You have probably heard me rant on about carbing up after exercise rather than the traditional pre exercise method. Having carbs within half an hour of training will help with recovery by replenishing the glycogen stores you have just depleted, without the huge insulin spike you would normally get from eating the same foods before training.
Getting the right types/quality of carbs is just as important as timing. Glucose is the preferred fuel of the muscles, so eating glucose as opposed to something predominantly fructose based, which doesn’t fuel the muscles very well, will make a massive difference to your recovery. And we all know, that a good recovery means you will be more prepared for the following session.
If you compare fruit, which is generally fructose based, it won’t work as well as a starchy vegetable like sweet potato. The exception to the rule here is bananas, which when fully ripe or bordering on over ripe, contain more glucose than fructose. Just ripe bananas are more fructose than glucose which are better for an afternoon snack.
Sweet potato is a great source of food for this as it does contain some fructose but is predominantly glucose. Although it does require some preparation to eat it. We can’t eat it raw of course! So what I normally do is mash it up the night before with a dollop of butter. We all know how to do that, don’t we? Then in the morning, it’s ready to go.
The only problem here, is that we also need some protein to help our muscles start to rebuild. My favourite source of protein is eggs. Raw eggs, that is. I have spoken about these before and as long as you follow a few simple rules, they are a completely safe food. I have been eating them for about 12 years now, averaging about 6-12 raw eggs a week (sometimes more) and never had a bout of food poisoning from them. Have a read here for my rules of use… If you really can’t handle the thought of raw eggs, use a high quality whey protein powder instead.
So we now have our carbs, we have the protein, but it still will taste a bit bland. Feel free to add anything you like, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean extract, or even just use a flavoured protein powder. I would also add a pinch of salt to it as your electrolytes may be low and the salt also helps with bile production (helps digestion of the eggs).
Here’s the recipe in simple terms with the quantities I use. You may want to vary quantities as I have a really good appetite!
1 cup of mash sweet potato
1-2 cups of water (add slowly until desired consistency achieved)
3 pasture raised/free range eggs or serving of protein powder
1 pinch of salt
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or vanilla bean paste (to taste)
Optional – a dollop of double cream, yum!
Blend all ingredients together and drink slowly.
Let me know what you think