Using a different example, assume a 180-pound male athlete was going to eat a full meal to recover a shorter training session. His carbohydrate recovery, according to recommendations above should be 81 grams. Recall there are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, so 81 grams of carbohydrate equals 324 calories.
He would need around 20 grams of protein (also containing four calories per gram), which equals 80 calories. If that meal had a serving of fat (such as olive oil used for cooking or peanut butter on a sandwich) that would add approximately 150 calories to the meal.
After adding the carbohydrate, protein and fat calories together, you'll see this meal is about 555 calories. He would also snack in 2-hour increments until the next meal for the best recovery.
Alternative Recovery Option
We're all busy and sometimes perfect-world scenarios don't happen. This is why athletes turn to quick recovery options like bars, shakes and chocolate milk.
Consider low-fat chocolate milk. Per cup, it contains 29 grams carbohydrate, eight grams protein and two and a half grams fat. This is 170 calories. If the female athlete from the earlier discussion drank two cups, she would be very close in composition to the meal from earlier.
However, on a different day, assume she was in a hurry after a shorter workout because she showered at the gym and had to get to work. She chose to eat half of a PowerBar quickly to begin the recovery process but would eat breakfast as soon as she got to the office. The PowerBar provides 22 grams carbohydrate, 4 1/2 grams protein and two grams fat immediately after the training session.
When she gets to the office, to finish out her recovery meal, she could have one packet of plain oatmeal cooked with 3/4 cup of soy milk with 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts and 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries. After the quick recovery bar and the breakfast at the office, she met the recovery meal standards.
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