High-intensity training whether lactate-based sets, anaerobic threshold sets or even short burst sprint sets, all of these trigger a cascade of highly catabolic events. In order for the training to benefit the swimmer, it is extremely important that the post-training phase focuses on anabolism. And it is really in this recovery phase when nutrition becomes the cornerstone.
The prime focus of recovery is predominantly two things:
1. Glycogen re-synthesis
2. Synthesis of new proteins
Acute recovery guidelines are extremely customized based on the intensity/volume of a workout. There are therefore individualized nutrition recommendations or protocols for every swimmer.
Following is a brief overview on acute recovery nutrition strategies:
Vo2 max Training: The predominant fuel throughout the 90 min session is fat based with a lesser proportion of carbohydrates. It is important to consume 1-1.4g/Kg Bodyweight/ hour of sports drink during this training for efficient availability of energy. On average, this comes out to be 800-1000ml sports drink/ hour.
Anaerobic Training: The major fuel used here is predominantly carbohydrates with lesser proportions of fat. It is again essential to consume 800-1200ml sports drink/ hour during training. On the other hand, post-training carbohydrates need to be 1.2-1.5g/ Kg/ Hour.
The protein in both of the above scenarios should be maintained at 20-25g immediately post-training while maintaining 10-20g in the meals 1-2h post training.
Examples of post-training meal options:
- Fruit juice + Egg sandwich
- Cereal and milk + Fruits
- Chocolate milk + Fruit yogurt
- Fruits + protein bar/ protein supplement
- Peanut butter sandwich + Glass of milk
- Chicken/ tuna sandwich + Fruits
There are many ways to monitor whether recovery is happening in the best possible manner. In camp settings, many a time the nutritionist/ psychologist makes the athlete fill a questionnaire that addresses actual recovery, the athletes’ perception of recovery as well as athletes’ mood profiles which can be correlated with over-training symptoms.
Hence, incorporate conscious efforts towards recovery as it can have a direct impact on the next training session.
Author: Mihira A R Khopkar
B.Sc. Dietetics, M.Sc. Sports Nutrition
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SwimIndia does not guarantee results of any sort, before making any changes to your diet plans, please consult an expert.