Simple Solutions for your Morning Workout Recovery

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I know, I know. Your workouts are crammed into your already hectic life. You have finally mastered the art of getting to bed early so that you can rise with the sun and squeeze in your daily workout. But once you finish, you don’t have time to prepare an elaborate breakfast; you have to shower, shave, dress, and look your best for the day ahead!

But listen to me, after a workout, your muscles are damaged and depleted. In order to build the strength that you are seeking, you need to feed those depleted muscles with glycogen. The best way to do this is to consume a breakfast that has a 2:1 carb to protein ratio. An ideal amount of protein is 10-18 grams. This will shuttle plenty of glycogen to your muscles and energize you for the day!

I hear ya! You don’t have time to calculate these numbers AND eat on top of it. That’s what you have me for! Here are my top-3, quick and easy breakfasts for workout recovery (and they’re a great way to start your day even if you don’t work out in the morning)

#1: Almond butter on whole grain toast with two types of fruit

A banana is one of my top choices and then for the second type of fruit, I usually choose something seasonal. In summer, berries are my favorite. Make sure your bread’s first ingredient is whole ground wheat or sprouted wheat; if it simply says wheat flour, it is not truly whole grain! And spread on that almond butter generously—think two tablespoons…that’s some yummy fiber, protein, and healthy fats for you!

#2: 3/4 cup Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup granola and a handful of fruit        

Nothing beats Greek yogurt with granola and blueberries! Watch out for sugar in both the yogurt and granola. I usually buy plain Greek yogurt to minimize the sugar and there are plenty of granola varieties with less than 10 grams of sugar. Muesli is a good option instead of granola as well.

#3: A Succulent smoothie

Mix 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup of frozen berries and a scoop of chocolate whey protein powder.

If you’re like me, you may not like messing with a blender in the morning, so make your smoothie the night before and store it in a mason jar of smoothie shaker cup and you can even have it on the go the next morning.

What’s the best part about these three recovery breakfast options? You can use mix and match the fruits to come up with entirely different choices every day

By Kelly Springer, RD, MS, CDN

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Sports-Mom Summer Essentials

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It’s HOT and your kids have sports games and matches that are INTENSE! How do you keep them safe in this heat and make sure they have enough energy to perform their best? Fear not, it’s quite simple once you get into the habit of prioritizing nutrition. Steer clear of the nutrition bars and sports drinks with a gazillion unpronounceable ingredients and go natural with these suggestions.

Fueling

Most kids love fruit. Fuel them for their sport one to two hours before their game with a delicious smoothie. Combine frozen fruit, almond milk, and Greek yogurt for a totally energizing boost. If you slice very ripe bananas and keep them in the freezer, that’s a way to make smoothies naturally very sweet without having to add sugary juices or other sweeteners.

Make extra of the smoothie and pack some along in mason jars in your cooler for energy boosts during the game or for a recovery drink after the game.

Hydration

Coconut water is a great way to keep your kids hydrated during the game; it has all the electrolytes needed to prevent dehydration. Remember the old Popsicle trick for hydration? Instead of the processed sugar and water combination, bring along frozen grapes or berries— kids love them!

Be sure your child is sipping the coconut water or downing a handful of berries every 10-15 minutes throughout the game!

Recovery

To keep your child energized throughout the match, and to help him or her recover after a tough match, be sure to pack along healthy snacks. I like the nut and fruit combo. Fruit tends to have potassium, an important electrolyte and their natural simple sugars helps to speed glycogen to your kids’ precious muscles, ultimately helping them recover.  Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fat, both important in recovery.

Try nut butter on an apple or banana. Make your own trail mix with raw nuts and dried fruit.

If you are struggling to find a combination your kids like or simply don’t have the time to throw something together, check out Setton Farms’ Pistachio Chew Bites! These are as natural as you can get!  They’re pistachios, cranberries, and a touch of salt; these ingredients are combined together into a sweet little treat; your kids would never guess how healthy they are! Each serving has six to seven grams of energizing protein; being lightly salted is a good thing for your kids as sodium is an important electrolyte; and they are totally safe (GMO-free and free of chemicals and preservatives).

Try out these tips and cheer as your child hits her home run, scores his goal, or simply tries her best! You can be your daughter or son’s number-one fan and know that you are helping them by giving them a nutritional boost!

Nutrient Timing: The Key to an Effective Workout

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Your busy day at work warranted no time for an afternoon snack before the gym. Midway through your cycling workout, you bonk. You have no energy to continue.

Or, you have to rush to an appointment after a workout session. There is not a minute available to down a post-workout shake. For the rest of the day, you feel unbelievably fatigued.

If you wish to reap benefits from your workouts, you must take your nutrition seriously. The science of nutrient timing suggests that what you eat before, during and after a workout is a critical key not only to achieve performance and strength goals, but also to boost general health.

There are three phases of nutrient timing:

  • The Energy Phase is just before and during a workout.

Consume a snack within the two hours before your workout that contains a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Some great examples include:

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons of almond butter on a piece of whole grain toast
  • 1 sliced apple and 8 ounces of yogurt
  • 1 cup of berries and ¼ cup of walnuts or almonds

During your workout, don’t forget an electrolyte drink like coconut water.

  • The Anabolic Phase is the 45 minutes after a workout.

After you work out, in order to refuel, you have what is referred to as the “anabolic window,” a mere 45 minutes! If you do not take advantage of this window, you will be sore and fatigued. After non-intense workouts, consider a banana or a rice cake with almond butter. For more intense workouts, opt for something with more protein, such as a Kind Bar, a berry smoothie with whey protein, or even an 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk.

  • The Growth Phase is the remainder of the day.

For the remainder of the day, be sure to choose healthy, lean proteins and fats, plenty of fruits vegetables, and some whole grains. Some excellent meal options include:

  • 4-5 ounces of grilled chicken breast with 1 cup of steamed veggies and ½ cup of quinoa
  • 3/4 cup of oatmeal with 1 cup of berries and 1/4 cup of pistachios

Get serious about your workouts—make nutrient timing a priority.