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The 3 R’s of Recovery

Re-hydrate: The reaction that provides energy for our body requires water, so we go through a lot during a training session, regardless of how much we sweat. Replacing these losses is the first step to recovery. Shoot for 16 – 32 oz of fluid after training, more if you are a heavy sweater or if it was particularly warm out.

Replenish: Stored carbohydrates are a main source of fuel during training and a hard session can entirely deplete these stores. Replacing these carbohydrates provides the energy necessary to repair our muscle and also our fuel future training sessions. Aim for 50-100 g.

Repair: Training damages muscle; recovery rebuilds it stronger. Getting adequate protein after a session jump starts this process by providing the building blocks for muscle tissue. Try to get 20-30 g of protein. We can’t really use any more than that at once, so getting overzealous here won’t build more muscle. And remember, without replenishing carbohydrates, protein can’t do its job repairing muscle!

Tailor your recovery to your training. With longer, harder sessions, such as long rides or speed work, be aggressive with your recovery. A more relaxed approach is acceptable for easier, shorter workouts. Hitting the 3 R’s in the first 60 minutes after training is best, but life happens: do it as soon as you can. For optimal recovery, try water or sports drink with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or blend up some fruit, nuts, seeds, and water or juice to make a smoothie.

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