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Nutrition help please! (Was: Recovery Drink Serving Size...)
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Hello everyone!

Question for you knowledgeable people on the recovery drink serving size. Been doing P90X for three years, love the recovery drink. This time around, I'm really trying to lose fat--the muscle I've got, I just can't see it! (Female, 5'7", currently around 155 on any given day, would ideally like to be at 143, which is where I was when I completed my first round of P90X. Grad school has been a bit rough). In thinking about the serving size and counting calories (trying to aim for 1700 a day--lost 5 pounds during the first round, though during this recovery week the numbers on the scale went back up a little..), I wonder if I can cut the portion of recovery drink down to save some calories and still get the benefits needed.

I already will do half servings if I did a lighter workout--even if I do a full hard workout, can I still only do a half serving? It just doesn't seem to make sense to me that both me and my husband, who is much taller and more muscular than me, should need the same amount.

Thoughts? Thanks!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/8/13 10:12 AM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
You can skip it altogether and just eat whole foods, even on regular workout weeks.

If you're following the portion plan (which I think is a pain in the ###!) it wants you to account for those 200 calories approximately. So if you skip the recovery drink, put those 200 calories somewhere else.

My suggestion is to just stick to your calorie and macro target and track them yourself. Much easier and far more accurate.

I fast for 16 hours, then exercise, then break my fast with a nice hearty meal. =D

Lately it's been french toast with agave, side of veggies and chicken with bbq sauce.

Been charting my progress everyday. Gone from 10.6% to 7.6% body fat in 3 weeks. (approximately) and haven't lost any lean mass!

Just keep an eye on your calorie / macro targets and you'll be alright!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/8/13 12:01 PM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
Here's my thoughts. If you're doing a "light" workout you probably don't need the recovery drink at all. When you do the really hard workouts I'd advise you to simply experiment with 1/2 scoop and see what that's like for you. Obviously if it works then you should do 1/2 instead of a whole scoop both for caloric and $$ reasons. Let us know what you discover.
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/8/13 12:08 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
I always do a half scoop when I use it for more intense work outs. I am only 5'5'' 140 and that is just way too many carbs for me. I have never had any issues
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/10/13 7:37 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Thanks for the advice everyone. Andrew, I'll give it a try this week and see how it goes!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/11/13 11:03 AM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
Please report back.
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/12/13 5:55 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Well, it hasn't been a week yet, but I thought I'd share what I discovered working out Sunday and yesterday--I work out first thing in the morning (I do take the energy formula, either one or two scoops on an empty stomach, or after eating half a banana), have recovery drink immediately afterwards, and then breakfast about 40 minutes after that. I did Interval X Sunday, and yesterday was C, S, T and Ab RipperX. Sunday I got through with the one scoop just fine--yesterday I was STARVING for the rest of the day. Now, this could simply be correlation and not causation--I am also carb cycling, and yesterday was a one carb, or phase one, day (although even after I had my one carb with breakfast, I was hungry almost a half hour later). I did have a second workout later in the day (Irish dance class for two hours, which is sort of like doing short bursts of plyo followed by long stretches of rest). I'd be willing to post a food log if thought necessary.

So, was this caused by not having more recovery drink? I have no idea. I ended up having to go over my calorie alotment for the day, because my stomach was feeling unsettled before bed. Maybe I'm not eating enough calories anyways and my body is irritated about it. Today I'm doing Legs and Back plus the 10-Minute Trainer Abs (I know it isn't in order, but this is a bit of a weird schedule week for me)--I'm going to try having a half a scoop in my water while I work out, and then do a full scoop as my recovery drink afterwards. I'll let you know!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/12/13 11:07 AM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
You do 2 scoops of E&E on an empty stomach? I couldn't do that. I wouldn't expect that your hunger was caused by having less recovery drink. Anyway, when I suggested having 1/2 portion it wasn't to cut your calories but, rather, so you could re-allot those calories to something more nutritious. It's certainly possible that cutting your daily intake by 110 calories and not replacing it could have the effect of making you more hungry.
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/12/13 12:14 PM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Oh, really? It's never bothered me...Is that not normal? Whoops!

But yes, I agree! I didn't cut the calories out (I had half an avocado later in the day! Yum!). At any rate, I've having another super hungry day again, but I really pushed through Legs and Back and had an excellent workout--perhaps because of small amount of recovery drink I kept next to me? After I'm going to try to up my calories today to 2000 just to see if it makes a difference in how I feel tomorrow, then drop back to 1700 on Wednesday. I'll let you know at the end of the week how I've faired.

