Kate Percy from Go Faster Food has written up a 3 part race nutrition plan to get you preparing, performing and recovering to the best of your ability with food.
Enjoy your post-event euphoria, you’ve certainly earned it! But before you get too excited, it’s important to let your body recover. That's why I've put together Go Faster Food's top 4 tips to post-race refuel and recover:
1. Promote recovery IMMEDIATELY with a high G.I. snack and a good drink, preferably a sports recovery drink containing electrolytes and a 4:1 ration of carbohydrate to protein. It may be the last thing you want, but you’ll feel better the next day for it.
2. Replace lost body salts. If you’ve lost a lot of salt through sweat, then you may crave salty foods; this is the time to enjoy a bag of chips, peanuts or crisps!
3. As soon as you can stomach it, enjoy a good post-race meal. This should be a meal containing high GI carbohydrates and protein. A Thai curry, or steak and chips will aid muscle recovery and start to replace all those calories you’ve burned. See Go Faster Food for high GI recovery meals and snacks. Your metabolism will be on overdrive and you will continue to burn calories for a few days after the event.
4. Keep drinking plenty of fluid throughout the day and don’t drink too much alcohol - your body needs time to recover so don't reach for a beer before you've replaced your lost fluids. Alcohol will accelerate dehydration and your body will be more susceptible to dehydration following a long distance endurance race.
With many races, you will have been preparing for months beforehand and you may have cut out certain foods or alcohol out of your diet in the run up to the event. It may be tempting to go straight back to these as your post-race treat but be wary that anything you've not eaten or drank for a while may affect your digestive system. Sticking to familiar foods which you have recovered with during your training will make your post-race recovery enjoyable, familiar and efficient.