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Recovering nutrition & cherry berry smoothie

Posted Jul 07 2010 9:27am
My morning workout was a toughy on Tues. Trainer interval workout + run.
I entertained myself by watching Ironman Wisconsin (for the 20th time) on my DVR during the beginning part of my workout.
Karel is making me work hard but the hard work is paying off. My cadence has increased by a good 10% over the past few months and I am finding myself maintaining my goal watts at a much higher cadence than in months past. Even though my zones have increased, due to my previous 20 min effort in the group ride on Sat, I am finding myself improving with each workout. I try to gain something from every workout. I don't let myself think that I am ever having a bad workout. Rather than just "getting through" the workouts I am waking up recovered from previous workouts and ready to give a sweaty 100%.

Warm up 20-25 min3min @ LT (161-187watts)
5min @ Tempo ( 135-160watts)
4min @ LT ( 161-187watts)
5min @ Tempo (135-160 watts)
10 min recovery
5min @ LT (161 – 187watts)
10min @ Tempo ( 135-160watts)
6min @ LT (161-187 watts)
12 min @ Tempo ( 135-160watts)
5 min recovery
10 min @ Tempo ( 135 – 160)
Recover and cool down (about 5 min).

The hardest part about this workout was the tempo after the LT intervals. Having to maintain tempo watts after a LT effort was mentally tough but with a high cadence (around 90-95rpm) I managed to get through the workout.

Off for a run after the bike and my legs surprisingly felt amazing. I got into a zone and gave a good, but comfortable, effort for the middle 2 miles.
Mile 1: 8 min
Mile 2: 7:32
Mile 3: 7:35
Mile 4: 8:05
Total: 4.3 miles
+.5-.75 mile Campy run/walk/jog :)

After my workout comes recovery nutrition. I find that many athletes forgo the recovery nutrition or just eat the same way every morning (or eat whatever) and then as the day goes on, the body starts reacting in a negative way. It's likely that because you worked out in the morning, you eat according to how you feel. If you feel tired or extremely sore later in the day, due to not properly recovering in the morning, you are going to find yourself using more "excuses" for your food choices and eating more calories than your body needs at one time. More so, if you are exercising or training for performance and weight loss goals, you are going to struggle with your individual goals by not recovering and refueling properly.

Within the 30-45 min. after exercise, your body is ready to go from a catabolic to anabolic state. There is no other time during the day that is more important to focus on what you put in your body, than after a workout. The body is damaged after exercise, specifically intense or endurance activity. With the right nutrients in your recovery nutrition, you can quickly shift your body into an anabolic, muscle building state. However, if you neglect proper recovery nutrition, your body will stay in a catabolic state and you increase the chance of insulin resistance. Although many people assume that insulin is bad for the body, it is actually the most important hormone to regulate energy and glucose metabolism. Stimulating insulin release after exercise is the easiest way to support muscle growth and tissue repair as well as quick refueling.
In order for protein synthesis to occur, amino acids must be taken to the cells as soon as possible. However, outside your metabolic window (after 45 minute post exercise) insulin resistance may result and you will have a hard time repairing and gaining strength, no matter how much you are eating. It's all about the right nutrients.
I encourage my athletes to have a 2:1 carb to protein ratio (grams) after short, intense workouts and a 3:1 carb to protein ratio after 2+ hr workouts. If you are doing a 1 hr interval run a glass of skim milk (7g protein and 12g carb) will give you an almost 2:1 carb to protein ratio. Add in a cherry or a few blueberries and you have a perfect combo. You don't have to be perfect but the idea is to emphasize both protein and carbs immediately post workout before you eat your meal. Obviously, the longer you workout the more calories you should give yourself in a recovery snack as well as in a recovery meal. However, by focusing on your recovery nutrition, you will find yourself eating a large portion of calories in the 45 min - 4 hours after your morning workout as opposed to most of your calories from 5 - 10pm because you are starving, sore and tired.
By consuming both protein and carbs after exercise you are going to replenish glycogen stores faster, increase protein synthesis and net protein balance, increase fat oxidation and improve muscle mass (taken from my fav. book Nutrient Timing by Dr. Ivy).

Here's my latest smoothie....
Cherry berry smoothie

1 scoop Body Fortress (vanilla)
1/4 cup blueberries (I buy fresh, unwashed and then stick in freezer in a baggy)
1 small banana
10 fresh cherries (without the seed)
1/2 cup skim or soy milk
A few dashes of cinnamon
6-7 ice cubes
A little water to meet your consistency needs

1. Blend all ingredients in a blender. Add water as needed.
2. Top with .5 cup Kashi crunch.

Calories: 305
w/ cereal: 400 calories
(this would be a breakfast "meal" for me after my 2 hr or less workout). I usually have lunch 3 hours later and have a small snack of fruit or veggies a little before lunch.
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