Recovery Nutrition After Training Print

By Andrea Holwegner BSc, RD “The Chocoholic Dietitian”

For runners and fitness enthusiasts, the recovery nutrition meal after training is the most important meal of the day. What you eat after training is important to boost your immune function, refuel your body so that it will respond to the training, and give you have the necessary energy to train again soon.
Always be sure to eat enough in your recovery meal so that you are maximizing your ability to bounce back from your workout. This is especially important if you have workouts close together in time. If you are trying to lose weight, reduce calories at other times in the day but keep your recovery intake high.
The goals of your recovery nutrition meal can be explained by the following five principles:

The 5 R’s for Recovery


Adequate rest is needed to get the most out of your workout. Consult with a qualified exercise/sport specialist to determine adequate rest time just for you.


Keep drinking fluids once you are finished your workout. Replace 3 cups fluid (750 ml) per pound of weight lost during your workout. Monitor the color and amount of urine – it should be pale yellow and you should be urinating regularly.


Replace carbohydrates (carbs) that the muscles have burned for energy otherwise you will go into your next workout feeling tired. The harder your workout is, the more carbs you have burned and will need to replace. It is important to eat a source of carbs (liquid or solid) within 15-20 minutes after activity when your muscles are most receptive to re-fueling. Try dried fruit bars, granola bars, juice, canned fruit, milk or chocolate milk.


Protein helps to repair and recover muscle and other tissues damaged during activity. Protein also helps to keep your immune system strong so you don’t get sick.


The physical stress of exercise produces free radicals that can damage your body’s cells (such as red blood cells which transport oxygen and muscle tissue). Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and protect cells from damage leading to better recovery. Your recovery meal should be abundant in plant-based foods since this is where you find antioxidants. Choose foods rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Beta-carotene and Vitamin E such as colorful fruits and veggies.

Sample recovery meals for intense workouts:

  • Whole grain toast with a veggie and cheese omelet.
  • Pancakes with maple syrup, fresh fruit salad, cottage cheese
  • Protein shake with fruit, unsweetened juice, milk, yogurt and protein powder with a granola bar
  • Grilled chicken/fish/meat with rice and mixed veggies.
  • Vegetarian pizza and garden salad with vinaigrette.
  • Sandwich or wrap with meat, cheese and veggies with fresh fruit or unsweetened juice.

Andrea Holwegner is president of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc.,  media expert for the Dietitians of Canada, professional speaker and independent consultant to Jugo Juice. To ask Andrea your personal nutrition question, visit the “Ask the Dietitian” section of the Jugo Juicewebsite here:www.jugojuice.com.


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Adele Fox, Psychologist
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Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
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Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
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I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
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Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
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I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
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