I wanted to write my next blog after another dietitian sent me an article posted in the Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/02/need-to-recover-after-a-workout-eat-a-cheeseburger/?tid=hp_mm&hpid=z3
(source not listed…and even though it was published in a medical journal, beware! That doesn’t mean the writer is reporting all the information)
Did you click and read? Is your mouth wide open in awe? Are you going to get a cheeseburger right now?!
Ok. Let’s talk about this. Do I agree with the article – not really at all. But, whats the real message here? …. Do you need to spend a ton of money on trendy nutrition products? No. Do you need to nourish your body with the right mix of nutrients everyday to live but also to recover after workouts? Yes. So the message here is MODERATION.
Let’s be honest, we all want to eat a burger here and there, especially after a killer race. Do it. Don’t ever stop doing that. It’s a fun treat. But for your daily workouts and even the long runs, make sure you nourish your body appropriately especially within the first 4 hours after finishing. that time is crucial for recovery!
So what amounts to a proper recovery? First, you need to make sure you are well nourished to start. So many people, and athletes included, are malnourished. They may eat everyday and maintain a decent weight, but that doesn’t mean you are well nourished. Once you fill your diet with whole grains, veggies, fruits, lean protein, and yes, dairy too, you will start to feel the benefits of being nourished. Seriously, makes a huge difference when you kick out the sweets, fried foods, and liquor. As a rule of thumb, you want to ensure you are eating the good stuff 85% of the time, and have fun with the candy, beer, and burgers about 15% of the time. Yeah, I know you worked hard during your workout, but FEED your muscles good food.
So, do you have to buy expensive foods, organic, and nutrition products. No way. And here is what you can do….develop a plan that offers a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. It could be a turkey sandwich; fruit with skim milk; or chocolate milk is a great example. Yes, you can argue a burger has carbs and protein, but do you feel better? Do you recover better?
As a professional in the field and an athlete myself, it’s not the best for your muscles. What we see in front of us is a delicious cheeseburger, but what our body sees is a hot mess it has to sift through for the good nutrients! If you want to be the best, feed your body the best.