To reap the full benefits of a training session, you must recover properly. In this episode, sports nutritionist Dr. Krista Austin details the importance of post-workout nutrition and how it impacts recovery. The TriDot team discusses how factors such as the time between training sessions, time to the next scheduled meal, and overall nutrition goals impact how you should fuel after your training. Establishing a recovery nutrition protocol will not only allow you to conquer your next scheduled session, but can also improve your sleeping habits and cognitive function, which will further benefit athletic performance.
TriDot Podcast .25:
Post Workout Nutrition to Maximize Recovery
This is the TriDot podcast. TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training. Giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire and entertain. We'll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests. Join the conversation and let's improve together.
Andrew Harley: Welcome everyone, I am so glad that you are joining us for today's triathlon conversation. We will be talking about what we should be putting into our bodies after a workout to properly help our body recover. My first guest joining us today is our resident nutritional expert Dr. Krista Austin. Krista is an exercise physiologist and nutritionist who has consulted with the U.S. Olympic Committee in the English institute of sport. She's a PhD in exercise physiology and sports nutrition, a master's degree in exercise physiology and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Krista thanks so much for coming back on the show.
Dr. Krista Austin: Hey, thanks for having me again Andrew. I'm excited to be here and share some more exciting nutrition information.
Andrew Harley: Absolutely and I do have to say Dr. Austin now that we have a few podcast episodes with you that have come out and our athletes are hearing it, we are getting rave reviews on the information you're providing and how helpful it is for all of our athletes. They are hungry for more, so thanks so much for coming back on.
Dr. Krista Austin: Yeah, well I hope we can kind of de-confuse them a little bit because I know they get a lot of messages and our whole goal is just to you know help inform them as to how they can fuel their bodies the best. So, hopefully we can give some more insight today.
Andrew Harley: Well next up joining me today is coach Jeff Raines. Jeff has a master's of science in exercise physiology and was a successful D1 collegiate runner. He's qualified for the Boston Marathon multiple times and has raised over a hundred and twenty triathlons from competitive sprints to full distance Iron Man's. Jeff has been coaching runners and triathletes since 2009. Jeff how you feeling about today's topic?
Jeff Raines: I'm so excited to be here and this is my first episode with Dr. Austin. So, I am humbled honored and my mouth is watering, talking about post-workout meals and so forth.
Andrew Harley: Yep and Jeff Raines is one of our experts who comes on and talks all things swim, bike and run and I'm excited to have him join me to help ask some of the questions to Dr. Austin. Jeff is just a beloved coach in the TriDot family. So, Jeff is just gonna kind of chime in and give us the coach's perspective on some of the questions that we're asking and make sure we're really getting the best information out of our nutritional expert Dr. Austin.
So, who am I, you might be wondering? I am your host, Andrew the average triathlete, voice of the people and the captain of the middle of the pack. So, today we're gonna get going with a question about volunteering at an Ironman. Then we'll move into the main set, talking about the most beneficial foods to eat right after a workout. Then we'll cool down with a segment that we call ‘My favorite local race’. It's gonna be a good one, let's get rolling.
Time to warm up, let's get moving
All right today's warm-up question is going to take us straight to the Ironman race course. We all know it's important to give back to the sport and one of the best and most fun ways to do that is by volunteering on course. Now if you are volunteering for an Ironman, our warm-up question for today guys is “What position would you most want to serve?”. Now Jeff, I know you've done quite a bit of this over your years in the sport. Where do you like serving on race day as a volunteer?
Jeff Raines: I've traveled all over, racing and also coaching and being on course to provide support for my athletes. One thing that I like to do is volunteer to give back to the sport and one of my favorites is the swim exit and or T1. A lot of athletes tend to be a little bit timid about the swim and it's just the look on their face, as you're pulling someone out of the water like I did it. The hard part is over, I still got a long day to go but just that look of “You know what? If I got out of the water, I'm gonna finish this dang thing” and so I love being there and just greeting my athletes, slapping them a high five, you know roll into T1, seeing them and being able to grab their bike for them and help them on the rest of their day. It is just a super super fun place to volunteer.
Andrew Harley: Now you recently got to do that for our fellow coach, John Mayfield. An Ironman in Arizona where you were actually assigned to the bike rack, where his bike was racked, right? So, you were you were helping him through T1?
Jeff Raines: It's really cool yeah, we had almost 150 TriDot athletes’ race Ironman Arizona and so me working for T1 for a number of hours that morning, I got to slap a high-five to almost every one of our athletes as they rolled into T1. I made sure that the bike rack that I was managing was the John Mayfield's rack. So, it was really great to just grab his bike for him, give him a good slap on the back. “Attaboy, get on the bike and let's go”. So, it was very fun doing that and I will say that ‘Bike course Marshall’, that's a little bit of a tougher one. But being out on the course and the elements when you tend to be in that no-man's land and your mind's playing tricks with you. It's getting hot, you’re at Mile 80, 90 of an Iron Man. It's harder to volunteer way out on the bike course, away from everything but it's very good spot if you want to be there for your athletes, when they can or tend to be in a dark place. So, if it's your first-time volunteering, I'd probably stay in the T1 area. (But a little closer to home, a little bit closer to the action in T1 for sure.)
