Recovery Nutrition.

Rest & Recovery is Key

To recover from the high demands of strenuous exercise/training, you should refuel your muscles with high carbohydrate foods within 15-30 minutes of exercise. Remember, carbohydrates are the gasoline for your body. They keep your body’s fuel tank FULL .You will recover faster and minimize fatigue. Plan ahead to have the right foods available. (See Snack Attack)

Common refueling mistakes

  • Greasy, fatty foods: donuts, burgers, pastries, nachos, fries, chips, and other high fat choices WILL NOT refuel your body and can inhibit performance. Many also lack nutrition.
  • Too much PROTEIN: by filling up on steak, chicken, rather than adding potato, pasta, rice, and Remember, protein can help with recovery, but will not help restore glycogen (your gas tank) if quality carbohydrate foods are not available.
  • TOO FEW Calories: this is very common amongst weight conscious athletes. They may mistakenly believe carbohydrates are “fattening” and may refuel with protein rich cottage cheese, tuna, turkey and fish. The rest of the diet (salads and vegetables) offers too few carbohydrates to replace depleted glycogen stores. Performance will suffer.


  • Eat a high carbohydrate meal within 2 hours of training
  • Eat a high carb snack within 15-30 minutes after training
  • High Performance combination recovery fuel
    • Bowl of cereal, low fat milk, and fruit (breakfast)
    • 2 slices of wheat bread and fruit
    • Pasta, rice, potato, or bread with protein at dinner
    • Yogurt and Fruit or Pretzels (small bag)
    • Energy Bar
    • Smoothie

An optimal recovery diet is especially important if you train or compete more than once a day. The following tips can help you design an effective recovery diet in to both your daily training program and after game/event meals.

Determining Your Carbohydrate Needs After Exercise

You must eat your required amount to fully replace carbohydrate stores.

Body Weight


Carbs (grams)


140lb 64
160lb 73
180lb 82
200 lb 91
220lb 100
240lb 109
270lb 125
300lb 140

Common Carbohydrate Foods for Recovery


Food Amount CHO (g)
Rice, cooked 1 cup 50
Pasta, cooked 1 cup 34
Bagel 1 50
English muffin 1 30
Oat meal, regular 1 cup 24
Raisin Bran 1 cup 42
Grapenuts 1 cup 89
Low-fat granola cereal 1 cup 85
Whole-wheat bread 1 slice 12
Granola bar     (NV) 1 pkg 30
Fig Newton 1 11
Pizza (cheese)* 1 slice 39
Kashi Go Lean ¾ cup 30
Raisins, seedless ½cup 59
Grapes 1 cup 37
Banana 1 30
Potato, mashed 1 cup 35
Corn 1 cup 42
Baked beans 1 cup 52
Milk, skim or1% 1 cup 12
Frozen yogurt, low fat 1 cup 34
Pudding, chocolate 1 cup 60
Low-fat vanilla shake 1 serving 72
Gatorade 8 oz 14
Cranberry juice box 1 cup 36
Power bar 1 (63g) 41
Crunchy granola bar 1 (46g) 16
Chewy granola bar 1 (28g) 21
Builder Bar 1 30
Clif Bar 1 52
Harvest Bar 1 45
Met-Rx High Protein 1 57
Protein Plus Power Bar 1 40

**Food in bold letters are ones that you can pack in your bag, no excuses!