By: Kristina Hallberg
If you are a spinning or cycling machine, you want to fuel your body so you are not only energized on the bike but also helps you recover from your ride quicker. I get it many cycle and spin-junkies have a love-hate relationship with the bike. But isn’t that what keeps you coming back for more? Eating well to fuel your body will keep you energized on and off the bike.
Nutrition can seem overly complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. There are three food categories that are ideal for recovery, let’s call them “post-spin bowls.” Meal planning is important to help you keep your nutrition on track. Planning your post-workout meals can make a positive impact on your health and help you meet your fitness goals It might take a little time and planning — at least until drones start dropping healthy meals at our door the minute we dream them up — but you’re health is worth it!
Here are three things to combine for recovery without stressing about it:
Your body and your muscles need protein for recovery; it helps your muscles repair themselves so they are stronger for your next workout. Portions vary from person to person, but in general a reasonable portion would be about the size of your palm. You can use the palm of your hand to gauge the proper serving amount. Typically, one or two “palms” of protein-rich foods are appropriate for a meal.
A Few Options:
- Chicken breast
- Eggs and egg whites
- Wild salmon
- Beans (also have carbs)
- Grass-fed beef
- Plain Greek yogurt
Do not fear the carb! When you are in spin class during an endurance ride, your body burns through energy in the form of glycogen. In order to replace this lost glycogen, you should eat healthy carbs. You’ll want to go for complex carbs that are easy to digest. One cupped handful is a good portion reference. Of course, you will want to be mindful of your own needs as the serving varies based on the individual. Typically one to two cupped handfuls of carb-rich foods are appropriate for a meal.
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits will support your body and contain an abundance of carotenoids/antioxidants that protect your cells. They also contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Leafy greens can help improve digestion as well as balance your cholesterol levels. You can eyeball your portion here to a few handfuls of your favorite veggie.
A Few Options:
- Dark leafy lettuce like spinach
As you may have noticed, we are focused on mainly carbs and protein. However, it is also important to consider healthy fats. You can add olive oil, avocado oil, fresh sliced avocado or a handful of nuts to your dish. These healthy fats will help your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, D, and K found in the greens.
One option would be to combine grilled chicken, quinoa and asparagus for a balanced “Post Spin Bowl.” Add a handful of sprouted pumpkin seeds for healthy fat and magnesium.
Another option would be a veggie omelet including eggs (2) and egg whites (1/2 cup), chopped sweet potatoes and raw or cooked spinach with avocado oil.
A homemade whole grain or gluten-free turkey wrap with spinach and avocado would be another option you could prepare ahead of time and have ready to go post-spin.