Thanks again for the dialogue.
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/13/13 11:14 AM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
A single scoop of E&E is supposed to be about equivalent to 4 cups of coffee (although it contains more complex ingredients). For some people 8 cups of joe is "normal" but for me it'd be way too much.
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/16/13 7:54 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Hmm...That's really intense. That probably says that I am way too caffeine tolerant--I actually drink a decent amount of mate during the morning before switching to green or oolong (I used to work at a loose leaf tea shop...I have A LOT of tea!), so I've probably inured myself to its effects to some degree. I generally don't feel E&E unless I have two scoops. Perhaps I should give it a rest for a week or two to get my tolerance level back down?

At any rate, after experimenting this week, I've decided that I don't need the full two scoops of recovery drink after my hard workouts--all week, I had only one scoop after my workouts (and during workouts where I pushed very hard, like Legs and Back and Back and Biceps, I added half a scoop to my water to have during exercise), and as long as I got breakfast into my stomach not too long afterwards, I felt perfectly fine and not drained at all. The only exception to this was after my Legs and Back/ABX workout--I got distracted by school/work emails and didn't eat for about an hour afterwards. I suddenly got really shaky and sick to my stomach, and I felt pretty awful the rest of the day, even after eating. So! Learned my lesson about that.

I didn't end up doing any "light" workouts this week (other than yoga, which I will be doing today, and I've never had recovery drink after it)--yesterday I decided to do a HIIT 15 before Kenpo Cardio X (I felt ambitious)--but I dance twice a week (which is "light" in terms of lots of rest breaks, though not easy!), and this week didn't have any recovery drink after my two hour class, and felt fine.

In regards to the hunger complaints I had, I ended up adding an additional carb to my breakfast, and that seemed to do the trick--I felt fine for the rest of the day.

Andrew, while I've got you on this thread, I just want to run by you my strategy calorie-wise for the next week: I've been trying to stay around 1700-1800 calories each day, and I noticed my weight loss has stopped suddenly last week, which was my rest week. No change this week either. While this could be hormonal, perhaps this means I'm not eating enough? I lost a tiny amount in terms of inches, but nothing significant. This is always the part where I start to get frustrated--I lose 5ish pounds the first round of P90X, and then it all stops afterwards, and although I always finish the round I'm doing, my diet goes heywire because I don't lose any more inches or pounds! So, I was thinking of trying to aim for 1900-2000 calories next week. What do you think?

Thanks again for your time and help! I hope my experimenting with recovery drink helps other people with the same question!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/22/13 4:21 AM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
An additional quick update to this: I did end up using a full serving of recovery drink after a particularly destroying session of Legs and Back yesterday. I used half a scoop during the workout, and a scoop and a half afterwards. I figured barely getting my legs to hold the rest of me up was a good sign I needed it.

The bottom line seems to be to trust your body--it knows what it needs!

PS--Any feedback on the bumping calories up would be welcome. I haven't measured myself at all this week since upping my calories, but looking in the mirror, I think that I can see my muscles a bit more clearly already. Thanks!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
2/22/13 1:37 PM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
Yes, sorry, I seem to have missed your question from a couple days ago. I think your strategy of upping cals a little bit is exactly right on.
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
3/1/13 5:08 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Welp, color me confused! I planned to increase my calories to 1900-2000; in reality I usually hit 2000-2200 a day because I was finding I was so hungry all the time again....And I didn't lose inches or pounds over the past week and a half. On the other hand, I also gained nothing. I was 156.4 last time I weighed myself and this morning I was 156.6. None of my measurements changed, but I do really think that I can see definition in my torso that wasn't there, and I FEEL skinnier. Maybe I'm delusional.

Here is a (lower calorie) sample day from my food journal:

6:30am--Energy and Endurance: 25

7am: Did Interval X

8:00am--1 1/4 scoop of Recovery drink: 125

9:00am--Spinach with half
tablespoon of miso ginger dressing: 15
2 poached eggs: 140
Thompson's thin 100% whole wheat bagel: 110
Non-fat greek yogurt (I mix raw cacao powder
[about 20 cal worth], half a tbsp of raw honey, cinnamon,
and throw a few semi-sweet chocolate chips in]: 150

11:am: Banana: 100

12:30: Half an avocado: 110
Sandwich thin (whole wheat, of course): 100
Spinach with dressing: 15
Hard boiled egg: 70
Greek yogurt: 150

4:00: Sandwich thin with PB: 150

6:30: Cliff protein bar: 270

7:45-9:45: Irish step dance class

10:30--Chili (homemade with organic/grass fed everything; recipe from Oxygen magazine): 230
Broccoli: 70
Piece of 72% dark chocolate: 55

Before bed: (Still hungry!): Banana: 100
Greek yogurt: 100

Total: 2085


There are variations on this day: a lot of times for lunch I will have more protein (like a Boca chicken patty, or sushi (no rice) ), etc. I should also note that I've added in HIIT workouts on days I don't have dance class because I'm really trying to get conditioned for St. Patty's Day celebrations in a few weeks (Spending hours jumping and skipping down the street is fairly exhausting...). If I don't have to teach or go to class in the afternoon, I avoid using protein bar as a filler, but sometimes it is unavoidable. I should also mention that I'm drinking green or oolong tea all day, and have cold water with each of my meals.

