Your body craves nutrition after a ride and feeding it the proper food is key. A good recovery meal is first and foremost satisfying. It gives your body what it is craving from a nutritional standpoint, but it also needs to taste good, look good and feel good. My new favorite is a recipe I found a few months ago on a Paleo website that I’ve reworked to meet my needs. I don’t follow Paleo guidelines, but I feel like the diet does contain some very good aspects that all active people need. Mostly, its packed with protein. After a workout or ride, my body craves protein - I know some other people crave carbs or fats, but my body is all about rebuilding muscle. That’s what satisfies me and these bowls are my new go to. This easy recipe is PACKED with protein and tastes way better than a powder shake (not hard to do - those things can be nasty). As a bonus, it looks as good as it tastes. You always eat with your eyes first :-)
Recipe in order:
Two to three spoonfuls of non-fat organic Greek yogurt - a lot of yogurt is crazy high in fat and sugar, make sure to get organic non-fat for the best results (18-20 grams protein)
Two tablespoons of Chia seeds (6 grams protein)
One organic banana sliced thin
1/4 cup of organic blueberries
1 Strawberry sliced thin
1/4 cup of granola (3 grams)
An optional spoonful of organic peanut butter or peanut butter powder (7 grams)
Cinnamon and agave to taste
Total protein = 27 - 36 grams
The best part of a protein bowl is that your options aren’t very limited and you can change things as you go. Don’t like blueberries? Try raspberries or blackberries. Can’t stand granola? Skip it. Try Hemp seeds instead of Chia. Hemp seeds are 30% protein by volume, which is crazy high . . . lolz (they obviously don’t contain any psychoactive THC and add a nutty flavor).
Why is protein so important? When you exercise, you create microtears in your muscles and protein helps repair and build more muscle. It is important to eat a recovery meal within an hour or two after a hard workout for maximum results. The timing is not critical, but the earlier the better and protein synthesis tapers off within 24 hours.
How much is too much? Your body can only absorb so much protein over a period of time. 25 - 35 grams of high quality protein per meal is the high end. After that, your body will use it elsewhere or flush it. I recommend around 30 grams 3 or 4 times daily if you are riding and exercising a lot to properly repair muscles.
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