The 30-45 minutes following a workout is a critical time to nourish your body for proper recovery. Recovery includes muscle building, replacing your energy stores and preventing post workout fatigue and muscle soreness. This is particularly important if you are involved in two-a-day workouts or back to back games.
Here are some tips to help aid recovery.
Don't Forget the Carbohydrates
It is common for athletes to refuel after a strength or endurance workout only with protein. However, without a source of carbohydrates post-workout, your body will not be able to produce insulin, the hormone that drives muscle building. Carbohydrates also help to replace muscle and liver glycogen to refuel your energy stores. The current recommendation is a ratio of 2:1 carbohydrate to protein following strength workouts and 4:1 after endurance workouts.
Aim for Antioxidants
Antioxidant rich foods help reduce inflammation and decrease muscle soreness. One of the easiest ways to get an adequate amount of antioxidants and carbohydrates is by drinking tart cherry juice. Research shows that drinking tart cherry juice aids athletic performance and comes highly recommended for recovery foods. Following juice consumption with a form of protein would be recommended. Ginger and turmeric are other sources of food high in antioxidants.