Intake: Rehydrate, Reload, Recover

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, April 1996

Intake: Rehydrate, Reload, Recover
By Suzanne Schlosberg

"Eating and drinking properly after a major athletic push can make the difference between recovering quickly and having fatigue lag on for days," says Bonnie Modugno, a dietician based in Santa Monica, California, who works with athletes. Here are her four commandments for post-event recovery:

Rehydrate. Drink water, juice, or a sports drink until your urine is clear. "Get on the scales before and after your event," Modugno says. "For every pound you've lost, drink 16 ounces of fluid."

Replenish electrolytes. Just about any sports drink will replace sodium and potassium you lose through sweat, but ordinary food works fine. "Help yourself to some pretzels," Modugno advises. Any whole fruit will give you plenty of potassium.

Restock glycogen. Take on carbos within the first hour after an endurance event, but don't overdo it. "Thousands of calories in carbos is way beyond what the body can store in the form of glycogen," says Modugno. "Almost anything you were going to eat anyway will suffice. You don't need mounds of rice."

Eat some protein. "Have some chicken or fish or beans or eggs," says Modugno--even a steak is OK now. This will keep you feeling satiated through the evening, she explains: "When people eat only carbohydrates, they don't feel full for long."

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