Want to boost your recovery? Protein could be the key
Pre-race pasta parties and post-run carb-loading advice might make you think carbs are king, but many runners forget the importance of another key nutrient – protein. It’s as necessary for recovery after endurance sports as it is if you’re doing weight or resistance training.
Consuming both a carbohydrate and protein-rich meal after a run replenishes the glycogen stores in your muscles and helps speed up muscle recovery and reduce lethargy. During exercise, our muscle tissue is broken down, and protein foods within our diet provide amino acids; the building blocks to repair muscle tissue.
Protein should make up 10-35 per cent of your daily calorie intake, and it’s recommended that runners, like other endurance athletes, should consume up to 1.5kg of protein for every kilo of bodyweight as it’s vital for the maintenance and growth of lean muscle tissue, repair and recovery. It also helps maintain healthy and strong bones. In short, protein could be your secret weapon, helping you to stay strong and fighting fit, as you build up your mileage.
Pick your protein
Aim to consume a quality protein to promote fast muscle recovery and ensure your muscles adapt to your training. Whey protein is a dairy protein with a high biological value, and it is quickly absorbed. Numerous studies have found whey protein supplementation accelerates postworkout recovery.
To reap these benefits after a gruelling run, try the new Maxitone Definity Protein Plus whey protein powder (£24.99; maxitone.com). It contains 20g of whey protein, formulated specifically for women; it contains magnesium, which is essential for muscle contraction while helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue; iron (required in higher amounts for us girls) to help make red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body; and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant to support a healthy immune system. Definity Protein Plus post-run shake, could be your answer to increasing quality protein in your diet.
Win, win, win!
As part of the Thank You Protein campaign, Maxitone wants to hear how someone or something has helped you achieve a weight loss or fitness goal. Go to maxitone.com/thankyou for the chance to become the face of Maxitone 2013, and also win a year’s supply of Maxitone products, a year’s gym membership at your local LA Fitness gym and a private training session with personal trainer Charlotte Ord.