HOW TO EAT THE RIGHT THINGS AFTER YOUR TRIATHLON

Eating before and during your triathlon is all well and good, but managing your recover is even better. Too often neglected, the recovery phase nevertheless plays a crucial role in progress and physical performance.

WHY IS RECOVERY NECESSARY?

Physical activity leads to general fatigue and muscle fatigue, so the body needs to adapt and advance. The recovery ration must make up for the consequences of your training sessions. Therefore, your food must enable you to:

-          Replenish energy reserves so you can tackle a series of training sessions.

-          Rehydrate because training sessions cause perspiration and loss of water.

-          Repair the muscle fibres damaged by training.

-          Rebalance your pH, since physical effort can lead to acidification of the body.

-          Tackle radical attacks, since long and intense training sessions can give rise to the production of free radicals.

-          Re-establish your immune defences, which can often be depleted by intense effort.

 

HYDRATION

Training sessions and triathlons lead to considerable loss of water. During effort, the body generates a great deal of heat, which must be eliminated to keep a stable body temperature. In order to eliminate this excess heat, the body perspires and sweat is composed of water and minerals (mainly sodium), which may lead to a risk of dehydration. You must counterbalance the losses in water and minerals that are an inevitable result of effort. Rehydration should be the primary goal of recovery. It helps to restore a blood volume that enables good blood circulation and therefore good muscle recovery.

 

REPLENISHING ENERGY RESERVES

During an endurance effort, muscles drain your energy reserves and exhaust your stock of glycogen. Remember that glycogen is the stored form of carbohydrates. Your recovery objective is to take on carbohydrates as quickly as possible to replenish these stocks. A mix of glucose and fructose is therefore recommended. Glucose boosts the resynthesis of muscular glycogen and fructose that of hepatic glycogen.

 

MUSCLE RECOVERY 

During your training sessions, muscle fibres go through a lot, leading to micro-lesions which affect muscle tissue. In response to these micro-lesions, the muscle adapts by repairing muscle fibres with amino acids from protein in your food. Taking on protein immediately after intense or long effort is therefore beneficial to facilitate muscle recovery. An intake of 10 to 20 g of protein is recommended. This intake will be even more effective if accompanied by carbohydrates.

 

AFTER EFFORT: A RECOVERY DRINK

Proper recovery helps you regain your strength quickly and be ready for your next training session or competition.

Recovery drinks are ideal because they provide everything you need for recovery in only one product.

-          Water for hydration.

-          Carbohydrates to replenish your energy reserves.

-          Protein to improve muscle repair.

Advice: drink 1 recovery drink shake at the end of your session or triathlon, together with an after-sport protein bar.

 

photo conseiller

Marie Fauchille

Dietician - Nutritionist, fan of multi-sport races and rowing

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