As soon as the leaves turn and the temperature drops, a lot of us begin to panic about our fitness. How do we keep the conditioning and fitness that took all the warm months to build, not to mention the countless dark early mornings and hours spent over the previous year’s winter?
Most of us hydrate less, consume fewer calories and, of course, treat recovery a bit less seriously in the winter months than we do when we are in peak summer form. All this while often keeping up intensity in workouts and any winter competitions.
Let’s re-think this for a second. What if, with just a bit of planning, you could enjoy easy and satisfying food that would help you recover and feel rejuvenated for your next workout or day of playing in the snow this winter?
Depending on your personal training and goals, the 30–60 minute post-workout window is the magical time to grab a quick bite, which will begin the process of repairing muscles and replenishing glycogen stores so that you are ready for tomorrow.
Target nutrition guidelines for recovery:
Carbohydrates: 1–1.2g/kg/hr, (Example: for a 150-pound athlete, that’s 68g)
Protein: 15–25g, focusing on more complex proteins if possible (yogurt, eggs, meat, beans, tofu)
For many athletes, short, cold winter days are the hardest time to get motivated to cook. Luckily, we have come up with some quick recovery meals and snacks to help you rock your post-workout recovery!
Apple sweet potato mash
A delicious pre- or post-workout power snack high in complex carbohydrates, the sweet spud can provide long-lasting energy for your exercise pursuits. But there’s no need to put your workout on hold while you roast or boil one up when this nifty microwave mash gets the job done quickly. Add-ins, such as maple syrup, applesauce, and crunchy pumpkin seeds make for endless possibilities to spice things up. See the full recipe here.
Chopped chicken salad with pickled onions
This is a great, quick salad to make use of leftover chicken. You can change it up throughout the year to include the most colorful vegetables you can find (in the winter months, things like squash, beets, cabbage, carrot and fruits like apples and pears). The star of the dish is the flash-pickled onions and radishes. The combination of the vinegar, sugar, and salt balances out the strong flavors beautifully. See the full recipe here.
Winter sport smoothies
Athletes love smoothies because they offer a simple, delicious way to get the nutrients they need. Ingredients like cherries, oats, and peanut butter offer limitless variations while providing recovery-boosting nutrients. Find three of our favorite recipes here.