- Post-Training and Post-competition
At the end of a game or competition day you want to be a little more aggressive in your recovery nutrition than you would be between heats or at the intermission in a game. The best recovery foods have a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4:1, are low in fat (fat to protein ratio of 0.1:1), very low in fiber (or no fiber), high in antioxidant vitamins (especially vitamins C and E), and minerals (especially magnesium). The three best grocery-store foods for this are low-fat chocolate milk (universally available, but not the most nutritious), liquid yogurt drink (such as “Yop”) and Fruit Flavoured “Boost” meal replacer.
Another good choice is instant noodles (eg. Campbell’s Chicken Flavour Hearty Noodles – the other brands are way too high in fat) combined with either fruit or berries, as the noodles are high in carbohydrates but low in sugar.
A sports bar with a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein (eg. a Clif Bar or Power Bar Sport) is also a good choice where shelf stability and light weight are important. Another choice is a proprietary sports recovery drink powder, such as Endurox R4. You could also make your own recovery “smoothie” by blending milk, or yogurt together with fruits and/or berries. Blueberries, for instance, are particularly high in antioxidants. High glycemic index is acceptable in a recovery drink as quick replenishment of carbohydrate stores is very important post-exercise.