Andrew Harley: Yeah, so Dr. Austin, if you were volunteering at a race and I know that you have been at many race days for your athletes. Where do you usually find yourself volunteering?
Dr. Krista Austin: Well you know the athletes have kind of already identified this for me, fortunately. I think they're right. Really, it's to be out there to coach them through the nutrition components as they go by. They said you know if we had issues and you were just out there at key points and we could just ask you as we ran by or biked by, that's what would help us the most and they're probably right about that. That probably is where I belong if I'm out there as a volunteer. So, that's probably where you would find me.
Andrew Harley: That's a great concept because you know you're halfway through your race and you know we pay so much to train for these races, to sign up for the race, register for the race, get out there. Whether an athlete is a is a nutritional client or not, whether they have paid for that service or not it would be great for Ironman to - you know they're giving them on course nutrition. It would be super great to maybe at the special needs area, you know on the run course on the bike course to have somebody there to just kind of help guide them through their day because there's so many things they're having to think about. So, that that's a really great concept. Have you done that for your athletes on marathon day, on triathlon day?
Dr. Krista Austin: Yeah, so I think the biggest memory I have a being out on course is actually at Ironman Texas. I want to say it was in 2019 and I was sitting on the side, it was really hot. I just had some water with me and I was out there you know waiting for the athletes to go by. The people in the home across the way saw me sitting there and they're like man, this is you know this is so sad. I think they just thought I was like a bum out there on the street, right? So, they invited me over and they said “Let's get you a chair” and then we're sitting there talking. They're like “Can we get you something to drink?” and I said “Sure, that's fine.” and so they gave me something to drink and a little snack.
Then later on they turn around and they go “Hey, you know we could grill some hamburgers. Would you like you know would you like a hamburger or something to like you know have while you're out here?”. All I could think in the back of my head was if my athlete comes by and I'm sitting here with a juicy hamburger with ketchup and mustard and pickles, he is gonna have me for that. So, that's probably one of my favorite memories of being out there actually on course and just having some nutrition experience, I guess you could say with the locals. I will tell you; I think if any athlete saw me eating a hamburger while they are out there suffering like no tomorrow, especially when it's that hot, they would definitely have some words for me after that. So, I passed on that one which was probably the smart thing to do and just waited until I could see them at the end.
Andrew Harley: If I was at mile 20 of an Ironman run and my coach was standing on the side of the course, with a double meat cheeseburger and I'm over there suffering on the course, I would be upset.
Jeff Raines: Thank you for the offer but I'm here for my athlete.
Andrew Harley: Yeah, so I did cheat a little bit. We have used this one question one time before. I got a TriDot founder Jeff Booher and coach John Mayfield answer this question for me, but I really wanted to bring it back and hear what Jeff Raines had to say because he's done this quite a bit and I wanted to hear Dr. Austin, your experience as a different type of coach. Coaching us through a nutrition plan, coaching us through the sports physiology side of things. I wanted to kind of hear your experience on race course. So, I've answered this question on the podcast myself. If anybody caught that episode my favorite position to serve is at the swim exit, I really enjoy seeing the look on people's faces when they're coming out of the water and they're done with that part of the race.
But the one position I want to give a shout out to today, that I always think to myself is just got to be the hardest thing, is the guy or gal who is at the points on the course where there's like the loop. So, they're reminding athletes “Go this way for your second loop.” “Go this way to finish”. You know you know what I mean? Like that's that position because they have to stand there and say that over and over and over again. Because yes on the bike course on the run course those little loop points, there's a new athlete coming every couple second and we're a little dehydrated, we're a little delirious, we’ve been on course for a long time. That's so helpful right to have that person audibly reminding you of which way you're supposed to go at a major junction of a race course. But for that person they have to stand there for hours and hours and hours just screaming the same instruction over and over and over again. So, I want to give a shout to anybody who's done that at a race. I don’t know about you guys but I think that looks crazy hard. When you're in race mode Jeff, do you think about that person?
Jeff Raines: Yes and no. It is super super beneficial when your mind is just going in a million different directions and that one person is just nailing that job and you turn a corner and you don't know what's around that corner and somebody just doing that job and doing it well, it is a game changer in the moment racing.
Andrew Harley: Well thanks so much to everybody who if you're planning on volunteering at a course this year, you already have plans in the works. Maybe you've already signed up, a big thank you to you for helping make the athletes’ day go that much smoother and if you're an athlete and you've never volunteered at an Ironman at a 70.3 at your local sprint, it's super great to get back to the sport and I would encourage you to look into doing it. It's just really cool to be on at a race venue without having the pressure of racing yourself. So, if you haven't given back to the sport in that way, I would just encourage you to find a race near you and volunteer.
On to the main set, going in three, two, one.
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So, head to their website generationucan.com and use the code TriDot to save 15% on your entire order. I think on the surface we all know that what we consume right after a workout is super important. Yet for so many of us this becomes an afterthought or maybe it's just guesswork on getting the right stuff nutritionally into our bodies after exercise. So, Dr. Austin just talk to us a little bit about why post-workout recovery is so important?
Dr. Krista Austin: So, what you eat after exercise initiates the actual repair process. If we don't repair our bodies, we don't recover, we don't adapt and we don't move forward. The smart athlete actually says “I'm gonna focus everything I do”, whether it's training methodologies or their nutrition “around the concept of recovery” and so that's what our recovery nutrition needs to be intended for, is to how do we accelerate that actual recovery process?
