On long run days I’m finding that I’m reaching the end of the day on a big calorie deficit. You might think this is a fortunate position to be in – just go eat a few Big Macs! – but realistically I’m absolutely bushed after my run and am not feeling hungry at all. If I don’t even out my calories for the day, it means my glycogen stores aren’t being replenished and my body might start eating away at some of that hard-earned muscle for fuel, meaning that in the long term the run would have taken away to my fitness, not added to it.
In steps the recovery shake. You might be used to protein shakes straight after the gym, and this one does have protein, but also has carbohydrates to refill glycogen stores in the muscles and liver, plus fat to avoid a blood sugar spike. I blitz mine into a smoothie so I still get the fibre benefits of the full fruit – I’m still using my Nutri Ninja blender* which totally liquifies everything.
Coconut and pineapple are two of my favourite flavours – so what could be better than a recovery shake that mixes the two, AND does good?! For this piña colada shake (non-alcoholic, might I add) you’ll need:
A quarter of a fresh pineapple
1 small carton of coconut water
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
1 scoop of Scitec Piña Colada Balanced Recovery powder
I’ve spoken about the benefits of pineapple before; it contains a powerful anti-inflammatory agent which will help calm any post-run niggles that may be rearing their ugly heads. In this instance it also acts as a source of fructose, which is known for shooting through your system quickly, but because of the pineapple’s fibre and coconut oil being present, it keeps your blood sugar stable. Coconut oil has so many benefits, not least for your immune, digestive and endocrine systems, which may not be firing on all cylinders after a very tiring long run.
You lose a lot of electrolytes when you sweat, which coconut water helps to rebalance. What I didn’t realise is that the electrolytes also prevent the day after’s DOMS, so I’ve been drinking it after working out – you can thank my PT for that tip! The Scitec Balanced Recovery arrived as a sample in an order I made, and it’s by far the tastiest protein powder I’ve tasted – it’s such an unusual flavour. It contains just over 20g of protein, which is an ideal amount for your body to absorb in one go, but also contains carbohydrates, electrolytes and amino acids, meaning it’s perfect for not only those who lift weight, but endurance athletes’ recovery too.
As well as all the health benefits this shake is ridiculously tasty, so even if I’m not feeling hungry I’ll still want to drink it! Whether you flop out after a long run, have to go to work, or maybe decide to go to brunch, it’s important to restore your energy so you can be the best you can be for the next long training run.