By: Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.
If you’ve been a member of The Sporting Club for more than 10 minutes, you know one of the truly special amenities of our club is the upstairs café. Under Fro’s watchful eye, it’s more than a lounge where members can hang out, relax overlooking the pool, catch up on email on the computer available for your use, or watch the big-screen TV. It’s truly a recovery center for post-exercise and training replenishment.
This is not an advertisement for the café—the healthy options and sports nutrition offerings speak for themselves at any time of the day. This is a column on how to be sure your body gains all of the benefits it can from the exercising you do.
Exercise science tells us one simple fact: if you aren’t consuming a healthy snack within 30 minutes following a moderate to intense workout, you aren’t gaining all you can from the effort you put in on the gym floor. Specifically, the American Dietetic Association advises that we consume .03 -.06 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight and 10-20 grams of lean protein—to properly replenish and repair.
When you combine protein with carbohydrates within 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise, it nearly doubles the insulin response, which results in more stored glycogen, lost during your workout. A 4:1 ration of four grams of carbos for every gram of protein is ideal. Keep in mind that too much protein will slow rehydration and glycogen replenishment. Be sure to keep fat to a minimum.
The American Council on Exercise, ACE, suggests the following 7 great post-workout snacks, that, along with 8-12 ounces of water, will best refuel your body.
1. Non-fat Greek yogurt with fruit
2. Banana with almond or nut butter
3. Low-fat chocolate milk
4. Tuna on whole wheat
5. Frozen grain waffles with Greek yogurt and almond butter
6. Whole wheat English muffin with sliced turkey breast and hummus
7. Protein shake with banana
Guess what? The café offers each of these! Remember that diet is king and exercise is queen—a healthy kingdom requires both. A blueberry or strawberry “Fatburner” which includes protein whey, banana and flax seed is an ideal post-workout protein drink. The café’s “Healthy Tuna” wrap, “Mediterranean Turkey Roll” and “No Meat Please” wrap are also ideal to add for a post-workout snack. These are my favorites!
An intense 90-minute sweat-filled workout requires different replenishment than a light cardio no-sweat session. The powerhouse exercise routine is best renewed with the protein/carb post-workout snack while the milder workout may just require water hydration.
Keep in mind Edison’s famous comment, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of human frame, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”?Post-exercise recovery and replenishment is a great place to start. Leave the club without it and you may be leaving behind all you worked out for.