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Nutrition: Fueling Recovery

by Charlie Hoolihan on Apr 14, 2014

Recovery is a very important, and frequently overlooked, part of the exercise equation. Aid your recovery with these nutrition tips.

  • Improving strength, speed, endurance and power requires an adequate balance of nutrients from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Each has a specific role in improving performance, from fueling and recovering from workouts (carbohydrates and fats) to building and rebuilding muscle tissue (proteins).
  • Consuming more vegetables and fruits and other foods like omega-3 fats that can reduce inflammation is important to exercisers who are altering their internal physiology every day (Gillies 2007).
  • Strenuous workouts create the inflammation known as acidosis, which corrodes muscles. Basic nutrition needs to be adjusted to help balance the body’s internal pH and reduce acidosis inflammation (Caso & Garlick 2005).
  • Eating the foods mentioned in the second bullet point assists in restoring balance because nutrients that contribute to healing tend to be more alkaline in nature and help bring the body’s natural pH to proper levels (UAB 2013).
  • Refueling for recovery is complicated by the fact that so many athletes and exercisers are trying to lose or maintain weight. Calorie reduction can become an additional stressor on bodily systems that ends up decreasing exercise performance, disrupting hormone response to nutrition, and slowing metabolic processes (Melanson et al. 2013).

To read the full article which ran in the April 2014 issue of the IDEA Fitness Journal click here.


Caso, G., & Garlick, P.J. 2005. Control of muscle protein kinetics by acid-base balance. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 8 (1), 73-76.

Gillies , P. J. 2007. Preemptive nutrition of pro-inflammatory states: A nutrigenomic model. Nutrition Reviews, 65 (12, Pt. 2), S217-20.

Melanson, E.L. et al. 2013. Resistance to exercise-induced weight loss: Compensatory behavioral adaptations. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45 (8), 1600-1609.

UAB (University of Alabama, Birmingham). 2013. Foods can help fight inflammation.; accessed Jan. 10, 2013.

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About the Author

Charlie Hoolihan

Charlie Hoolihan IDEA Author/Presenter

Director of personal training for the Pelican Athletic Club in Mandeville, Louisiana. He is a member of the IDEA personal trainer membership committee, a fitness writer and presenter. Certifications: NASM, NSCA and Bioforce Heart Rate Variability coaching