Jeff Raines: Yeah, and I think a lot of athletes from an athlete point of view they think “Okay, if I buy that kind of expensive foam roller or that Fara gun, then okay I'm good on my recovery. You know if I have those in my toolbox –“
Andrew Harley: Those are the sexy recovery toys.
Jeff Raines: Yeah, then I'm good to go, so now all season long I have those at my you know exposure here. So, I'm good on the recovery, I got it. But the nutrition is the biggest tool. I like the way and that could be different every workout. So, it's not a matter of you know having just that one item or that one recovery tool, so the nutrition aspect being the main tool I really like that.
Dr. Krista Austin: So, since nutrition is the tool that we can apply most rapidly for the recovery process and because we need to view nutrition as this recovery tool, we need to think of it based on a scenario of how many hours or how long does the actual recovery process last. Typically, the recovery process lasts 24 to even 48 hours in between key workouts. We've got to think about it from start to finish. So, if you're gonna recover and adapt properly, that means that before you even start that workout you fuel your body with what's needed. So, for instance maybe we make sure that you get at least 25 grams of protein in your breakfast and at least a gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight before you even start to train. Then typically for most athletes, if you take a look at their day and the amount of calories they're expending, they got to start to replenish anyway as soon as that workout is over. Because there's been long enough between when you woke up and say “Let's have breakfast” to when you complete the workout that it's been about three maybe even four hours. So, we have to realize that if we're gonna follow our recovery processes in the manner that we should and optimize them, we're gonna start fueling right away as soon as we stop training because we've got calories to replete. We've got muscle to repair and that's when often times any of the products that we choose to use are going to have protein in them, about another 20 to 25 grams because it's been about three hours and every three to four hours, we probably should have about 25 grams of protein.
Typically for most athletes that means they're either going to have a food source sitting there that is going to provide them with that 25 grams of protein or they're gonna take something like a recovery shake that gives them that protein or they're going to have a recovery shake with part of the protein source and carbohydrates in it and then add to it a food source that gives them the other component that they're looking for. Now that's kind of pretty familiar for someone like myself. I'll take a carbohydrate protein drink that gives me maybe 50% of what I need and then I'll take something like a Greek yogurt that has you know 12 to 15 grams of protein and at least you know 20 grams of carbohydrate to it and add that in to facilitate a recovery snack.
Then as we keep moving throughout the day and we need to replace that energy intake, you know we shower, we get ready and then recovery rolls into that actual next meal. So, it's an entire 24 to 48-hour process depending on the workout you did and how depleted you actually became.
Andrew Harley: Yeah absolutely and I liked what you said because I've never thought about this before. On our basics of nutrition podcast with you, you talked a little bit about you know how far before workout you want to get some food in your system, you want to get some fuel in you. I've never considered the fact that, if you're doing it right when you're working out, your last meal was hours before the workout. So, you go through your workout and now the body needs fuel anyway even if you hadn't worked out. Your body is at a place where it would already need fuel. So, there's that consideration as well, I've never considered that. So, talk to me about this, what are the components of training that determine how you approach, what nutrition you have post exercise?
How do you view the concept of post exercise nutrition, is that a specific you know window of time that we're trying to get food in? Is there certain foods we're trying to get in? Just talk to me about just a concept of post exercise nutrition.
Dr. Krista Austin: So, you have to look at post exercise nutrition based on several key factors. I use four. One is the intensity of training that was just performed and how many calories were truly expended during that training session. Two is you know the amount of time you have until you have that next intense training session. For some athletes that may be later in the day, so you really have to accelerate the process and get as much muscle glycogen repletion as possible before going into that one. The third might be you know the time since your last fueling time point. So, I kind of just touched on that one. If you had breakfast three, four or five hours ago, you need to make sure that you're increasing the amount of calories pretty substantively because you just expended a whole bunch. Then fourth is just your overall nutrition goals. People go into these sessions in different states, some want to keep their body weight up, others are trying to gain weight and then others are trying to actually lose weight. They will actually utilize exercise as the means to facilitate weight loss.
So, when we look at the recovery processes, we need to take that into account. Do I use a fast-acting carbohydrates post exercise because I have another hard session later today or because I'm trying to enhance my recovery processes, accelerate them and maintain body weight or gain weight, they'll probably use a fast-acting carbohydrate. Conversely someone who is maybe trying to lose weight is going to use a more slow release carbohydrate because they need the satiety effects of it, because they need that energy deficit to occur through exercise, then they will utilize the appropriate fuel to help them tolerate the deficit they're trying to experience in the best manner possible. So, it's always very dependent on those four things in my opinion and that way for each athlete, for each training session it becomes a very unique and individualized protocol to facilitate recovery.
Jeff Raines: So, Dr. Austin let me ask you this, so you know how does the training frequency drive how you determine your post-workout nutrition. So, like how many times you're going to workout in one week, is it a certain phase of your training, like when should you consume your first post training fuel? Like does your nutrition approach impact this? Kind of like keto versus kind of intermittent fasting, traditional diet, stuff like that.
