5 Great Exercise Recovery Tips

Exercise recovery means replenishing vital nutrients after exertion to help the body recover for an optimal workout the next day. Mountain High Yoghurt shares tips and recipes to facilitate muscle recovery and electrolyte balance during recovery to support a healthy lifestyle.

Summer has become the focus of many health campaigns, including a federal program endorsed by the First Lady that is designed to help Americans get their bodies and minds in shape while helping others. Americans are ready to move; a recent Red Cross survey revealed that 40% of Americans plan to hike or camp this summer, and almost 75% will go swimming. But when rigorous activity depletes vital nutrients from the body, it’s important to replenish them through exercise recovery.

Mountain High Yoghurt shares tips and recipes to help Americans replenish electrolytes and refuel with protein and carbohydrates for their next workout, to keep those healthy habits. And, don’t miss the video at the end!

Tip #1: Know what your body needs, then find healthy sources for those nutrients.

After exercise, it’s important to replace lost water, sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, and protein. Rehydration is essential after exercise, and drinking water is the best way to rehydrate. Sodium and potassium, two electrolytes lost during sweating, should be replenished in proper proportions to maintain a balance inside and outside of cells. Last, many sports nutritionists recommend a 3:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio to help the body optimally recover from intense exertion. Finding whole, natural food sources for these nutrients is best.

Tip #2: Get some sodium…but not too much.

While some sports drinks contain sodium, they may contain too much in proportion to the potassium. Food sources for sodium that aren’t excessively salted also offer other nutrients like protein and carbohydrates, which are also needed after exertion. Counting sodium intake can help prevent sodium overloads. Excessive sodium in the diet may increase risk for hypertension, a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Food sources for sodium include pretzels, salted nuts, peanut butter, or salted sunflower seeds.

Tip #3: Don’t forget your potassium.

Potassium inside cells balances the sodium outside cells. The Daily Value (DV) for potassium is 4,700 mg, while for sodium it’s only 2,300 mg. Unfortunately, many Americans consume too much sodium, which upsets their potassium-to-sodium ratio, and can lead to chronic health issues. Good potassium sources include orange juice, bananas, and yoghurt, which are all easily digested after exercise. A smoothie made with ½ cup yoghurt, ½ cup of orange juice, and a small banana provides approximately 1,200 mg of potassium. Mountain High’s Papaya Pleasure smoothie provides more than one-fourth of the DV for potassium.

Tip #4: Get good carbs.

Muscles need carbohydrates to replenish their glycogen stores, but quality counts. Candy or soda, for example, are not as good as a serving of pure fruit juice which contains other valuable nutrients. Other good carbohydrate sources include graham crackers; yoghurt; fresh fruit; and whole-grain breads, pastas, or crackers. Right after exercise, fruit-flavored Mountain High Yoghurt makes a great, easily digested carbohydrate source, and it also contains needed protein. Other good choices include yoghurt with fresh fruit pieces or yoghurt spooned up with graham cracker sticks.

Tip #5: Eat lean protein.

Protein is essential for rebuilding muscle fiber after exercise breaks it down, so look for good, lean sources like lowfat or fat-free milk or yoghurt, a boiled egg, peanut butter, or soybeans. Bigger meals aren’t easily tolerated after exercise, so a snack is good for immediate recovery. At meal time, lean fish, poultry, and legumes such as beans or lentils are excellent protein sources that help rebuild muscle tissue. Mountain High’s Yummy High-Protein Granola Bread, for example, has an ideal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio of 3:1.

Regardless of how Americans choose to move their bodies this summer, if they wisely refuel with vital nutrients, they can help their muscle recovery and electrolyte balance recovery. And a refueled body is prepared for the next activity or workout.

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