5 Tips to Recover Faster
By Mandy King, HEAL
Does a ride ever feel like it takes days to recover from? For any ride over an hour long, here are some tips to help you recover faster.
1. Make a natural sports drink
The typical electrolyte drink that we recover with, like Gatorade or Powerade, has as many detrimental ingredients as it does beneficial, with artificial flavouring and food dyes being far too common on its label. Instead, try making your own with natural electrolyte rich foods.
- 2 cups coconut water
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1-2 limes)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 TBSP maple syrup or raw honey
- Optional: Magnesium citrate powder
2. Calm your muscles with magnesium powder
Magnesium is a key mineral that the general population is deficient in. It’s needed for over 300 regular bodily functions and is needed in larger amounts for athletes. A magnesium deficiency can show itself with any sort of muscle cramping in the body. Post ride, take 325mg of Natural Calm magnesium powder in warm water, and if you need extra support to relax or sleep better, take another 325mg before bed.
3. Use anti-inflammatory ingredients in your recipes
Exercise by nature is inflammatory to your body. This is not a problem as long as you give it enough nutrients and time to recover. Anti-inflammatory ingredients can really help with this. A favourite I like to use is fresh ginger. Not only does it add great flavour to a recipe, but it’s been proven to be a very useful natural anti-inflammatory ingredient. Add a thumbnail size to a recovery smoothie, or juice it and add to your natural sports drink.
4. Enjoy your carbs
Often times we are told that carbs are the bad guys, especially when it comes to weight-loss and being in shape. After a ride, carbs are exactly what your body needs to recover, ideally within 45 minutes of exercise. For each hour of endurance, aim for 30-45g of carbohydrates to replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles. This has been shown to actually reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, which becomes elevated after intense exercise. Add about 1/4 to 1/3 of the protein to carbs.
Here’s a great smoothie recipe to get you started:
The Recover Smoothie
- 1 cup mixed frozen berries
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
- 1-2 leaves swiss chard
- 1 cup coconut water, or unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 TBSP hemp hearts
- 1 piece of ginger, size of thumbnail
- Blend all ingredients well in a blender and enjoy!
5. Supplement with Mushrooms
I’m not talking the kind of mushrooms you might be thinking of. Instead, I mean the medicinal mushrooms that are gaining popularity worldwide to help the nervous system adapt to stress. Four Sigma Foods offers powdered mushrooms that help support the nervous system, whether to boost it up or calm it down. For an energy boost during your ride, or to maintain energy post ride, try mixing their Instant Cordyceps with water. To feel more calm post ride, try the Reishi in water.
Mandy King is a Holistic Nutritionist and the Founder of HEAL
Bio: Mandy King, CNP, BCom, is a Holistic Nutritionist, Speaker and Founder of HEAL, a company offering interactive corporate wellness programs along with personalized nutrition programs.
Mandy has lead workshops and provided nutrition expertise to Canada’s top companies, including PwC, Google, LinkedIn and Unilever and has appeared in the Globe & Mail, Huffington Post & CBC.
Having spent over five years in the corporate world while overcoming her own health struggle of celiac disease and a parasite, Mandy understands the dramatic effect food has on energy, happiness, and overall ability to perform, in or out of the office. Through HEAL, she is on a mission to help people feel their best, one delicious meal at a time!