Dr. Krista Austin: Yeah so, if your next hard training session is within a few hours most people are going to need to accelerate the restoration of muscle glycogen. Because most people are on a very normative nutrition plan, where the carbohydrate fat protein is within the acceptable macronutrient distribution range. So, we'll use a you know low osmolality high molecular weight carbohydrate to consume post-exercise, at least a gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight I usually say within the first 30 to 45 minutes. Whereas if you're a keto athlete, I will say that that changes the story a bit and they might have something like a keto smoothie bowl or something of that nature where they have the caloric density but they don't have the carbohydrate to it.
Because they want to stay in ketosis or they'll have a more keto friendly carbohydrate like the UCAN super starch because it doesn't spike insulin and it gives them a way to at least help you know stabilize their glucose to a certain extent as they begin to prepare for that next session. Conversely, you may have people that don't have another intense training session for 24 or even 48 hours and that's actually more common I think for the day to day person, is that they'll work out hard Monday and not work out hard again until Thursday. In that instance we can take a much slower approach to the recovery process, because there's not going to be a hard-back-to-back session. We can say let's get our calories in, we'll adapt it to what is healthiest for our bodies and our overall nutrition goals. It can be a far steadier process over that 24 to 48-hour period. Whether it's the repletion of the fluid and electrolytes or the repletion of total energy intake. The longer we have between hard sessions, the longer we can we take in the recovery process. Although for most athletes I will turn around and say look, the sooner you recover, the sooner you're going to adapt so let's not ever leave ourselves in an actual energy deficit for any prolonged period of time that's an unnecessary one.
So, for most they should be focused on restoring energy balance as soon as possible, regardless of the type of nutrition plan that they're on. Because even the athlete on a keto diet needs to turn around and get all the calories that they need. They shouldn't be sitting in a caloric deficit from those training sessions just because they're on a specialized nutrition plan like a ketogenic diet.
Andrew Harley: So, talking about just some of the different product categories that are out there. Again, like you said, we did a whole podcast on just the different types of products that exist in the market. But I think while we're talking about that, a lot of athletes are used to going that people's websites, are going to you know the Walmart, Target, GNC, Amazon. Wherever they're shopping for products, I think maybe they're used to seeing companies advertise “Oh, you know take this pre-workout.” “This is for during workout.” “This product's for post-workout”. You're mentioning some companies like Vitargo and UCAN that that don't necessarily market their products as “Oh, this is for post recovery”. I think a lot of your average athletes view those kind of products as “Oh, that's fueling me for my training”. But are those types of products also good for post-workout as well?
Dr. Krista Austin: So, typically what we recommend to people with regards to nutrition products like the sport nutrition products, is that we use them judiciously and when we need to. So, if we have the time in our schedule to take a Whole Foods approach, we want you to do that. We don't want you using sport nutrition products unless it's truly necessary. So, most of the time those products are left for that quick turnaround, when you really have to replete quickly between sessions or you have really high levels of energy expenditure for the athlete that maybe has a hard time getting all their calories in because they burn so many calories. We'll take something like the Vitargo and increase its frequency throughout the day because you don't feel it when you drink it.
So, because they don't feel it, you're not dealing with all the satiety signals that they typically get from their food consumption. So, what we try to do with people is say “Okay, look. Eat a whole foods nutrition plan as much as you possibly can and then supplement post-exercise with the sport nutrition products as appropriate to meet your calorie needs or to facilitate and recovery that you need to have happen very quickly”. So, that's how we try to approach it from a post exercise “Do you use whole foods versus sport nutrition product” scenario. After exercise you do need to remember though that you're pretty dehydrated and because blood flow is not robust in and around the gastrointestinal area, you're gonna find a significant need regardless of what you do to rehydrate in order to get anything to be processed by that system.
That is where sometimes we do turn around and use something like these high molecular weight carbohydrates that have the real low osmolality because at the end of the day those guys don't need all the blood flow to help facilitate delivery. So, if you are super dehydrated and even if you've got 48 hours, sometimes we need to prime that system before we start eating whole foods. So, we will use the sport nutrition products then just to prime the system just because you're so dehydrated. So, there are different instances but for the most part we want you to rely on a whole food nutrition plan unless you really need the sport nutrition products. Whole Foods give you micronutrients that most sport nutrition products do not. They also give you things like fiber that is important for overall health. So, we try to focus on Whole Foods whenever possible.
Jeff Raines: Dr. Austin, that was that was great stuff. I have an unscripted curveball question for you here. It's coming in hot, here it comes. So, the curveball is this. Coming in from an athlete's point of view, factor myth or what is your insight on this? I have heard that and I've been in some dark places on some really long runs, really long rides and your mind starts playing tricks with you.
Andrew Harley: In the 120 triathlons you've raced?
Jeff Raines: Absolutely and is it true that the foods that you're craving and thinking about in the middle of these workouts, like if I'm 90 miles into a hundred-mile ride and I'm kind of in no-man's land. I'm almost done and I'm just craving queso or something funny like that. I've heard that like what you crave is your body kind of subconsciously telling you what you really need. So, maybe there is something there that you might want to include, something like that in that post recovery meal. Is that true? Is that weird?
