Athletes should drink up to one ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. And while it’s important to stay hydrated during workouts, endurance athletes should plan to drink water throughout the day to make rehydrating easier post-workout.
Also, athletes should never wait until a match to see how their body responds to other liquids like sports drinks. I recommend athletes sip on the same beverage during competition as they do during training to avoid any potential stomach troubles.
While nutrients serve different purposes, what endurance athletes put into their bodies post-workout is just as important as any pre-workout meal.
Post-workout meals should focus on replenishing what has expended while exercising.
To start, replenish lost electrolytes as soon as possible. Many sports drinks are high in sugar, but water mixed with electrolyte-replenishing tablets is an excellent rehydration option.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to replacing electrolytes — as individual sweat rates and lengths of exercise differ — the need to replace the sodium and water lost through sweat applies to all athletes.
In addition to rehydrating, endurance athletes should consume a mix of protein and carbs, like a whey protein shake, within the first 30 minutes after finishing a high-intensity or endurance workout. Doing so will help reduce muscle soreness and aid in muscle recovery.
As for a healthy post-workout snack, avoid processed carbs, which increase inflammation, and opt for anti-inflammatory foods, like cherries, walnuts, or kale.
Athletes should also include MCT oil in their post-workout regime, as it is one of the fastest sources of clean fuel to replenish the body and brain.
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