By: Romy and Lieke – Fit female academy
Drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes for optimal muscle recovery and eating a maximum amount of protein? In our opinion, this really fits under the heading "Bro science". We would like to explain to you what you can do to let your muscles recover optimally.
We would like to start by introducing ourselves. We are Lieke and Romy from Fit Female Academy. We help young women to create a fitter lifestyle. Not by prescribing standard dietary schemes, but by really coaching them and working with them on all aspects of their lifestyle.
We believe that being aware of your choices and knowing your own body creates a better relationship with yourself. In addition, we help create more self-confidence and learn how to really take care of your body instead of exhausting it.
Besides (sports) nutritionists, we also specialize in orthomolecular therapy. This allows us to dive deep into the human body and various ailments to someone's lifestyle can be linked and solved.
Before we go deeper into body recovery, we want to briefly explain the basics about nutrition. We'll discuss the three macronutrients with you and we all need these.
The basis of nutrition
Carbohydrates are avoided by many people. This is unfortunately learned from the diet culture. Avoiding carbohydrates affects your fluid levels. Per gram of carbs you retain about 3 grams of fluid. So it's perfectly logical that your weight will decrease and you will lose weight when you suddenly start eating less carbohydrates! Now most people who want to lose weight want to reduce fat mass, but you don't necessarily do that by avoiding carbohydrates. They have an important function, namely to provide your body with fuel. Carbohydrates give energy, also energy to your metabolism (combustion) and they are the primary fuel sources for your brain. Many sources of carbohydrates are also rich in fibre. So it's not very convenient if you omit these.
Proteins are building materials for your body. They are, for example, important for the recovery and building of your muscles and other tissues such as your brain. Proteins also provide enzymes to digest your food. We often see people eating lots of protein to build up more muscle, but more protein does not equal more muscle mass. Eat enough protein for your body and spend the other calories on other useful nutrients.
Fats are another one of those resources that unfortunately people categorize as bad. We love fats! Why? They are incredibly important to your body, but this is often forgotten because there is such a focus on "low carb - high protein" in today's diet culture. Everyone, but especially women, can notice many advantages of eating enough unsaturated fats. After all, you need them for the production of hormones. Your brain and immune system also need fats to function properly. So please don't forget to eat your fats and don't be afraid of these calories, because they are good calories.
Now that we know a bit more about the basics, it's interesting to highlight certain nutrients a bit more. If you are looking for a better recovery, it is beneficial to look at anti-inflammatory food. During training you damage your muscles; small tears occur. This causes an inflammatory reaction in the cells, as a result of which recovery will start. Thanks to a smooth recovery new proteins will be built in, as a result of which hypertrophy (the enlargement or thickening of a muscle) will take place. Provided, of course, that you train in a proper manner with overload and super compensation.
If you want to promote muscle recovery with your diet, you want to eat more anti-inflammatory food and less pro-inflammatory food. Anti-inflammatory food includes omega 3, especially EPA and DHA fatty acids. Non-farmed fatty fish are a good source of these, as is the plant-based source of omega 3, algae.
Foods that can aggravate the inflammation levels in your body include: sugar, dairy (casein), gluten and alcohol. This does not have to be the case for everyone. Per individual it differs where you can react stronger to. Our advice is to be conscious with these products, so in moderation. A balance is the key to keep it up in a nice way.
What nutrition do you need for good muscle recovery?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not so black and white. It's about different factors in your diet and lifestyle. For example, variation in protein source is important to get all the different building blocks (amino acids). Also, the amount you should consume depends on several factors. For an average athlete you can assume about 1.6 grams to 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight. (If you're working with cut/bulk phases, this can of course also be adjusted within your calorie intake)
Finally, we must not forget that sufficient recovery time and sleep is essential for muscle recovery. Do you train the same muscle group too often in a row? Then you'll just rob your muscles and make no progress. During the rest periods between your workouts the tiny muscle tears can heal, which will increase your muscle volume and/or strength.
Recovery cannot be linked to one type of nutrition and there are no miracle cures. A protein shake alone will not help you recover sufficiently. By mainly taking into account the quantity of food, variation in protein sources and a good work/rest ratio you will optimize muscle recovery.
Do you want advice on how to optimize your nutrition and lifestyle so you can recover better? You can visit our website www.fitfemaleacademy.nl Feel free to schedule a coach call to see what we can do for you.
Love, Romy and Lieke