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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Mathes


Why carbohydrate?  To replenish muscle carbohydrate stores so you can have energy the next day to workout again, and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.  To restore the carbohydrate stores in the liver for your wonderful brain!  You need that cognitive function so you can FOCUS  on your training and be alert about your surroundings and be safe.

Why protein?  Attenuate muscle protein breakdown, which can go on for up to 9 hours without any type of recovery intervention.  The point is to begin repair and synthesis (building) as soon as possible.

Timing:  This is highly important; our body is like a sponge when exercise has halted.  This is the ideal time to get in the right nutrients.

  • With in 15 minutes of workout consume a recovery drink or snack. Liquid is absorbed quicker than solid, especially when the liquid is cool in temperature.

  • With in the first hour of workout you need 24oz. of fluid to replace lost fluids. This 24oz. includes your recovery drink.  For the remainder, it can be water, or if it was a vigorous training session, make it a sports drink.

  • After the first 1-2 hours of a workout, you should consume a snack or meal (dependent on the time) that has Leucine, the amino acid(branched chain) responsible for building muscle tissue. Add a piece of fruit too!

    • Best sources: Cottage cheese ½ cup (low fat), Greek yogurt, milk, beef, poultry, fish, eggs.  For vegetarians:  1 cup of soy beans, 1cup kidney beans, 1 cup lentils. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

Recovery Drink:

  • Iced to cool down core temperature

  • 3-4:1 ratio of Carbohydrate to Protein. My rule of thumb for the ratio is 3:1 for weight training,, cross fit, boot camp type of training.  4:1 ratio is more for endurance training.

    • Example of a 4:1, 60grams Carbohydrate and 15 grams Protein


  • Carbohydrate form for the recovery:

    • Tart Cherry Juice- contains anthocyaninn’s (phytochemicals) that help with post exercise inflammation. Also helps with sleep and BAM! Is a great carb source to fulfill the 3.5-4:1

      • CHERIBUNDI specifically has the therapeutic amount of annthocyaninn’s in it vs. a regular tart cherry juice. You can find it at Ralph’s in by POM juice (refridgerated) and at Target in the juice aisle.  OR AMAZON!

  • Protein form for the recovery:

    • Whey protein: ideally hydrolosate but whey isolate is fine too. Because it is animal derived it is more readily abosorbed into our body vs. a plant derived protein with Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s).

    • Pea protein, Soy protein, Hemp protein: If you are vegan, go for it, you just need more than you would a whey protein because it isn’t as easily absorbed.

  • Recipe: for Cheribundi Juice and Whey Protein powder

    • tart cherry juice has 56grams carbohydrate

    • Whey protein powder, 1 scoop= 15grams Protein (or just do what ever amount equates 15grams of protein.

      • Side note: some protein powders have carbohydrate in it, if this is the case, that will add into your total grams of carbohydrate, so you may not need 14 full ounces to get the 4:1.

  • Ratio is 4:1, well CLOSE ENOUGH!

  • If your protein powder doesn’t have any carbohydrate in it, and you don’t want to do 14oz., of tart cherry juice, and want to do about 10oz. of juice which equals 45grams of carbohydrate, choose the choices below that will equal approx.. 15grams of carbohydrate to make the 4:1 ratio.

    • 1 small banana (5” length)

    • 1 date (large one)

    • 2 small plums or Clementines

    • of any other juice

    • 2 Belvita biscuits, OR 1 slice of whole grain bread OR 5 Triscuits

Cheribundi Rebuild 3:1 Ratio

  • It is done for you, no thinking

  • Ice it!

  • Where to find Cheribundi and Rebuild

    • Cheribundi tart cherry juice: Ralphs (next to the POM juice), Target in the juice aisle, I’ve found it.  Amazon and the Cheribundi website also sell it.

    • Rebuild, Mother’s carries it sometimes (I would call first), but most of my patients get it on Amazon.

    • You can’t just use any type of tart cherry juice, Cheribundi actually has a certain amount of cherries in it’s bottle to be therapeutic, Knudsen’s won’t work.

Other options:

  • Chocolate milk

    • Lowfat to fat free is best. The amount of fat in whole milk inhibits carb uptake into the muscles.

    • Casein and Whey protein is perfect. They have BCAA’s and the Casein protein works about 3 hours after you consume it, to help continue muscle protein synthesis.  It is also helpful for immune function

    • Alternative milks don’t have much protein, if any. You can add your own protein in it.

  • Recipe:

    • Low fat or fat free milk 8oz.

      • Depends on brand, from 8-13grams of Protein

      • 12grams of carbohydrate (lactose)

    • Chocolate syrup (Hershey’s type)

      • 2-3 tbsp. of syrup (Super Chocolaty!)

        • = 24grams Carb

      • Ratio

        • With 2tbsp. chocolate syrup = 3-3.5:1 ratio

Be creative and come up with your own recovery drink, just make sure it is a good protein source and the grams of carb to protein = 3-4:1 !  A grande flavored latte works!  A Jamba juice smoothie could work too, with a whey protein shot

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