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I'm somewhat overweight (BMI of 28) and mainly sit behind my desk all day, so I've been on quite a calorie deprived diet. I go running about three times a week for half an hour and occasionally go cycling. I also get sufficient sleep, so I get plenty of rest.

My vegetarian diet feels pretty balanced, I get sufficient fibers, fruit, vegetables and eat meat-replacements.

So now I'm wondering how do your eating habits affect your recovery?

Do you need some minimal amount of certain nutrients when working out or is there no need to worry as long as you don't have any physical complaints?

I was wondering about this, because I was starting to get more DOMS, while I didn't significantly change my workouts but did reduce my calorie intake.

I'd like some more specific examples on how to balance calorie restriction with full spectrum nutrient replacement (Both macro and micro).

  • What are DOMS? Not familiar with this acronym. – JDelage Mar 30 '11 at 5:20
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    Delayed onset muscle soreness also called muscle fever, is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. It is a symptom of muscle damage caused by eccentric exercise. After such exercise, the muscle adapts rapidly to prevent muscle damage, and thereby soreness, if the exercise is repeated. – Ivo Flipse Mar 30 '11 at 9:34
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Some of the modern, cultivated foods can lead to gut inflammation - wheat (gluten), quinoa (saponins), and legumes are some examples of foods that may slow down recovery.

Also, these foods - along with other glucid rich foods like potatoes - lead to insulin spikes that will make it very difficult to loose fat. Carrying a large amount of fat is by itself inflammatory and makes your exercise of choice (running) more stressful to your body than it would be otherwise, if only because of the added weight.

Finally, those foods might lead to a gross imbalance of omega 3's and 6's. Such an imbalance (too much omega-6, not enough 3's) can also impede recovery. Flax seeds have a larger ratio of omega-3's, but they are not the omega-3's most needed by the body.

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Recovery is influenced primarily by your sleep, the food you eat, and how active you are. Going for sprints will hurt your recovery from lifting (and vice versa). Not getting enough quality sleep will hurt your recovery. And not eating enough will definitely hurt your recovery.

Training requires fuel. You need fats and proteins (preferably animal proteins, like milks, eggs, or, yes, meat).

(As a side note, BMI is a terrible metric and should be banished from the earth so please don't use it.)

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