This was my workout schedule this week:
Sun: 9am C, S, T and ABX
6pm: HIIT 25

Mon: 7am: Interval X
7:45-9:45: Irish step dance (not constant activity; hard for 1-2 min, then period of rest)

Tues:8am Legs and Back; ABX

Wed: 6am: Fountain of Youth

Thurs 8am :Back and Biceps; ABX
7:30-9: Irish dance (again, only sporadic bursts of activity)

Today: 5 minute step dance warm-up, HIIT 15, 10 minute trainer cardio, 10 minute yoga flex



Am I doing something wrong, or is this just because I'm in phase 2, and no one really seems to ever see much of a change in phase 2? Do I need to eat MORE? (The original P90X book put me at 2400...But the calculator says 1900-2100) Do I need to suck it up and eat less? There was one day this week where I "cheated" (celebrating a family achievement) but it really wasn't anything that should have thrown me off by very much. Heck, I started eating salad with breakfast! Any help is greatly appreciated--I feel so frustrated!

Thank you!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
3/1/13 9:37 AM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
What's the macronutrient ratio of those meals? Also, if you're STARVING at times I wonder if it's the result of some erratic blood sugar levels. I went through that at one point in my life and eliminated it by cutting WAY back on sugar. It's possible that between all the caffeine you're getting plus the carbs early in the day (recovery drink, honey, chocolate chips...) your blood sugar is getting spiky and putting you onto an insulin rollercoaster. Try skipping the recovery drink AND all the possible sugars in your morning diet and eat your breakfast at 8 instead of waiting until 9. Then let us know if that changes anything for you.
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
3/1/13 9:55 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
Okay, got it; I'll give it a try. Thanks!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
3/8/13 4:33 AM as a reply to AdStaffAndrew.
So, weekly report: I cut out all caffeine and sugar in the morning this week. No E&E, no recovery drink, no mate, and I stayed consistently between 1900-2000 calories. By the way, I figured out the macros for my meals, and depending on what phase of eating I'm doing (see below), I'm hitting all the macros more or less right on. I can go through and do a complete breakdown, however, if you'd like to see exactly what I'm doing.

Here are the goods: I am down a pound this morning to 155 on the nose, and a few of my measurements are fractionally down. After the first day without mate (which was a little rough), I now feel much better. Didn't miss the sugar! I cut way back in my greek yogurt to just a dab (less than a tsp) of honey and put half a banana in instead.

The bads: Didn't seem to help the hunger issue. I actually woke up in the middle of the night twice this week because I was so hungry. one time I gave in, the other time I managed to get back to sleep. The only day that I wasn't getting hungry all day was the day that I did a phase three plan, just to see what the effect would be--I felt much better all day. I also tried when getting hungry to down a glass of water and wait 15 minutes--sometimes this helped a bit, but I usually still was hungry.


Going forward: What to do now? This was the phase 2 rest week for me, so cutting out E&E and recovery drink was relatively simple. What do I do going into phase 3? Trying adding both back in and seeing what happens? Maybe up my calories to 2100 to allow for it? I'm honestly nervous about not having any recovery drink while doing the workouts. I've been carb-cycling as a weekly plan--I've found that I can't stay on phase 1 for longer than a week without losing my mind, so instead I've been doing two days on phase 1, two on phase 2, two on 3, one on 2; repeat. This week is the "holy week" for Irish dancers, so I think I'm going to just do phase 2 or 3 eating depending on how many performances I have, and then drop to phase 1 and 2 the following week when we get some time off.

Thanks again for any and all advice you have!
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
3/8/13 5:45 AM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
I always suggest to people experiencing constant hunger that they experiment with meal size and frequency. Some people, like myself, do much better eating fewer, larger meals than many, smaller meals.

It's important to understand that meal frequency and size have absolutely no adverse affect on metabolism or weight loss.

You might try combining all of your meals/snacks into 3 large meals and see if it helps. For me personally, this method keeps me full all day long and has broken me of the "I need to eat every 2-3 hours" mindset that drove me mad for 3+ years.

You may want to give it a shot.

Hope that helps.
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
3/8/13 7:08 PM as a reply to TheBandit27.
It does, thank you. It might be hard because there are days when I don't get home until 10pm, so I end up having a really long stretch between lunch and dinner, and that's why I've been dividing lunch up to get me through. I'll play around it with =)

What do you think about calories and the recovery drink issue?
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RE: Recovery Drink Serving Size...Do I really need a full serving?
3/8/13 9:00 PM as a reply to ivorystorm16.
Recovery drink is definitely helpful but totally optional. =D I think you may feel a bit more hungry if you go with recovery drink since they digest so quickly. So if you're struggling with that stick with whole foods. Hope that helps!
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