The Best Post-Ride Recovery Drink

18 06 2014

It’s summer. In Florida. Perfect time to train for an Ironman, right? NOT. Summer has only just begun, and temperatures are in the high 80s and 100% humidity. Joy!

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Many triathletes will tout Coke as the best post-ride beverage (or a beer; that works too). Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a Coke after a tough ride, and it’s definitely given me that extra boost I’ve needed to keep going in both of my half irons.

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However, Coke doesn’t have any real nutritional value to help my muscles recover. One of the key components in recovery drinks is protein. And how much protein is in Coke? Nada. I’m not helping my muscles recover by drinking this stuff! So, I’ve started incorporating Osmo Acute Recovery into my post-workout routine.

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Osmo has some pretty nifty videos about the science behind all their products, and you can check out the one about Acute Recovery here:

 

In short, Acute Recovery has the nutrients a women’s body needs to maximize recovery after workouts. It’s combo of protein, carbs and a wee bit of caffeine will help your body repair muscles and restore your glycogen levels.

I’m on my second or third tub of it, and I really dig it. The flavor for the women’s line is “Honey & Spice” and they recommend you mix it with water or rice milk. I first enjoyed it with rice milk, and was immediately reminded of horchata. So if you are a fan of the cinnamon-y sweet Latin American drink, you should like it (unless of course you are a horchata purist!). The flavor is pretty light, so it can easily be mixed with just about anything you’d normally put into a smoothie. I like it with some peanut butter and banana blended with some ice and milk too!

It is recommended that you drink Osmo Acute Recovery within 30 minutes of completing your exercise, as that is the “golden window” to get your body what it needs to maximize recovery. When my friends and I ride, we drive a good 40 minutes to get to our starting spot. Now, I’m sure 10 minutes won’t make that big of a difference, but I do want to reap all the benefits of the hard work I’m putting in to my training. So, I wanted a way to have my Osmo on my drive home.

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I had recently tried Osmo Acute Recovery with Zico chocolate coconut water and OMG was it good! So, I took an individual bottle and stuck it in the freezer the night before a ride. I measured out how much mix I would need and put it in the bottom of a shaker cup. The next day, I used the frozen coconut water as an ice pack for the drinks I was taking to my ride and for the ones for after, and left it in the cooler while we went riding (note- I have a soft-sided cooler, not a hard-sided cooler). I had obviously packed my shaker cup as well.

Osmo plus Zico

When I got back to the car, the coconut water had started to melt and was quite slushy- perfect for after a hot ride! I poured what I could into the shaker bottle, topped it with some water and shook it up. HOLY COW. Chocolatey, coconuty, cinnamony slush. So refreshing after being in the heat of the sun! And, I was helping my body recover by drinking it shortly after I got off the bike. Score! I would highly recommend doing this (or something similar with your favorite recovery drink) after your next ride!

So, to recap:

Step 1: Freeze the Zico chocolate water overnight.

Step 2: Measure the Osmo Recovery in a shaker bottle

Step 3:Take the frozen Zico with you to your ride, and leave it in a cooler while you’re gone.

Step 4: Post ride, pour the Zico into the shaker cup, shake, and enjoy!!

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yes, I know the pictures don’t exactly line up with the steps above, but a picture of Zico in a cooler isn’t all that exciting.

Happy training! (and recovering!)

 





Fuelng for Long Rides

12 03 2014

If you’ve seen my weekly workout recaps, you’ll notice that I’ve been putting in a lot of time on the saddle. This year, particularly in the early season, the XP crew is working on getting in some miles on the bike so that we head in to Ironman training strong.When you’re riding that much, you get time to start playing around with your nutrition plan.

One of my goals for 2014 is to really master my nutrition on the bike. I know how crucial this will be in November when I’m biking for 112 miles before I stumble off and then go run a marathon.

