Our expert says:
The research suggests that a meal containing both carbs and protein soon after training is the most effective for recovery, so you're right. That chocolate milk research was very interesting, because it found that chocolate milk contains the same balance of nutrients you'd get in the expensive, specialist protein supplements that you could easily pay R500 a month for. So it was more a case of chocolate milk being equal to the expensive alternative.
There's no ideal quantity in that post exercise meal. Over the course of a day, someone training hard (say 60 to 90 min a day, on average) needs about 8 to 10 grams of carbs per kilogram body weight. So if you weigh 70kg, that's around 600g of carbs a day. Protein? Around 1 to 1.5g per kg is plenty, so that's around 100g.
The post-exercise meal is part of it and it's important, sure, but it's not the focal point. So my advice is that if you're serious about that medal, spend upfront on seeing a dietician who knows a bit about sports nutrition, and get them to help you get the right amounts of nutrients, the right food, the timing and so on correct. That's the best investment you can make.
As far as post-exercise meals goes, a good balanced meal, as much as your appetite allows (because some people can't eat so soon after training) will do the job. But this is part of the bigger picture, and I'd encourage you to see a dietician about it.
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