Professional Baseball Strength & Conditioning

Refueling after Workouts

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Post-workout meals and snacks are essential if you’re working out every day. Make sure to eat something as soon as possible after workouts, because your snacks and meals provide the nutrients needed for muscle rebuilding and recovery. The sooner you start the building and recovery process the better.

A recovery drink like a Myoplex Lite, Muscle Milk Lite or a carton of low fat chocolate milk is the perfect way to start refueling, especially if you have to wait in a long restaurant line or drive a long distance to get home. Not only are they portable, they are an immediate way to reload your body’s glycogen stores. Drink one within 30 minutes of activity, because that’s the optimal recovery window.

About an hour later, follow up with a high-carb, protein-rich meal. If you’re at a fast food restaurant, try a grilled chicken wrap or a lean hamburger. Hold off on high-fat toppings such as bacon and extra cheese. While one slice of cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, extra slices tend to add more fat than nutrients. Make sure to include carbs in your post-workout dish. If your burger comes with fries, substitute a baked potato. Depending on your caloric needs, you can add a salad, piece of fruit or cup of chili. One third of your meal should be lean protein, one-third should be carb-rich foods and another third should be a fruit or vegetable. “You need the whole balance, not just protein or just carbs.”

For a good fast food meal, try a Myoplex Lite or Muscle Milk Lite drink with a Wendy’s Jr. Hamburger and baked potato with broccoli. While it might be fast food, it’s high in carbs (65% carbs) and protein (21% protein), low in fat (14% fat) and provides a lot of energy (840 calories).

If you’re eating at home, try a ham or turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich on whole grain bread with mustard rather than mayo. And load up on the veggies – lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc. Wash it down with a glass of low fat milk or low fat chocolate milk, and top it off with a banana, apple or grapes.

If you are eating at a sit-down restaurant, good options include:

• Steak kebabs and rice
• Salmon, green beans and corn
• Roast beef, mashed potatoes and salad
• Hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, baked potato, side salad and juice.

Leslie Bonci is Sports Nutritionist at the University of Pittsburgh and has worked with the Pirates, Reds, Blue Jays and Nationals. Cell: 412-559-5974; Twitter: @lesliebonci

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