So far we have talked about what you should be eating before and during your climbing session. Now it is time to figure out the role of a good nutrition after climbing.
The fact that nutrition can enhance your performance is a given. Adequate nutrition before and during climbing is fundamental to boost endurance and peak performance for your climbing time. In this regard, at what extent could after-training food be useful? Well, healthy food before and during climbing can help you to increase your current training level, while an appropriate post-training diet is beneficial for your future training sessions.
Nourishing your body after climbing is crucial to facilitate your muscles’ refueling and restoration. It is a narrow window of opportunity lasting about an hour, where your body is more receptive to what you consume so you must take advantage of it!
After completing your workout, carbohydrates and protein are perfect “macronutrients” for restoring energy and repairing damaged muscles. By consuming some carbohydrates and proteins (more the former then the latter) over 45-60 minute-period after the end of your climbing time you will help your muscles to recover sooner so that they can be stronger during the next climbing session.
It is often pointed out that after this period of time you tend to lose most, if not all, of the benefits of your activity. Once an hour has gone, your muscles are not as receptive as they were immediately after a workout.
Consuming healthy recovery foods not only allows your muscles to refuel and repair themselves better, it also helps them recover in a faster way. If your body is properly nourished you will not need as many rest days as you used to without an adequate post climbing nutrition. To make sure you do not miss this chance, it is better to pack some extra snacks so you do not need to wait until you go home.
There are a lot of useful carbohydrates snacks like fruit, vegetables, hummus, and yogurt. In terms of protein, just take your favourite protein bar or a handful of nuts and you are ready to go. Your muscles will start the process of recovery instantly. Proteins help you to repair the torn protein fibers in your muscles and build more muscle, while carbohydrates help to restore your muscle energy.
Having said that, it is worthwhile to note that recovery foods are important but not effective if you do not have other proper eating habits in place as well. Over training and not taking enough rest days, for instance, are common misbehaviours in climbers that are very eager to climb better. If you get into this kind of vicious cycle, you are not giving your body enough time to recover.
So, climb smart and have a good eating habit!