IMG_4147(will I be that happy when I start the run of my Ironman? Doubtful)

As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, I definitely struggle with headaches caused by electrolyte imbalance during/after hard workouts or races. Salt tabs have typically been what’s worked for me, taking them at regular intervals while on long rides or runs; however, there’s definitely been times where I’m so focused on moving my feet that I forget to take them. So, I wanted to come up with some kind of plan that allowed me to only take salt if it was really hot and needed it as a last resort, rather than needing to take it on a regular schedule.

drinking cokeCoke is also good perfect after a long ride.

The caveat here is that it hasn’t been super hot here yet- I’m really interested to see how this plan works through the heat of summer. But so far, this is what’s been working for me:

Several hours pre-ride: We typically don’t ride until late morning, so I have plenty of time to get up and make myself some pancakes. I don’t have a go-to, just whatever flavor combination that comes to my head, but it typically has yogurt in it.

Just before we start:

Depending on how long has passed since I’ve eaten breakfast, if I feel like I’m just starting to get hungry, I’ll eat a Feedzone Rice Cake. My favorite has been Allen’s Rice Cakes. We call them “breakfast sushi”.

Allen's Rice Cake

During ride:

Every 45 minutes to an hour I’ll eat a rice cake or some other “portable”. Allen’s rice cakes have approximately 225 calories in them. The first time I ate a rice cake on a ride I thought it was so weird that I was eating “real food” while cycling. I was afraid I’d get an upset tummy, especially because those rice cakes have bacon in them, but they’ve worked tremendously well. I LOVE having real food now, and now I only bring a bag of gummies as back up.

Bacon muffin(bacon chocolate chip muffins anyone?)

As far as fluids go, I’ve made the switch to Osmo, and let me tell you friends that I am hooked! I first heard about this awesome hydration product system through Katie, and after exchanging a few emails about it, I decided to take the plunge and I haven’t looked back since. I love that it is specially formulated for a woman’s physiology! #womenarenotsmallmen (Learn more about the science behind it here.) The flavor of the Active Hydration is great- the mango flavor is light and refreshing. It’s not too sweet and not too salty. It’s not made to be concentrated, so I’ve been following the mixing instructions to a T. It’s also not meant to be a source of calories- which is why I’m eating real food! I typically go through one of my bike bladders (20 oz I think) and then my 24 oz bottle over the course of a 2-3 hour ride. I actually think I should be drinking a bit more…

Osmo Nutrition(Osmo offers three products for women: PreLoad, Active, and Recovery. I’ve used the Pre-Load once or twice, when I knew it would be hot and we’d be going long. I don’t feel like I can give a full report on it just yet, but what I can say is that at first, I did NOT like the taste. It’s starting to grow on me, and it is most certainly better as cold as you can make it. I’ll give a full report once I’m using it more frequently when summer hits.)

Post Ride: As soon as I get home from the ride I make myself the Osmo Recovery. If you like horchata, this is a great drink for you. (Unless of course you consider yourself a horchata snob, you might find this to be too powdery.) The flavor is great mixed with rice milk (or any kind of milk and/or water), and it’s also light enough that you could blend it into a smoothie with just about anything in it. I’m a big fan of this mix. It’s got protein and glucose, and helps to:

  • Promote Muscle Synthesis
  • Reduce Hormonal Influences on Recovery
  • Optimize Training Adaptations

Since I’ve been using Osmo Recovery, I’ve definitely been capable of riding long on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as comfortably add on a run too.

Based on my performance so far this season (in training), I’d say that I’m definitely on the right track in terms of food and fluid intake during and after workouts. So far (knock on wood) I haven’t had a dehydration headache! Weather will certainly be a factor, so as temperatures rise, I’ll need to adjust as necessary. But, right now, this is what is working for me, and I’m going with it. Real food + women-specific hydration has been my key so far!

Question of the day: How do you fuel for a long ride or run?

**Please not that I’m NOT a nutritionist, I have NO degrees in any of this. I’m just sharing what has been working for me!