Healthy Dancer

Summer Re-charge: Muscle Recovery After a Workout or Performance

By Dr. Millie Lytle

Summer is a great time to fine tune the way you replenish your body’s nutrients after a work out or performance. It’s especially important to recharge when days are longer, your body may be more active and the heat may be taking a toll.

1) Protein is needed after a workout to rebuild torn muscle fibres, the body’s way of building muscle mass. Precisely, consuming protein or amino acids (building blocks of protein) post-workout shortens recovery time via increased muscle formation and improves immunity, therefore decreasing post-workout pain.

2) Water is needed to rehydrate; 1 cup for each hour of exercise plus the daily 8 glasses/2L normally recommended.

3) It’s not as well known that carbohydrate consumption within ten to ninety minutes post-workout is necessary for regenerating glycogen storage. Glycogen is the fuel the muscles use to rebuild. When there is no fuel then the muscles do not have the energy to repair and grow. Studies have found that all carbohydrate-supplements, including raisins, sports drinks, gels, jelly beans and fruit are equally effective in maintaining blood sugar levels thus improving exercise performance when compared with water only.

4) Lastly, take your favourite source of trace minerals with water or drink coconut water alone as an excellent hydrating ingredient. Electrolytes replace minerals that are lost via perspiration, shortening recovery time.


Combine the following ingredients for a perfect recovery cocktail:

• 1-part protein: 1-scoop natural peanut butter/soaked peanuts/2 tablespoons yogurt or 1 scoop protein powder (whey, vegetarian, pumpkin seed, rice).

• 1-part water: 1 cup water or coconut water

• 1-part carbs: 1 scoop soaked raisins or 1 banana

• 1-part electrolytes (if using water): 1 teaspoon of spirulina/kelp/chlorella/2 pinches Celtic sea salt.

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