Recovery Nutrition Tips for Runners
Recovery nutrition for runners is key to replenishing and refueling to ensure that you have energy stores available to use a day or even four days later. We review the basics of recovery nutrition for runners and how to use UCAN products for recovery.
THE GLYCOGEN WINDOW
Muscle healing is aided by proteins and fats. We have finite carbohydrate stores, and if you train for a long time or at a high intensity, those carbohydrate stores will be depleted to some level, and you will need to replenish them.
The enzyme that helps replace your stores is pushed up above usual levels for the first 30 minutes following your workout, known as the glycogen window. Because the enzyme can take up to two hours to return to normal, if you eat carbohydrates within that glycogen window, your body will restock carbohydrates faster.
RECOVERY NUTRITION TIPS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
The problem with recovery nourishment for runners aiming to lose weight is that it’s typically not tailored to the exercise they’ve just completed. The difference between the actual number of calories burned and what they estimated is frequently large. People will eat based on what they just ran, and they will eat excessively because they believe they expended more calories than they actually did. This is especially true for inexperienced runners. If you’re trying to lose weight or improve your body composition, this can be detrimental.
When trying to maintain or change your body composition, insulin is the most crucial hormone to manage. You should avoid carbs that generate a large increase in blood glucose, as this will stimulate a large increase in insulin. Insulin is influenced by two types of carbohydrates: fast-acting and slow-acting.
The fast-acting type (sugar, white bread, energy gel) causes a jump in your blood glucose level, prompting your body to release a large amount of insulin to bring it back to normal. Your blood glucose levels will be significantly more stable if you eat a slower-acting carbohydrate. When your insulin levels rise dramatically, you’ll inevitably store extra fat.
You’ll want to focus your post-run recovery nutrition on carbohydrates that don’t cause a large surge in blood glucose (and insulin). Following an exercise with something like a UCAN shake restores carbohydrate storage while keeping blood glucose constant, avoiding the rise and crash that we’re all wanting to avoid.
UCAN NUTRITION FOR RECOVERY
UCAN nutrition products differ significantly from typical sports nutrition and recovery drinks based on sugar and maltodextrin. SuperStarch is a slow-burning, slow-acting carbohydrate found in UCAN nutrition products that helps you prevent insulin spikes by keeping blood glucose levels steady while rebuilding glycogen stores.
UCAN provides a calm and constant energy for whatever activity you’re undertaking by keeping your insulin levels low. Aside from the science, managing blood glucose helps you manage your energy for longer periods of time and avoid cravings or the voracious hunger we frequently experience when we don’t fuel properly.
Running words like “rungry” and “hangry” refer to concerns related to blood glucose swings or the spike and crash effect. Many of these concerns can be alleviated by using something like UCAN with protein to manage your blood glucose. When you utilize UCAN, you’re collaborating with your body and taking advantage of what it wants you to do, because everyone wants their blood glucose levels to stay stable. Simply put, your body performs better.