Yesterday my fellow blogging compatriot, Chad Williams, made mention of the importance of post-workout nutrition. While I can’t say as the composition of his “Foamy Grossness” is optimal, an important message to take away is that you need to be taking in peri-workout nutrition. Unfortunately, particularly in endurance circles, anything beyond a beverage ending in “-ade” is both under appreciated and perhaps even frowned upon by some. For some reason, it’s perfectly acceptable to pound a quart of sugar water, but as soon as you add in some high quality whey protein, additional BCAA, and a shaker bottle the beverage may as well be considered “the juice” or that the person drinking it is trying to “get big.” This stigmatization can lead to under recovery and the resultant under performance-not good in terms of reaching the highest possible fitness.
Perhaps and even bigger inhibitor of recovery, though, is the sheer volume of athletes who do nothing (nutritionally) in the post-workout period. Sure, maybe they’ll knock back some water, which is better than nothing, but they are not giving the body the nutrients it needs to reduce muscle damage, speed tissue repair, improve immune function, and replenish glycogen. A carbohydrate plus amino acid beverage does this best, however, most athletes would be doing themselves a service to consume a carbohydrate only beverage instead of doing nothing. Small change, big payoff. -CB