Dr. Krista Austin: Typically, what the body is telling us, is that it's in a form of an energy deficit. If we start to get hungry or we start to get real cravings and at the end of the day, yes. You're depleting carbohydrate sodium and fluid. So, it's going to turn you back to whatever you are mentally conditioned towards to help replace that. Typically, we design that within our brain based on our day-to-day behaviors. I'll give you a good example. I used to do these really long runs up at altitude there in Colorado and I would get extremely dehydrated, very depleted with the carbohydrate side and the sodium side of it. On the way back home there was a 7-eleven and one day I just stopped in and I got a Slurpee, a Coca Cola Slurpee because I was like man that helps you replete muscle glycogen very quickly. I was just really craving something. So, I had one.
Then I went home and you know I did my more usual recovery process. But then what happened was the next time I was out there on that run, guess what came to my brain when I was really depleted? Oh, I need a Coca Cola Slurpee. So, what do you do? You start to condition your brain to say “I want a Coca Cola Slurpee” whenever I get into the state. So, I think it's something that we have to be cognizant of, that we can condition our bodies and our brains into wanting something when we're in states of energy depletion or sodium or glycogen depletion. We have to think about what is it that we're going to be able to access on a regular basis? What's healthiest for us on a regular basis and try to work towards that. Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a small Coca Cola Slurpee. When you’ve been you know doing a really long run and you're really depleted but we do need to think about its role in our overall nutrition plan.
So, yeah you can condition yourself and your body does know that you're in a state of depletion but typically it's going to turn towards whatever you have conditioned yourself to want and to desire.
Andrew Harley: Yeah, I think the other side of that and at the time we were recording this, I'm down in Austin Texas with Jeff Raines. That's where coach Jeff Raines is from. We actually just had a really, really, awesome TriDot ambassadors camp and so shout out to all of our ambassadors that were with us in Austin for some a couple fun days of you know swimming, biking and running. But while we were here in Austin, Austin is just a food truck mecca. You know artists and tacos galore. So, you know when we were going all these little Austin food spots there was always yeah you know brisket tacos and all these like really funky fun concoction meals. But there wasn't, we weren't going anywhere that had a significant source of vegetables. So, by the time the camp was done, my body was craving vegetables. We as a staff are like “Hey, let's go grab lunch”. All the ambassadors just you know headed to the airport to head home and you know the guys started talking about how we'd get burgers here, we can get tacos there. I was like “I need some vegetables”. So, maybe that is Dr. Austin the example of your body's saying “Hey, I haven't had this in a few days, I need it. Whereas the craving chocolate, craving sugar because you've conditioned your body that to need it is maybe the other side of that that you're talking about.
Dr. Krista Austin: Yeah, I mean it's the same concept. At the end of the day, if you are very accustomed to having a diet filled with fruits and vegetables and all of a sudden you take it out and you spend a few days away from it, there's two things that are going on. One your body realizes that it's not there any longer and two I think subconsciously, you're someone who wants to eat “the right way” right. You want to eat healthy and so subconsciously you're going “Okay, I have not had the fruits and vegetables that I typically do. I'm definitely off my usual healthy eating patterns, I need to get back to that”. So, at the end of the day we always condition ourselves towards the foods that we need and that we want to have. So, it's always about taking that into consideration regardless of what you're doing. Whether it's day to day diet, post-exercise recovery nutrition but yes you can easily you know condition yourself to want even fruits and vegetables when you've been away from them for quite some time.
Jeff Raines: Well thank you so much for asking that unscripted a curveball question there.
Andrew Harley: That was definitely a little side tangent but it was a really really cool one, right? That's super interesting.
Jeff Raines: Yeah, thank you for you know just kind of helping me out there with that thought there in the moment I had. So, we talked a little bit about kind of like the - have your nutrition macro goals and you should be able to you know that as how it coincides with your training frequency, right? Then what those goals are determines what you eat right after a workout. Then you talked a little bit about training intensity. So, there's the funny saying kind of in the triathlon world is do you train to eat or do you eat to train? Us triathletes, we like to eat. We do these big workouts; we want to reward ourselves a little bit and there's kind of a new concept out there. Kind of like carb periodization or diet periodization, kind of as it coincides with where you're at in your season.
So, like if you're at a point in your season where you're focusing on more intensity or do we work out harder or longer? Like do we need more calories for recovery after? Are our needs always similar regardless of what we did in the training session because I can do an easy zone two work out and have a giant puddle of sweat underneath my bike let's say but I also still have a whole lot of sweat under the bike, you know on a really high intensive bike session.
Andrew Harley: So, does intensity affect what we need after a workout is what you're getting at?
Jeff Raines: Exactly.
Dr. Krista Austin: Yeah, so intensity and the number of calories burned in a training session should definitely influence how much we're going to consume immediately post. So, the more we burn, the more we should actually begin to replenish immediately. Just because we want our energy flux which is the rate of energy taken in and you know put out, we want it to be high. So, if we have a high energy expenditure versus a low energy expenditure, we need to tie these things together to tell us how frequently and how much are we going to be eating. So, let's say you have a day of where your energy expenditure is really low. Because you've taken the day off, maybe you're just going for a low-end yoga class or something like that and you're sitting behind the desk at work. People ask me this a lot these days about the concept of fasting. They say well can I use fasting? Can I do it every day? Can I do it on certain days of the week? That's where you turn around and you say you know what on those days where I have a really low energy expenditure, if I want a fast for a component of the day, as long as I meet my caloric needs that's what I can try something like that.
