Food is something we can’t live without. Go ahead and say it altogether now: Thanks for the information there Columbo. Let me be clear about what I mean. We need food to not only provide us with energy, in the form of calories, but we also need it to prevent illness as well as to aid in recovery.
Yesterday I was at my nutrition club speaking with my mentor when she mentioned how she managed to get over her illness in less than a day. As we were talking another person asked what medicine she took to get healthy that fast. With a look of confusion she said: food. After that we continued our conversation and I said that I couldn’t recall the last time I took a pill to combat anything. The only pills I have put into my body in recent memory have been vitamins and specifically vitamin D. I believe that if we are eating food (not McDonald’s and Taco Bell) then our chances of getting sick are minimal and our ability to recover from that illness is greater than those who don’t eat whole foods.
It wasn’t long before another triathlete walked into the club and conversation turned to all things triathlon. How far did you swim? How long are you riding this weekend? What is your next event? What do you think of the running off the bike theory? It was your typical triathlete to triathlete conversation but with an added touch. I was asked what I was doing for recovery since the training has ramped up in the past few weeks.
I explained that I follow the 3:1 Carb:Protein mindset and get it in liquid form so that it can get to my muscles and at a cellular level faster than if I were to eat said ratio. Wondering what did that I explained that if you use the Herbalife 24 Endurance or Strength product you are getting the 3:1 from that and then 2 hours later eating something with a similar ratio would provide you with adequate recovery. For me that meal is usually in the form of pancakes, sometimes waffles. With all the training I am doing my body physically feels pretty good. That is not to say that it is not hard or that it is not wearing me down, but that is to say that without the proper recovery I would feel much worse. Being fueled and refueling properly and on time has helped me brave through 4 hour workout days in the middle of the week and 10+ hours of training on the weekends.
These conversations brought to light the quote from Hippocrates that I fully believe in:
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
In addition these conversations I read an article on Competitor.com titled Eat Your Way To Recovery. I was hoping that the post would shed some light on what would be the ‘perfect’ recovery meal and one that you could easily transport. The article provided foods to use but no recipes so I am going to make some suggestions based on their foods.
- Iron and zinc (seafood, lean meat, beans) to help prevent infections.
- Vitamin C (citrus, fresh melon, berries, peppers);
- Vitamin A (peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale);
- Vitamin E (nuts, seeds, oils)
- Selenium (seafood, brazil nuts) act as antioxidant protectors from damage caused by training.
- Vitamins A and C, zinc and iron, which are the top anti-infection nutrients.
- Herbs and spices (ginger, turmeric, cumin, oregano) are known for their gut healing and antioxidant properties.
- Probiotics (yogurt, aged cheese, tofu, miso, pickled ginger) help establish good bacteria in the stomach.
- Protein (dairy, chicken, fish, soy beans, red meat) protects muscle and tissues and repairs your cells, bones, etc. Depending on your training phase, protein can range from 80–150 grams per day.
- Essential fatty acids (fatty fish, avocados, nuts, oils) for anti-inflammatory properties.
- Healthy carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables, fruits) prevent an increase in stress hormones or overtraining symptoms.
- Vitamin C (citrus, melons, berries, fresh herbs) helps collagen building, bone healing and tissue repair.
- Calcium (milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, kale, spinach, chard) is a bone healer
- Vitamin D (salmon, tuna,egg yolk, plus sunlight10–15 minutes a day).