As athletes, we often focus on preparing for a session on the slopes or a ride over challenging terrain, but what you do after your adventure is important, too.

After strenuous, prolonged exercise, you need the right post-recovery nutrition to help you perform at your best­—especially if your next session is on the same day. Eating soon after your activity is recommended, so make sure you have the right snacks on-hand and ready to go.

Whether you spent the day cross-country skiing or mountain biking, a snack rich in protein, carbs and fluid is necessary to help your body recover. Each has an essential role to play: carbs refuel depleted energy stores; protein helps build and repair muscles; and fluid keeps you hydrated and mentally focused.

Keeping these elements in mind, here are five balanced and nutritious options that will have you reenergized and ready to perform at your best.

Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is the elite athlete’s best kept secret for sport recovery. This beverage is an effective way to replenish yourself after long, hard physical activity in preparation for your next sesh on the trail or slopes. Chocolate milk contains carbs (sugar) to restore energy, protein to repair and build muscle and fluid and electrolytes for hydration, making it the quintessential post-workout drink. Plus, it’s just plain delicious.

Smoothies

Building a smoothie is simple: throw together a few types of fruit or vegetables and blend them with milk! Keep a bag of blueberries or strawberries in your freezer, or a prepared Ziploc of your favourite blend of frozen fruits or vegetables in the fridge for quick access. Combine with milk and yogurt for a hydrating and filling beverage. Add extra flavour to your smoothie with a spoonful of nut butter or honey, a drop of vanilla or spices such as cinnamon. Milk and yogurt provide carbs, protein, fluid and electrolytes while fruits and vegetables boost the carbohydrate and electrolyte content of this snack.

Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich

A low-cost snack that’s loaded with a trio of carbohydrates, protein and potassium, a peanut butter and banana sandwich is a good item to add to your post-activity routine. Peanut butter’s protein content fortifies your muscles and the carb blast from the sandwich bread and the banana provide a substantial energy kick. Pair it with a glass of ice cold milk for a complete recovery snack packed with nutrients.

Granola & Yogurt

Mixing granola and yogurt together has skyrocketed in popularity because it combines many useful recovery elements: carbs, protein and electrolytes. Prepping your own granola is a fun task—you can decide exactly what kinds of grains, dried fruits and nuts to use so tailor the ingredients to your liking. What’s lacking in this snack is fluid, so pour yourself a tall glass of milk or water to drink alongside it. 

Sandwich or Wrap

Assemble a sandwich or wrap with protein-packed ingredients like tuna, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, nut butters (peanut, almond or cashew) or deli meats (preferably not all at the same time) and store them in your fridge for easy access. This will ensure you have a quick snack on hand for days when you’ve already spent your energy on the slopes or up the mountain. Enjoy with a glass of fruit juice for fluids and a boost of carbs (sugar).

 

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