After doing a number of talks on Sports Nutrition for the high performance hockey academys, and also working with the South African Women’s National Hockey side, it reminded me how important recovery nutrition is.

Research shows that combining protein with carbohydrate within in 30 minutes of exercise nearly doubles that rate at which your energy stores are replaced, which means you’ll be able to workout just as hard the next day!

Sports Nutrition – Recovery Meal and Snack Ideas

How to speed up recovery:

  • The best way to promote recovery after exercise is by having a recovery meal or snack within 30 minutes after you have completed your exercise.
  • The ideal snack or meal needs to consist of carbohydrates and protein.  The carbohydrates are needed to replace your energy stores. And the protein is needed for muscle growth and repair.

The optimal ratio of carbohydrate to protein for this effect is 4:1 (4 grams of carbohydrate to 1 gram of protein).  Eating more protein than that actually has a negative impact because it slows rehydration and glycogen replenishment (energy store replacement).

Remember to drink plenty of fluid to rehydrate!

Try some of these recovery snacks or meals ideas:

  • 1 sandwich (2 slices low GI bread) with cheese/meat/chicken/egg/tuna filling, plus 1 piece of fruit.
  • 250-350 ml of fruit smoothie (fruit mixed with milk or yoghurt)
  • 4 tablespoons Future life mixed with milk and a banana
  • 330 ml low fat chocolate milk
  • 1 ½  cups of fruit-flavoured yoghurt
  • Bowl of breakfast cereal with milk
  • ¾ cup of fruit-flavoured yoghurt topped with 1 cup of high fibre breakfast cereal
  • 250 g tin of baked beans on 2 slices of toast
  • 1.5 cups of fruit salad with ½ cup of fruit-flavoured yoghurt or frozen yoghurt
  • ¾ cup of fruit-flavoured yoghurt and a muesli bar
  • 2 crumpets or English muffins with thick spread of peanut butter
  • 250 g (large) baked potato/sweet potato with cottage cheese or grated cheese filling.

Please remember when researching to find nutrition information use reliable sources.

Here are some examples of reliable sources:

South African Dietetic Association:

British Dietetic Association:

Australian Dietetic Association:

American Dietetic Association:


Munchwize Dietitians are based in Claremont, Cape Town. To contact us, click here

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