Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Post Run Recovery - Science or Fiction?

The received wisdom states that we should refresh our energy and protein supplies as soon as possible after a long run with a mixture of carbs and protien at a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 in order to aid recovery as perfectly as possible.

I always used to enjoy a peanut butter sandwich at such times, but now as a fat burner often as not I have nothing at all post-run apart from a glass of water (my go-to running fuel!). For one thing I have plenty of fat to burn and for another I simply don't feel hungry.

The LCHF approach has served me perfectly well with great recovery between runs and no noticeable effect on performance. I can still run a decent 5K or Marathon without needing food during or afterwards. It is possible that my performance might have been slightly better if I followed the mainstream advice, but I doubt it; I would almost certainly weigh more as a result and that in turn would probably slow me down. It seems to me that better fueling, simple recovery and easier weight control just come for free on LCHF; it might be that elite runners might notice a difference but I'm sure that no one else would.

Now comes some interesting research that suggests that for "normal" runners it doesn't make much difference what you eat post-run; or rather it doesn't make any difference if we get your 4:1 from dedicated sports recovery formulas or from fast food.

Somehow I don't think most people would buy the science if the resulting advice was to consume a Big Mac straight after a run instead of Science in Sport REGO Rapid Recovery drink. But this report suggests that there is indeed no difference.

Could it be that the whole sports energy and recovery industry is actually a simple marketing con? Surely not.

Don't be surprised if we see MacDonalds marketing themselves as the perfect post-run restaurant.

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