What is the best thing to eat after exercising? (+banana recovery smoothie)

If you follow my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/WhyFoodWorks, you may know that on Sunday I ran my first half marathon.  It’s #WorkoutWednesday, so I thought this was an appropriate post for the week!

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It. Was. Awesome.

During the race I felt charged up and strong, and I paced faster and finished better than I thought I would.  Running with 19,000 people creates a HUGE amount of energy and when people line the streets to cheer you on, you pretty much feel like an Olympian, which only makes you want to go faster.  Here’s how I did:

Finish: 2:00:48 — Pace: 9:13 per mile
Place Overall: 3115 / 18869
Place in Gender: 859 / 9739
Place in Division: 142 / 1361

Here’s how I felt:

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Here’s what I won:

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(notice the awesome bling in the palm tree, and the not one, but TWO spinners.  Made from diamonds and SOLID GOLD.)

Then, we went to the beach:

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Drank fresh coconut water:

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And rode bikes!

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(don’t forget to watch the video I shot from the bike at the bottom!)

And, we also ate a LOT of great food…the best we had was Cuban, and this pic is from a Mexican restaurant where I got the pork tacos and my friend Nate (hands pictured) did the mix of 3 different meat ones.  This was the most fun meal, partly because we were all VERY hungry upon arriving, so the food tasted even better, and partly because our amazing waitress agreed with me that it is TOTALLY ridiculous that Beyonce lip synced the national anthem at inauguration.

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So that brings us to food, and what I want to share with you today is my standard recovery drink.  After a workout, you want to make sure you get protein and carbohydrate within 30 minutes, since that’s when your muscles are most receptive to nutrients – this is NOT the time to skip food, it’s time to feed your metabolism!  If you’re trying to lose weight, then account for this snack in your total daily calories, not in addition to – but whatever you do, DON’T let the window close without eating something!  How much you take in depends on the duration and type of exercise, but for a standard mixed workout (some cardio, some lifting), use this equation:

0.7 x wt in kg x time in hours = total grams of carbohydrate in your recovery snack

So, for a 150lb person who works out for an hour:

0.7 x 68kg x 1 = ~48g of carbs.  (Remember, kg = lbs/2.2)

Then, your protein should be about a third or a quarter of what your total carbs are, or around 12-16g in this case.  My standard go to is a chocolate banana shake, which I add powdered peanut butter to if I’m doing more intensive lifting and need the higher end of the protein range.  For longer runs or bike rides (more than 6 miles or so), a higher amount of carbohydrate may be needed (so throw in some extra chocolate!).PhotoGrid_1357771048230[1]

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1.5 c plain low fat milk (because fat slows transit time to absorption, and you want this in there as fast as possible!)
  • 1.5 Tbsp dark Hershey’s syrup (if there is ever a time to eat sugar, it is NOW, during the recovery phase!)

Directions:
Put it all in a blender, and puree.  Add some ice if it’s a hot day! This shake has about 50g of carbs, and 12g of protein, AND knocks out a dairy serving and a fruit serving.

Now, my video on the bike!  A big thank you to my friends, who invited me on the trip, encouraged me every step of the way, and made the whole vacation AWESOME :)
No camera holders were harmed in the making of this motion picture.

 

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