Train hard – eat smart and don't forget to recover
Train hard – eat smart – recover fast
Most athletes know the problem that a lack of recovery time can cause. Luckily nowadays many athletes are engaged in a dual system, meaning that they train and compete but they also are studying or working.
Often, elite athletes pursuing a dual career suffer because of not having enough recovery time. Hard trainings only have the right impact if athletes also have enough recovery time. And true recovery does not mean to just having free-time. It includes the right nutrition, recovery measurements such as massages, warm or cold bathes, cryotherapie and more.
Furthermore, the aspect of physical recovery time has to be considered for every athlete. That is the big advantage of the IOC and IPC Athletes Career Programmes in cooperation with the Adecco Group. Through this programme, athletes will be supported in finding a flexible job where they can optimize their work-life balance and recovery time.
One of the most important aspect in recovery is actually nutrition. Athletes should really consider to eat smart before and especially after their workouts. Several scientific studies have shown the impact of the correct nutrition immediately after workouts. A very significant point is that athletes should eat within the first 45 minutes after finishing their workout or competition.
Therefore in the track and field community it is quite common to use recovery shakes which contain carbohydrates and proteins in an appropriate mix. Personally, I prefer to eat solid foods such as rice waffles or other snacks containing carbohydrates (glycemic index below 70). In addition to the waffles, you can drink a small protein shake or add some high protein based food (high biological value) such as chicken, poultry fish or meat into your post-workout meal. For supplement products, I would recommend the swiss company Sponser.
So when you finish your workouts or competitions, I really recommend to take time for this first post-workout meal. Afterwards take your time at home to eat a full dinner with focus on protein products.
In addition to a healthy meal is also important to eat several times a day. Try to start your day with a breakfast such whole grain products. Take a nice lunch containing greens (Salad or Vegetables), proteins (chicken, fish or meat) and carbohydrates (Rice, Pasta) and finish your day with a more protein based dinner. During the day, try to eat snacks like natural nuts or fruits.
As an athlete you should try to avoid fast food and food with a high glycemic index (up to 55 is good, 56-69 is medium and all over 70 are unhealthy products). I always try to eat fresh products. Maybe you are wondering how my meals look like? Nothing special. I just always try to eat vegetables, meat or fish and one carbohydrate side dish like rice or pasta. Generally, try to avoid products with a high glycemic index and try to eat the proteins with the highest biological protein value