you’ve worked up a sweat and now for the best bit...YES... it’s time to refuel!!
But before we get to the good nutrition stuff, I will just briefly explain how the body uses its energy stores.
When we exercise we mostly use glucose as our major source of energy and this comes from the food we eat, mostly carbohydrates. Glucose is stored in our liver and muscles in the form of glycogen and when we exercise the liver and muscles break down their glycogen stores to release the glucose back into the bloodstream. Once all of the glycogen stores are depleted, the muscles become fatigued. It’s pretty straightforward really, you use energy and then you need to replace it and if performance is your thing, then research shows that carbohydrates will energise you for longer.
And now for the best bit, the refuelling…!! So you could reach for a can of coke or a sugary sports drink, but my philosophy is all about getting maximum nutrition and maximum nutrients for your calories. After exercising there are three key areas to consider and these are;
Restoring electrolytes and fluid lost through sweating.
Replenish fuel stores that have been used throughout a training session.
Deliver protein to enable muscle repair and synthesis.
There are so many nutrients in food and combining ingredients offers multiple benefits. I have created a post exercise smoothie with just 5 ingredients that combined together help you to restore electrolytes, replenish fuel and deliver protein. It doesn’t just stop there, it’s also the perfect balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein and it’s full of healthy poly and monounsaturated fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals and here is exactly where the nutrients are coming from;
Electrolytes - Bananas, avocado, nut butter and cacao are really good sources of potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium. One tablespoon of cacao alone gives you 15% of your daily magnesium requirements which is perfect for helping to relax your muscles (you can find cacao powder in the health food aisle of all major supermarkets and health food shops).
Fuel - Bananas, avocado, nut butter and soy are all pumping up the carbohydrate sources in this recipe.
Protein - With approximately 15g of protein per serving, this smoothie will help your muscles to repair and rebuild with protein coming from soy milk, nut butter, banana (yes, there is 1.7g protein in a medium sized banana) and cacao powder.
The ‘Sweat Tribe’ Smoothie Recipe
1 tbsp avocado
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp nut butter (I used peanut)
200 ml/1 cup soy milk
Cacao nibs to decorate (optional)
Place all ingredients into the blender, starting with the milk and blend until smooth.
Overflowing with health benefits, it also tastes a bit like a chocolate milkshake so really, it’s an all-round winner. Enjoy…
• Learn more about hydration for exercise Happy Hydrating.
• All you need to know about electrolytes The E Factor.
For more nutrition tips and healthy recipes, please visit my website