Protein and Starches for Workout Recovery
Why, and what does it do for the body?
According to Deb LIovoli, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, protein helps repair muscle tissue after exercise. Muscle breaks down after exercise and repairs within 24 hours, in which it gets stronger. This is good to know when it comes to conditioning, competition practices, and working hard to learn a new skill. The ideal time to eat protein should be is within an hour after an activity. Examples of protein are meats, seafood, beans, nuts, and seeds. Starches and carbohydrates are good, because they replenish the glycogen storage (which is a form of glucose in our liver and muscles) after a hard workout, because we use that up during any activity; like how a car needs fuel. The ideal time to eat starches and carbs is within 20 mins after an activity. Examples of carbohydrates: cereal, bread, crackers, pasta, potatoes, and rice. Having pasta or doing carb loading is beneficial for events lasting 2 hours or more or for other endurance-related activities. For activities lasting less than 2 hours or are stop-and-go (example: 1- hour tumbling class), snacks with carbs can help keep energy up. Examples of good snacks are fruit, granola bars, crackers, pretzels, etc. As parents, we should keep these food options available as our children’s athletic abilities increases. Most young athletes don’t understand the need to restore what the body puts out, not only for energy but also for recovery. This is an important tip, because it stresses the need to refuel the cheerleader’s body for training and competitions. In the end, it will help them become a stronger, more focused, and improved athlete.