Fluid Recommendations After Exercise
Protein, carbohydrate, and fluids are the primary nutrients Natalie will focus on after her game. Carbohydrate consumed with protein attenuates protein catabolism and stimulates anabolism; consumption of protein with carbohydrate augments the insulin response aiding in glycogen synthesis. These two nutrients, when consumed together, result in a synergistic effect on recovery. The recommended 1.2 g carbohydrate/ kg/hr can be hard to attain and so decreasing her intake to 0.8 g carbohydrate/kg/hr in the presence of protein may be a more realistic strategy. This equates to 53 g carbohydrate/hour + 20 g protein, especially in the first hour. Natalie experiences decreased appetite after her intense games and so, for her, meeting her nutrient needs with fluids is more tolerable. Natalie has 20 oz of low-fat chocolate milk (60 g carbohydrate and 20 g protein); this strategy also addresses postexercise protein requirements. When Natalie gets home, she has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before she goes to bed (55 g carbohydrate and 10 g protein).
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Natalie knows from checking her pre- and postworkout weight and calculating her sweat rate that she loses about 0.8 L of fluids per hour. Given her goal of replenishing her fluids 150 percent, she needs to consume 1.8 L of fluids (1.5 hours x 0.8 L = 1.2 L x 150%). She drank about 0.6 L with her chocolate milk; she drinks another 0.6 L over the next 2 hours before she goes to bed.
This case study illustrates all the nutrient needs that need to be met for a particular athlete before, during, and after her competition. The needs of the athlete will vary according to their sport, the duration of activity, estimated intensity, as well as any other individual factors. It is always important to break down each time period (before, during, and after), and go through the different nutrients needed at each stage. The recommendations then need to be customized to the preferences of the athletes and the logistical considerations of the sport.
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