Using Sweets for Recovery

by Clare Wood

What is Nutritional Recovery?

Recovery after an exercise event is very important to restore the body to the pre-exercise state and prepare for the next bout of exercise. Recovery between games is especially important if consecutive games or bouts of activity are done in one day. Recovery after activity involves refueling and rehydrating the body, plus repairing muscle damage and assisting muscle growth.

The role of sweets

Sweets (or lollies as some call them) are sometimes used for recovery during and after exercise. Although sweets may not be the best option for recovery, using them is not as detrimental as you may think. Sweets are predominantly made from glucose, which is effective for refueling and for providing energy, but it does not provide any other nutrients, protein or fluid. Sweets can have their place, and they are usually liked by most athletes. They can be a good choice, provided that plenty of fluids are offered and the rest of the diet is filled with other nutritious food choices.

Alternatives

Some healthier food choices that could be recommended for between and after games include fruit, fruit bars, jam/jelly white sandwiches or muesli/cereal bars and flavored milk. These foods contain carbohydrate and protein for recovery, plus other nutrients to help keep a athlete’s diet healthy and well balanced. Foods like fresh fruit and fruit juice also contain fluids to help with adequate hydration.

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