8:45 a.m. Recover with 1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight (if you’re 150 pounds, that’s 68kg, so 68g of carbs) and 6–20g of protein. Good options include: a protein recovery beverage, PB&J sandwich, yogurt and cereal or cheese and crackers.
Why: “Carbohydrate consumption immediately after competition helps facilitate recovery by restoring muscle glycogen and minimizing inflammation,” Austin says. “Protein assists with the body’s ability to take in carbohydrate and restores broken-down muscle.”
11 a.m. Eat a recovery snack comprising 50–55 percent carbohydrate with the rest being lean proteins and healthy fats. Good options include: a banana with nut butter, Greek yogurt, fruit and granola or eggs and whole-wheat toast.
Why: “Eating every two to three hours assists in maintaining a stable blood glucose level, which not only facilitates recovery but is also important for sustaining metabolism, optimizing body composition and overall health,” Austin says.
1 p.m. Lunch: chili, baked potato, salad and fruit
Why: “Chili contains meat and beans with appropriate amounts of protein and fiber to help lower the meal’s glycemic response, along with the fiber found in salad and fruit,” Austin says. “The fiber and protein content will also help you feel full and satisfied. Remember to control your portions though—since a 1.5-hour competition does not cause a significant energy deficit.”
4 p.m. Snack: Low-glycemic, same goal and options as 11 a.m.
Why: Continues to aid in recovery and sustains metabolism.
7 p.m. Dinner: Lean red meat, grilled vegetables, polenta and fruit; real-fruit sorbet for dessert
Why: “Red meat contains protein, and the fiber in grilled vegetables and fruit will help lower the glycemic response, since metabolism slows as we prepare for bed,” Austin says. “Red meat is also good for endurance athletes to help maintain iron stores. Sorbet should provide a treat that is not overly high in calories, but does provide a reward for the day’s race.”