Nutrition For Recovery & Injury prevention

June 20, 2017

Four Main Goals for Post-Workout Nutrition:

  • Replenish energy stores (glycogen loss)
  • Replenish fluid and electrolyte loss
  • Increase muscle size/quality
  • Repair damage from work-out

Good post workout nutrition can address those four main goals and provide us with:

  • Improved recovery, which will allow us get back out there quickly
  • Less muscle soreness
  • Increased ability to build muscle
  • Improved ability to utilize body fat

The Window of Opportunity:

  • This window opens immediately after your workout and starts to close pretty quickly.
  • You have about 2 hours to get the benefits, some people say even less time!
  • As soon as your workout is over – think nutrition!

What do I Eat after a Workout?

Post-workout nutrition requires two things:

  • Protein to aid in protein synthesis
  • Carbohydrates to help replace muscle glycogen

You could certainly eat a whole food meal that meets these requirements after exercise so for example – dinner after a workout could include brown rice (carbohydrates) and a piece of chicken (protein). However, whole food meals aren’t always practical.

  • Some people aren’t hungry immediately after exercise.
  • Whole food digests slowly, and we want nutrients to be available quickly.

Smoothies are a great way to get a liquid, easy to digest and absorb form of nutrition and often yield better results. Make sure to include a carbohydrate (fruit, dates, honey) and some protein (nut butter, protein powder).

Other Considerations:

The following may also be helpful for recovery and prevention of injuries. Don’t worry about these things just within that 2 hour “Window of Opportunity”, but as staples in your diet day-to-day.

Supporting the Immune System

  • Especially important if doing more intense half-marathon or marathon training & during cold and flu season.
  • Include foods high in anti-oxidant nutrients – anything with a dark green color (dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts), anything with an orange color (oranges, sweet potatoes), berries (blueberries, strawberries, goji berries)
  • Consider supplementation of Vitamin C – try Ener-C packets available at health food stores.
  • Consider supplementing with L-glutamine (an amino acid proven to boost immune system function – available at health food stores) OR getting glutamine from homemade chicken, turkey or beef stocks (add a capful of apple cider vinegar to draw out glutamine)
  • Consider probiotic supplementation (look for shelf stable variety – available at health food stores OR our clinic, The Village Clinic)
  • Reducing Inflammation:
  • Inflammation is a natural response by your body to a stressful situation; although exercise is a complimentary stress, it is still a stress and can increase inflammation in your body. Inflammation is not your friend when you’re on a training schedule.
  • To reduce inflammation include fresh turmeric or turmeric root powder, flax, chia, and hemp seeds for their omega 3 content as well as dark leafy greens.

Supporting the Adrenal Glands

  • The adrenal glands regulate the body’s response to stress, and remember, exercise IS stress (good stress usually)!
  • To support the adrenal glands add maca powder to smoothies (find at The Village Clinic or other health food stores). It helps balance adrenal hormones and helps us deal with stress better.
  • Magnesium rich foods – dark chocolate, cacao powder, dark leafy greens, unrefined sea salt, kelp powder OR magnesium supplement
  • If taking a supplement, take at night time as it has relaxing effects


Recipe Suggestions


  • 1 cup fresh or frozenblueberries
  • ½ cup coconutwater
  • ½avocado
  • Chunk fresh turmeric,grated
  • Juice from 1lime
  • 2 tbsp coconutflakes
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and process untilsmooth.


Makes 4 smallservings

  • 2–3 cupsice
  • 1 frozenbanana
  • ½avocado
  • 6 dates (preferably fresh, notdried)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almondbutter
  • 1 ½ cups almondmilk
  • 1 cup coconutwater
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Add ice first, then frozen banana, avocado, dates, cacao powder, maca powder and almond butter. Lastly, add theliquids and puree until smooth

Turmeric Ginger Tea

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Splash of non-dairy milk
  • Honey or maple syrup, to taste

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add turmeric and ginger, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in milk and strain tea into cup. Add sweetener to taste.

Fresh Turmeric Tea

Makes 1 serving

  • 1-inch piece fresh turmeric (sub ginger if you can’t find turmeric)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Few cracks black pepper
  • Boiling water

Place turmeric, coconut oil and black pepper in a teapot. Pour boiling water over-top and let steep for 10 minutes


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    About Keyrsten McEwan

    "I found nutrition almost a decade ago when the health issues I was struggling with resolved when I changed my diet and lifestyle. It’s since become my passion to help people use nutrition to feel their best, healthiest selves at any age. I don’t just want my clients to feel good, I want them to feel amazing and reach optimal health – endless energy, a healthy weight, balanced hormones, good sleep & lots of delicious tasting, REAL food! I believe that nutrition is completely individual and will work with you to find a nutrition plan that feels just right. I also believe that balance is key and encourage “real life” programs that allow you to enjoy all of the good things life has to offer."


    Read More