Workout Recovery- a how to

Posted by Jenn @ livewellfit on January 30th, 2010
Filed under Beachbody, Workouts | No Comments »

Hello there!

I hope you're having a terrific weekend. We are here in Boston though I must admit…I'm freezing my arse off. I mean really freezing. Yesterday, when I left for the bank at 2:15 pm it was 11 degrees out with a "feels like" temp of -4. I mean, really? Is that natural? Let me tell you it isn't! That level of cold is downright horrible and I question my reason for living in this place every minute I'm outside when the "feels like" temp is anything below 20. When my mom was here in December, she simply stayed inside on days like that. I need to adopt her plan! Goodness. Ok, rant done.

I'm bundled up inside now, drinking some hot tea and giving my body a rest after one heck of a workout this morning. I dragged a few of my girlfriends to a LIVE Turbo Kick workout. I don't think they really knew what they were getting in to. :) Christine Dwyer, a gal that I am a huge fan of and a stellar Turbo Kick presenter, was holding an all day Turbo certification for those interested in teaching the class in gyms. But already being certified, I got to go just for the fun, insane, fantastic, crazy, all over the place workout she offers for an hour. It was awesome!!! Let's just say that my face was as red can be after that bad boy and I was sweatin up a storm. That is something I will have to forewarn all of my students when I teach- my face is always red and my body sweats a minute into the warm up. Yes, I'm that girl. I sweat and I don't look pretty when I workout. Who is responsible for that gene?

On my drive home, there was only one thing in the world I was looking forward to: my recovery drink!!! Now I have various options for recovery food after a workout that range from a simple snack to the well thought out recovery green monster shake. Still don't know what a green monster is? Go here and join the movement. Everyone is doing it. End of story.

After the intense workout I had, a monster was in order. And oh was it ever…

Into the blender went a scoop of Shakeology, 1 perfect banana, 4 handfuls of spinach, 2 cups of almond milk and one large (probably 2 tbsp worth) scoop of peanut butter. Add some ice and blend. Before you enjoy: take a shower and put some warm clothes on because you will feel a bit chilly after this beverage.

So, I think it's time we discuss the importance of workout recovery. I used to always ignore this step and I barely ever had a sip of water after a workout, let alone a recovery snack. Well, done with the old ways. I've seen the light.


Here are some of the greatest reasons why we must provide our body with nutrients to recover after a workout:

1. Muscle tissue repair. Oh you better believe that during a workout you tear muscle tissue.  We must rebuild it. Repair muscle tissue + rest = strength and better performance.

2. Replace fluids. What do ya do during a workout? We sweat like crazy or at least I do! On average, we lose a decent amount of fluid during a workout that we must replace. Water supports so many functions and it is the greatest fuel you can put in your body. Water supports metabolic functions, removes toxins, and carries oxygen and nutrients to all of our cells. I could go on! My point: hydrate before, during and after a workout.

3. Replace energy stores. We burn through our muscle glycogen stores during a workout and I don't care who ya are, you need to replace it! If you are doing any sort of high intensity workouts, this is a very important step for you.

4. Muscle rest. Regardless of the type of workout you perform, your muscles require rest in order to repair and rebuild. We often this important component and the end result is over training, fatigue, and/or injury. Be good to your body and provide it with a deserved recovery.

Okay Jenn, so how exactly do you recover. Read below please!


1. Hydrate. According to guidelines out there, you should drink 3-4 ounces for every 20 minutes of exercise (and you should try to come into a workout hydrated). Who faithfully drinks during aworkout? I know I'm no saint. Equally as important is to hydrate after a workout. Some will recommend that you should weigh yourself and drink 16 ounces for every pound loss. I don't personally do this because I don't weigh myself daily let alone before or after a workout. Instead, you can simply be sure that you are drinking water immediately following a workout. Keep a bottle with you and drink at least 20 ounces worth.

2. Eat. Be like me! Go make a monster or some sort of shake/snack/concoction to ingest. You should eat  a combination of carbohydrates and protein. The carbs help replace the muscle glycogen and the protein provides amino acids that your muscles need to repair/rebuild. A common ratio that you may hear is 4:1 (4 grams of carbs and 1 gram of protein). If you prefer to be exact, more power to ya! My approach is less exact: I just always make sure that I am eating a clean carbohydrate and protein snack. What do I mean by clean. Well, I try to eat real food. Food that doesn't come in a box that is. There are a ton of awesome products and nutritional supplements out there to help with your nutrition. Do what feels right in your body. Do what fuels you and makes you feel good. I don't always have real food with me and sometimes I want the darn Cliff bar, thank you. Again, do what makes you feel good!

So, I think that covers some of the basic how to's of workout recovery. The important takeaway is this: take care of that beautiful body of yours! Workout and then take a few simple steps to recover after wards. I promise your workouts will get better and you will be stronger, faster and more capable.

My favorite recovery snacks:

Green Monster Shake (what did you expect :)) – or any variation of a protein drink with a health dose of carbohydrates

Shakeology Shake – my current obsession

Apple + cheese

Apple + hummus

Greek yogurt + fruit + nuts

Banana + peanut butter (my second favorite!)

Sliced meat + crackers

Crackers + cheese

Egg + toast


Latte + protein (I believe Starbucks still has protein powder but I can't weigh in on the taste as I haven't tried it)

I hope you have enjoyed my first how to post. I plan to have many more coming your way!

Go enjoy your weekend. Upcoming events at our pad: attempts at staying warm, some delish Indian food, catch up with friends and their 3 adorable kiddos, and lots of Well Coaches work!

See you soon!

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