Conversely when I'm burning a lot of calories, you know 1,000 2,000 3,000 calories in a training session, that's the last thing that we want to do. So, we want the rate of intake to match the rate of output and that's what's so critical for athletes to keep that metabolism up.
Andrew Harley: So, just talking about athletes and maybe their different goals. Every athlete is really in a different place in their health and fitness journey to begin with. There's some folks that are trying to lose weight, there's some folks that are trying to gain weight, some want to bulk up or some want to thin out and some are happy right where they're at and they just want to stay there and just improve as an athlete. So, Dr. Austin tell me this, how would someone's overall nutrition goals impact the recovery nutrition?
Dr. Krista Austin: So, that's you know primarily going to revolve around the type of fuel they're going to consume immediately post exercise and the nutritional approach that they're going to use to either help facilitate their weight modification goals of weight loss or weight gain or maintaining body weight. So, for example someone looking to gain weight may choose to implement fast-acting carbohydrates. Whereas those looking to lose weight might use a slow release carbohydrate to help control their hunger. If someone's just trying to improve as an athlete, they may just do it based on preference. So, at the end of the day we always need to be taken into account what are the overall or overarching goals of the nutrition program when we choose what it is that we're taking in post exercise. That's where most people should be, they should be thinking about the overarching goals and then go from there.
Andrew Harley: So, you were saying that the post-workout nutrition starts immediately after exercise and we've kind of gone over all of that. It was earlier mentioned that it should also extend throughout the rest of the day. So, what does the rest of someone's day or what should it look like from the perspective of recovery nutrition and after that big recovery meal is in and we still have the rest of the day to go?
Dr. Krista Austin: So, if you take a look at the ideal scenario, what you would have someone doing is every three to four hours consuming a certain amount of carbohydrates and protein. I really do emphasize the protein aspects because it should be about 20 to 25 grams every three hours. That's where most endurance athlete’s kind of hurt. They tend to forget about the protein or at least that's what I've noticed and what we like for them to do is to evenly distribute it out over the rest of the day once we account for whatever they consume immediately post exercise.
In addition, we want them sipping on fluids with electrolytes to replace sweat losses and all the electrolytes they lose when they do that high-end exercise. Most of the time what you'll notice is that people will eat but they forget to drink. They don't realize how much they're going to have to drink. Instead of just pounding it when they first finish, what we like people to do is actually to take that 24-hour period to get everything back that they need. You don't have to inhale it as soon as you're finished. That's what most people don't understand that if you go and you sweat out six pounds and lose six pounds of fluid while you're training, you can actually take an entire 24 hour period to replace all of that from the time you stopped exercise. At the end of the day that's usually better because then you're not just running to the restroom.
Most people who just pound the fluids after exercise and they're not truly thirsty maybe typically just end up actually excreting those. So, we have to think about it on the whole from protein intake to the amount of carbohydrates to the actual fluid and most people do best with a very staggered approach. Where they're just consistently moving throughout the day and taking something in and by taking something in consistently over time, they get the best result. They don't ever feel too full and inhibit appetite and they don't ever feel too hungry and kind of go overboard at the end of the day.
Andrew Harley: So, far without even trying hydration has worked its way into every Dr. Austin podcast that we've done so far. I want to ask about it here as well, you mentioned it just now. But just in terms of biologically for the body, what role does hydration play in our body's ability to recover?
Dr. Krista Austin: In my opinion, I think it's extremely impactful and I emphasize it probably more so than anything. Just because it's there to not only restore blood volume, so you got to have something to transport your nutrients, the carbs and proteins you're taking in. You need it there to help remove waste because you just went out, trained really hard, broke down muscle, you created more ammonia, burned through all this carbohydrate creating lactate and so you need it there to help remove the waste products. Then also just helping us to maintain something such as your cognition and your energy throughout the day, it is very dependent on your hydration status. You don't want to finish training and kind of be like dead to the world and not able to even function.
Most of us have jobs that we've got to go to. We've got family members to engage with. We've got other friends outside of our sport life that we want to give energy to and so in order to do that hydration is a very critical component along with restoration of those electrolytes. So, yeah, it's up there on my list I guess you could say. It's got a lot of critical and you know factors that we need to pay attention to. It plays a huge role.
Jeff Raines: So, from a coaches standpoint following up to that, I've heard a lot of coaches say “Well okay for day-to-day nutrition – “and correct me if I'm wrong here but you know “you need your just traditional eight glasses of water per day”. Maybe they're eight to 12 ounces each. But then on top of that for every pound you lose during a training session you need I've heard 20 ounces and you mentioned maybe 20 to 24 arguably ounces with some sort of electrolyte mix inside of it for every pound loss during that workout, on top of the just traditional day to day eight glasses of water. Would you say that is that for the average listener out there, is that just a go-to acceptable kind of range? Then even inside of that you kind of hear the same like “Oh, after a workout, carb to protein ratio, 4 to 1, 3 to 1 and I know there's different goals and you know if you're trying to lose weight and all that. But for just traditional, are they're safe just kind of go to ratios and in that regard?
