By Sensi Graves Ambassador Jamie Broder
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist/dietician. These are all tips and tricks I have picked up along the way as an athlete and what I find works best for me!
We all know that what we put in our bodies is incredibly important in order to live healthy, long and happy lives; but what we often forget is that when we put it in our bodies can be just as essential. Food is a source of energy and fuel that help us to conquer all those amazing athletic goals that we have set for ourselves, and if we don’t help our bodies recover properly afterwards we may be limiting our potential in terms of progress and results.
As a Beach Volleyball athlete I play in different countries every week. It is a priority that I keep my body feeling healthy, strong, and refreshed as each tournament nears – enter recovery. A pivotal piece of the puzzle.
Here are some keys to consider when prepping foods/meals with recovery in mind, as well as some recipe ideas to try out if you want!
WHEN: You should be aiming to eat (or drink) your recovery snack within 15-60 minutes of finishing your workout.
WHAT: An approximate ratio of 4:1 or 3:1 for carbs to protein. I usually shoot for about 65 grams of carbohydrate (1 gram per 1 kg of bodyweight) and at least 20 grams of protein.
Overnight Oats (adapted from the Oh She Glows cookbook)
1 ½ cups almond milk
1 cup oats
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup apple sauce or 1 mashed banana
Few tablespoons of hemp hearts
Combine all ingredients and place in fridge overnight. Serve with toppings of your choice: nut butter, berries, granola, pumpkin seeds, almonds, maple syrup etc. You can even mix in some protein powder. This recipe makes 3 servings, so you can enjoy for a few days in row!
1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein (or other protein powder)
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp nut butter
1-2 tbsp flax or chia seed
2 cups chocolate or vanilla almond milk (sweetened has more carbs)
I also love throwing a handful of spinach in my smoothies for the extra greens, and you can’t even taste it! Blends great.
Cottage cheese OR Greek Yogurt with Fruit (or mix a little of each ☺)
~ 1/2 cup of cottage cheese = 14g protein
~ 1/2 cup greek yogurt = 5g protein
Bars (Lara, Vega, Go Macro, ProBar, Kind)
1/2cup trail mix + piece of fruit
Banana + nut butter + rice cake
Small can of tuna + crackers
Hummus and Pita
Here are some of my favorite cookbooks that I find recipes from for many meal ideas. Also check out their blogs for hundreds of free recipes to try ☺
Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon – www.ohsheglows.com
Joyous Health by Joy McCarthy – www.joyoushealth.com
Thrive by Brendan Brazier – http://myvega.com/vega-life/recipe-center/
The Paleo Kitchen by Juli Bauer – www.paleomg.com
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker – www.againstallgrain.com
Lastly, although the focus of this post has been centered on food, we can’t forget about hydration. It is possibly the most important and undervalued piece of recovery. In order for us to arrive at the beginning of a tournament or practice feeling energized and with a sense of mental clarity, we must be properly hydrated. This helps us make better decisions under exertion as well as allow our body to function at an optimal performance level. Both the level of intensity of your workout and the climate in which it was performed will help determine what you need in order to replenish your stores, and will vary on an individual basis. For those of us playing beach volleyball, we are often competing in very hot and humid conditions, where salt and electrolytes need to be replaced. I like to drink lemon-lime Vega Hydrator, or if I’m in a pinch I may just add some sea salt to my water for a DIY electrolyte beverage. Most times at home or during travel I carry a water bottle with me wherever I go, making sure that I’m drinking lots of water throughout the day, and not just when I’m thirsty!
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