How a ProTour Rider Focuses on Recovery

recovery food

Recovery = get faster

It’s no secret that proper recovery from exercise is what leads to improvement in performance in any endurance sport.  A lot of amateur athletes focus on rest and rehydration.  While that is certainly important, pro athletes know that nutrition is the final VITAL component to recovery.  More importantly, it starts almost IMMEDIATELY after a workout or race.

The pro strategy

We caught up with Doc’s Skincare user and Team Sky ProTour cyclist Ian Boswell during this year’s Vuelta a Espana to find out about his secret to recovering during a grand tour.  While you may not require the same amount of calories, the theme can be repeated in your training regimen.  The key components are:

  1. EARLY replenishment of depleted muscle glycogen with around 2 Calories of carbohydrate per pound of body weight as soon as you get off the bike (there’s solid scientific data that a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is beneficial during this period)
  2. Replenish lost Calories throughout the remaining part of the day with healthy meals that emphasize wholesome carbohydrates (the needed protein will naturally come with the wholesome carbohydrates)
  3. The best recovery food isn’t pre-packaged stuff…it’s wholesome and natural

Ian Boswell

Ian Boswell’s post-race recovery nutrition

Here’s what Ian told us about recovery nutrition within the first few hours following a stage:

“Recovery food! While here at the Vuelta all our team have their own preference. Mine is as such, and it’s well approved by the team nutritionist…

Boz Recovery (taken with 30 minutes of finishing):

  • cold portage left over from breakfast (a good sized portion)
  • fresh berries
  • one 35g sachet of recover powder (protein)
  • one serving of Greek yogurt

Within the hour I’ll snack on some fresh melon. Good for hydration.  All this thrown into a large bowl and mixed up. While the team chef prepares a different recovery meal each day, I prefer to stay with this. It’s easy to digest, tasty and something that always gives me the right balance of fuel needed to recover and rebuild. I like to keep it consistent. Helps with making sure I always get enough in to recover.”