In the literature there are some contradictory findings about the food intake after exercise. What is the effective time to start eating after exercise and how many hours later the effectiveness decrease for recovery?
Here are my thinking and beliefs on the subject:
1) One of the most important things for muscle recovery is replenishing muscle glycogen. Consuming carbohydrates within the first hour or two after exercise has been shown to expedite this process.
2) Since high glycemic carbs digest rapidly they work the best.
3) Since your body will respond with insulin when you consume these carbs it seems beneficial to pair it with a moderate amount of protein and amino acids ( they get shuttled into muscle tissue because of the insulin ).
Chocolate milk works great.