So you've all heard me harp about post-ride / post-run nutrition meals but I've been experimenting with some things and want to share with you all some findings that have helped me in the past weeks with recovery and replenishing fuel stores. Now, as a fair disclaimer, I must add that this information is based on MY EXPERIENCE and that listening to me doesn't mean you'll turn into some tall dark and handsome vegan guy with shaven legs and loves track racing. No, definitely not that. I'm also not saying that Obama wasn't born in America. Fact of the matter is, he was. Period. Get over it, 'birther' readers. What I am saying though, is that unlike most of my gibberish and rants, this particular post is backed with science. Anybody that knows me knows that the words 'Science' and 'Alex' don't belong in the same sentence but like Queen Latifah, "I'm breaking all the rules!" (one of her worst songs).
Okay so anyone doing endurance sports requiring prolonged use of your body and consequently, your cardiovascular system is getting beat the hell up. And when I mean 'prolonged' use, I'm not referring to the 20 min stair-master sesh you're putting in nor the CrossFit workout videos you've bought. Nope. I mean putting down efforts lasting over 1.5 hours of steady state effort or when you're through flogging yourself on interval days. When you have those days / workouts, your biggest concern is to replace glycogen with a mix of fast acting and slow-absorbing sugars...also known as simple (fast) and complex (slower) burning carbohydrates.
As a huge fruit eater, a lot of my sugar comes from fruits. However, the rate at which fruit is absorbed is much slower than, for example, a can of coke. Why? For starters, fruit has fructose, water and dietary fiber which cause a nice slow burn of sugar and not the see-saw effect one might get after downing 2 cans of coke in the morning only to face-plant onto your computer screen. Table sugar though is artificial and that means high spikes in insulin which, under normal circumstances, is NOT good for your kidney and ultimately, for YOU.
HOWEVER, in special circumstances (i.e. endurance athletes) combining fast and slow burning sugars to replace glycogen levels quickly after a demanding workout is perfectly valid. The keyword in that sentence is 'AFTER' which means you had to do something beforehand like, gee, I dunno, exercise for a long long time! So what is Alex doing post-ride / post-kick-ass-track-sesh to replace all that glycogen:
Alex's Cervelo Test Team Inspired Fruit Salad
Chop up the following into bite-size pieces:
1) 2 bananas
2) 2 cutie-oranges
3) 1 apple
4) Pineapple chunks (thanks to Ms. Denise for showing me how to even do this!)
Cut all that nonsense up and put in a large bowl. Then, cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the fruit salad.
So far so good right? Sounds like something I'd eat doesn't it. But there's one more trick here.
Then, on top of that lemon-flavored fruit salad, put a tablespoon of regular, table sugar. Yes, that same sugar that Dr. Weil is yelling at you for consuming! That sugar will get absorbed into your bloodstream faster than Godhafi can get outta Libya. Wait, that's slow. Check that. That sugar will get absorbed into your bloodstream faster than Lindsey Lohan can get thrown back into jail (again).
I like to make a big batch of that stuff, put it in the fridge and then munch on it when I get home from my bike rides or take it with me during races. Make it, try it, love it, live it, spread it.