Sports Nutrition

The best (non-supplement) foods for recovery

When we think about optimal recovery from training, we often think supplements. And there definitely are many supplements out there that can help to optimise recovery…BUT…most of them do the same (or not as good a job) as what real food can do!

Also, food tastes good, and fills you up, and is often cheaper than a supplement so in many cases (not all), it is preferable to use food for recovery.

  • For optimal recovery we want to ensure that our food choices contain a good source of protein (about 15-30g depending on body size) to promote muscle recovery and growth
  • We want to make sure that there are some high quality carbohydrates available in the meal/snack to replenish our glycogen stores; this is especially important if you are training twice per day.
  • Hydration is also a key factor for recovery so including this within your meal (eg. smoothie) or separate as a drink is ideal.

Here are just a few options that I have come up with, that match (pretty closely) a standard recovery drink.



Protein (g) Carbs (g)
Standard Recovery Drink (supplement) 225 Cal 14.7 39.7
170g (tub) plain chobani (0%) + 1 Cup frozen berries + 25g natural muesli 248 Cal 19.3 50.8
170g (tub) flavoured chobani + 1 banana 235 Cal 16 39.8
4 vita-weet +1 small can tuna + 40g cottage cheese +  1 tomato 232 Cal 25g 19.2
Smoothie: 100g Chobani (0%), 1 cup Low Fat milk, 1 Cup fruit 223 Cal 18.2 26.4
2 eggs + 2 Multigrain toast 264 Cal 17 24.8
2 Multigrain bread + 1 can tuna + 1 tablespoon Low Fat mayonnaise 235 Cal 21.7 29.4
1 wrap + 80g chicken + 1 Cup mixed salad 270 Cal 22 28
2C salad leaves, 100g chicken, ½ cup diced sweet potato + 1 tsp red wine vinegar 246 Cal 27 25