41, five-time Everest summiter
You get these cravings. Your muscles are wasted, so protein tastes good. Your glycogen levels have been trashed, so you crave carbohydrates. At base camp, our Sherpa cook does lots of local foods—lentils, rice, potatoes, pancakes, eggs. Typically we come off the mountain, and he cooks us up a ten-pound pizza. And God, he puts everything on it—potatoes and Spam and cheese and onions—it¹s this huge pile. And believe it or not, it¹s pretty good.
47, six-time Ironman World Champion
Early in my career protein was not very popular, but later on I made more of an effort to combine carbs with protein. When I was training hard, after, say, a six-hour ride, I would make a big pot of pasta with olive oil and veggies on it and then some salmon or organic beef. And I'd try to get that all in during the first 30 minutes to an hour.
40, ski-mountaineering guru
Ski touring involves 7,000 to 10,000 feet of climbing a day, a lot of trailbreaking, cold weather, and eight to ten hours of hiking. The night before, I eat a lot of pasta and have a good meal that morning; when I'm done, more pasta, maybe some Gatorade. I also do a lot of tea, heavily sweetened with Gatorade. That way, you get your caffeine and your electrolytes.
28, U.S. Olympic triathlete
Chocolate milk is a great example of a good recovery drink. Good amount of sugar and protein, which is what you need, and it tastes good. Some people have a hard time eating after running. Your body is starving for sugar, and you want something your body can use really fast.
31, four-time national cyclocross champion, two-time national mountain-bike champion
As soon as I walk in the door after a workout, I make a recovery drink that combines carbohydrates with protein. Sometimes I even bring it into the shower with me so I get it right away. Then, within the hour, I tend to have a large meal. My favorite is a really simple pasta with olive oil, crushed red pepper, garlic salt, and a little Parmesan cheese.