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Monday, July 11, 2011

NUTRITIONAL STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE RECOVERY

Fast recovery after training/game is a key issue in modern football. The aims of any nutritional intervention at recovery are 1) to replenish energy stores, and 2) to repair tissues from  exercise-induced muscle damage. Here are some PRACTICAL key points on nutrition for FAST RECOVERY
  • ·         Start eating as soon as possible after the end of training that lowers muscle glycogen. Muscle glycogen can decline at a critical point after 90 min of match. 
  • ·         Carbohydrate (CHO) in a liquid or solid form is the most important determinant of muscle glycogen synthesis.
  • ·         Literature suggests that CHO intake should exceed 1.2 g/kg body weight/hour. Practically, this is a very large amount of CHO. Players should take as much CHO as possible within the first 2 hours after exhaustive exercise that lowers muscle glycogen.
  • ·         Co-ingestion of a small amount of protein (0.2-0.4 g/kg body weight/hour) with CHO (0.8 g/kg body weight/hour) seems to result in similar amount of muscle glycogen repletion compared with a high CHO intake of 1.2 g/kg body weight/hour. Thus, co-ingestion of CHO and protein may speed-up recovery.
  • ·         Protein and amino acid intake is suggested in order to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and inhibit protein breakdown.
  • ·         Players should consume about 20gr of protein during the first hour of post exercise recovery. Protein intake should be encouraged during the day to maximize muscle protein synthesis rate.
  • ·         Replacement of fluid losses is also necessary particularly when exercise is performed in warm weather.

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