Updated: Sep 6, 2021
Without a doubt, Coach Al has advised you to drink a recovery shake at the end of a cycling workout. There are many reasons why you might justify not chugging down that powdery concoction your depleted muscles are crying out for; "I don't have time", "it will make me gain weight", "oh, that workout wasn't really that hard", "I will eat in a little while so it doesn't matter". Sound familiar? The post-workout recovery drink is essential, science supports it, and simply put here is why...
A cyclists' body uses carbohydrates as fuel for muscle contraction during workouts. Above anaerobic threshold, muscle contraction is 100% dependent on carbohydrates. No fuel, no going fast!
An athlete burns a combination of glycogen from carbohydrates and fat for fuel. More energy comes from glycogen with increased intensity and glycogen stores are limited and are depleted from each workout.
Cyclists must replace the depleted glycogen stores in order to speed recovery, fuel the next workout, prevent "bonking", and sustain the demands of every day life.
The way to restore glycogen levels from training and racing is to consume CARBOHYDRATES preferably during the glycogen window immediately after a workout.
DIY RECOVERY SHAKE Recipe
This is a simple, homemade recovery drink recipe Coach Al recommends. Just purchase the necessary ingredients and combine according to your weight.
Protein Powder - Whey protein powder or Plant-based protein powder
BCAA Powder Unflavored - Branched chain amino acid powder
Pure L-Glutamine Powder
You need 1.2 grams of carbohydrates (dextrose) per kilogram of your weight. Convert your weight from pounds to kilograms. Take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2, this will give your weight in number of kilograms. Multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.2 to calculate the number of grams of dextrose needed for one serving of recovery. In a shaker bottle, combine your calculated grams of Dextrose with 10 - 15 grams of your preferred protein powder. Add one serving of BCAA. Add one serving of L-Glutamine. Add a pinch of salt. Add water to your desired consistency. Shake it up and drink after each workout! For added flavor, add a banana or some strawberries and whip it up in a blender, yum!
We use a shaker bottle for one serving. For multi-day events, we use resealable baggies and combine the ingredients ahead of time for a shake after each event. Just add water!
Support local businesses and visit R. Down's Nutrition Center. They have everything that you need. Just tell Jacob or Michael that Coach Al sent you!
For convenience, Amazon also has most of the ingredient options.
We are Coach Al and Trish. Our goal is to share good nutrition and help support healthy lifestyles while keeping it real and simple because we all have busy lives. Nothing fancy, just real food for real life and cycling encouragement for a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Please leave a comment or question! Happy eating and cycling!