Dr. Krista Austin: I would say you just need to do what you can tolerate best. At the end of the day, most people need at least 20 to 25 grams of protein every three hours. That's about what the body can process and because we know that, I say go ahead and kind of you know make that your base on the protein side and then take carbohydrates in based on what you can tolerate and the rate at which you know you're going to be able to successfully replace everything throughout the day. I try to go for at least a gram per kilogram of bodyweight but often times most can only get like half a gram right away per kilogram of body weight. So, give yourself some wiggle room and tolerance and just know that everyone is different.
If we can get there in a gradual process and meet all of our needs, spread it out based on what's best for you. To what your body responds to in terms of gut function, how you feel, how well you come around after you train and that's gonna be what's in your best interest.
Andrew Harley: So, Dr. Austin if I'm doing my recovery nutrition correctly, is there a good barometer for like to tell if the foods I'm taking in are doing a good job of recovering me? Is there a certain way I should feel afterwards if I'm getting it right?
Dr. Krista Austin: You should feel far more ready to go for that next training session because you're sleeping better and you're sending nutrients to the muscle that facilitates recovery. You're not dragging throughout the day; you've got better cognitive focus. At the end of the day someone who's doing recovery well actually has to hold themselves back in their other training sessions that are supposed to just be easy. Mainly because they feel so good, they can go out there and just overdo it on the easy days because they are so well recovered. So, often times if you're doing it right, you're going to feel good, you're going to feel better and you're gonna have to hold yourself back on your easier days.
Jeff Raines: So, Dr. Austin, I've heard people say this but like is there a way to compensate for overtraining or doing a workout, that you know you kind of get caught up in it. Maybe you rode a little bit longer with a group than you should have. Maybe that workout was just way too intense for the curve fitness level that you're at, is there a way to compensate for that for like nutrition recovery to kind of help negate the overtraining or pushing too hard in that session? Can we kind of even that out with kind of tricking the nutrition aspect?
Dr. Krista Austin: Absolutely not, I mean when we fuel somebody, they can do a lot of work and that is great. But what we have to remember is that just because we can fuel someone up to tolerate a really high level of training, eventually there's going to be negative feedback that comes into the body because of everything else that's actually occurring. No matter how well you fuel the body, you're going to eventually end up shutting it down if you are overtraining. Or if you accelerate the training too quickly, what you also find is that there's no way from the nutrition to super compensate for the fact that you've almost acutely just over trained yourself.
So, remember that nutrition is there to facilitate training. But it can't compensate for something such as overtraining or training that's too intense for your current fitness level. So, don't ever assume that nutrition can do more than it's really intended to, Athletes need a well-controlled application of the training load and they shouldn't be ramping training too quickly and thinking that they can find anything whether it's nutrition or otherwise to help compensate for doing things a little too extreme.
Andrew Harley: So, Dr. Austin just to kind of wrap us up today and actually I'm gonna tweak this final question from what we had scripted because I think we've already covered what was scripted. But just to kind of wrap us up today, can you maybe give us a few concrete examples of just some of the whole foods, like some of the things you recommend your athletes work into those meals they're eating right after recovery? Obviously, it depends a little bit on the intensity, it depends a little bit on what they actually did in that session and what their body needs and what their fitness goals are. But just from a whole foods perspective what are some items that we can work into our meals right after recovery that you really recommend?
Dr. Krista Austin: So, oftentimes we do this based on their personal preferences. But they will like things just super simple. So, they'll take a turkey sandwich or they'll take cheese sticks and around roll turkey up around it and have crackers with it. They also might just make a homemade smoothie. So, they'll take a Greek yogurt some fruit and some juice and blend it up maybe with some ice to help them get that down. But at the end of the day we're always trying to find something that's super simple quick that they can pack up. Another thing they like to do is to take hard-boiled eggs and pack those into a container and have it with some crackers or pita chips or something of that nature that's salty as well. Another favorite one is just you know tuna on crackers and those are the type of items that we look for. It's something that tastes good, it's usually savory and it's not going to be something that they struggle to get down. It's something they like to snack on.
Andrew Harley: Those are some really really good examples, so thanks so much for that. The one thing I do want to comment on before we close is, you said smoothies. I know for several athletes out there, myself included Elizabeth James, TriDot coach included. We adore smoothies, they're super tasty. You can throw endless combinations of things together. My favorite personally kind of smoothie is anything coffee flavored. An example is infinite nutrition has their products called mud. It's basically just a coffee flavored protein powder and I like throwing that in with some peanut butter and bananas, coconut milk. They actually had a really good recipe on their website that is my go-to personal smoothie. It's a nice little dose of caffeine and coffee and protein and a nice little workout treat that I have on occasion. So, Jeff Reigns putting you on the spot, what is your absolute favorite go-to smoothie?
Jeff Raines: Oh, my goodness, I like a company called a HumanN. They’re closely associated with Beet Elite. But they've got some good concoctions in single-serve kind of whey protein-based recovery. But I always throw a banana, some sort of banana in mine. I just buy mixed fruit, bags of frozen mixed fruit and throw a handful of the fruit mix in there. But I really like chocolate after, you get a little bit of sweet in there as well, a little bit of a reward for doing a hard workout.
