The four main goals of recovery nutrition are to: Restore, Replace, Repair, and Rest. By following these key components, you will ensure that you are fully prepared for your upcoming season.The first “R” is about restoring the fluids and electrolytes lost in each practice or workout. Get in the habit of drinking adequate fluids to ensure you will be hydrated before your next practice, and eventually next game. The second “R” stands for replace. This refers to replacing the carbohydrates burned through exercise. Carbs are your brain and body’s main fuel source.
Along with carbohydrates, it is important to repair torn muscle tissue with protein. The best proportion for recovery is a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein mix. For example, chocolate milk has this recovery ratio, and will help replace and repair nutrients lost through exercise.
The last, and one of the most overlooked “R’s,” is rest. Try and aim for 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. It can be a challenge to get this many hours if you are caught up on your cell phone and/or computer late at night. Rest is not only important for recovery, but also for growth and keeping your immune system strong.
Recovery is a crucial component to improving your overall performance. If you focus on restoring fluids lost, replacing both carbohydrates and protein post-exercise, and resting 8-10 hours a night, you will be well on your way to optimal performance.