Dr. Krista Austin: So, mine is pretty easy. It's been consistent over the years. I love orange mango juice with a Greek yogurt in it. Usually it's a strawberry Greek yogurt, it's one or two servings of that and then I take some berries and a frozen banana and blend it up. Sometimes I'll add some extra fruit in there like mango or pineapple but on the whole that is my favorite smoothie. It always tastes good to me.
Great set everyone, let's cool down.
Andrew Harley: For our cooldown today, want to debut a brand new segment that we are going to call, my favorite local race. There are athletes in the TriDot family from literally all over the world and you guys know what the best races are in your neck of the woods. So, for anybody who maybe lives near you or anybody who is looking to travel to where you are from, you can give us the inside scoop on in your area, your country, your city, your state. You can tell us what the great races are that we should be looking into. So, today's athlete is from Central Florida and I have an honest confession to make you guys. I had my dad in town a couple weeks ago and while he was here, I could not pass up the opportunity to get him on the podcast.
My dad is a triathlete, started in the sport a few years ago, does a few races every single year. While he was here, I was like dad let's have you tell the people of the TriDot podcast family, what some of the best races are that they can check out if they're ever in the sunshine state of Florida. So, this is my dad, TriDot athlete, Robert telling us about a couple races he likes in the great state of Florida. Take it away dad.
Robert: Hello, TriDot athletes. I'm Robert coming to you from Central Florida. Today I'd like to talk about my two favorite locations for triathlons, the first is Fort DeSoto. It's a county park located in Pinellas County Florida right at the entrance of Tampa Bay on mullet key. It's a beautiful location for a triathlon. The swim starts off of North Beach, you swim on the Gulf of Mexico. You swim out a few hundred yards and then you swim parallel to the beach and then back in, bring your best tinted goggles when you're coming back in because you're going to be staring right at the Sun trying to find the markers coming back in. So, those tinted goggles are going to help you out quite a bit.
Then the bike is along the main thoroughfare through the north end of the park down to the east end of the park. The park is closed during the triathlon, so you don't worry about any traffic. So, you've got the whole road to yourself during the bike part and then the run is along the beach and out and back you start along the beach and then you come back on a bike trail back to start/finish line. So, it's a great location. There are several organizers that run triathlons from April through September at Fort de Soto. So, come on out and join us for triathlon at Fort DeSoto. The other triathlon that's one of my favorites is in Key West, it's the last triathlon of the year. It's always the first weekend in December. The keys are at a very unique location. So, going all the way out, 125 miles to the end of the Florida Keys is a very interesting place to have a triathlon. The swim is an out and back in the Atlantic Ocean, the bike is along USA 1A along the beach back toward the Naval Air Station and the run is along the same 1A that you just went down in the bike path. The weather can be a wild-card that time of year in Florida, the cold fronts come through and you can be quite windy during the event. Also, the sea state can be anywhere from the Atlantic Ocean, can be anything from glass to six to seven-foot waves. So, come on out and join us for one of my favorite triathlons.
Andrew Harley: Now I did not know in advance which races Robert was going to pick. He has done several races all over the state of Florida. But both Tri- Fort DeSoto and Tri- Key West are races I have traveled to and done that race and indeed they are loads of fun. Beautiful courses on the coast of Florida, they're both put on by a company called Multi-Race. I gotta say, they are probably the most organized and well-run races I have ever taken part in. Huge kudos to the folks at Multi-Race for putting on great events in scenic locations. They're the first company I've ever seen with TV screens scrolling finished times and placements, they're the first company to hand me a receipt with all of my race splits right after crossing the finish line.
The first time I traveled with my dad all the way down to Key West Florida to race there, it got canceled. The morning of there was some crazy mad weather and that they had to cancel the race while we were all on the beach in our wetsuits. It was the right call but multi-race generously gave us all a free registration for next year's race. You guys know gestures like that to us athletes just mean the world after a tough race cancellation. So, long story short I endorse both of these races wholeheartedly. Tri-Fort De Soto takes place three times a year. One in the spring, one in the summer and one in the fall, so lots of great options there. It's just outside of Tampa Florida and is a fantastic state park that's closed the morning of the race specifically for the race. Tri- Key West is held every December and is a great way to wrap up your season in a really scenic coastal place.
So, for all my Floridian listeners or just for anyone looking for an excuse to race-cation in the state of Florida, be sure to keep both of Robert’s top races in mind.
Well that's it for today folks, big thanks to Dr. Krista Austin and Coach Jeff Raines for talking about post-workout recovery. Shout out to UCAN for partnering with us on today's episode. UCAN actually just released a new energy powder with added plant-based protein meant for recovery. I'm currently trying to decide if I want to try the chocolate cookies and cream or cocoa flavor, I'm leaning towards going for the cocoa flavor first. Listen guys, I want to feature more athletes on the podcast. You are the heart and soul of TriDot and the sport as a whole and I want to hear from you. If you have a local race that you love doing every single year in your area, go to tridot.com/podcast and click on submit feedback, there you can tell me all about it and we can look into getting your voice on the show. We'll do this again soon, until then happy training.
Thanks for joining us. Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot podcast with your triathlon crew. For more great tri-content and community connect with us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Ready to optimize your training? Head to TriDot.com and start your free trial today. TriDot, the obvious and automatic choice for triathlon training.