Protocol for Post-Game Recovery

The following simple protocol can be used immediately after a game or strenuous training to replenish spent carbohydrate stores, begin to prepare the athlete for the next game or training session, help prevent overtraining, and minimize delayed-onset-muscle-soreness (DOMS).

Immediately after the game [0 to 1 hour post-game]

  1. Rehydrate with carbohydrate-based sports drink.
  2. Cool-down jog – 5 min.
  3. Static Stretching
  4. Continue rehydrating with carbohydrate-based sports drink. Finish 32oz. bottle in the first 30 minutes post-game, and thereafter, drink carbohydrate solution until fully rehydrated.

Evening after the game

  1. Shower.
  2. Contrast shower with hot/cold water. Alternate hot water (95-100°F) for 1-2 minutes and cold water (50-60°F) for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times. Focus cold water on lower extremities. If available, use water massage jets on lower extremities.
  3. Stretch/massage muscles as needed immediately after the shower.
  4. Continue rehydrating with carbohydrate-based sports drink.
  5. Eat small meals of moderate-to-high glycemic index (see below) every 2-3 hours post-game.
  6. Sleep 7 to 9 hours.

High Glycemic

Moderate Glycemic

Low Glycemic

Sports drinksRaisins

Instant rice, rice pasta

Corn/rice cereal



Vanilla wafers, graham crackers

Waffles, plain pancakes

Saltine crackers, wheat thins


Watermelon, pineapple


Bagel, plan

Bread, white and wheat


Bran muffinBlueberry muffin

Shredded wheat, bran chex

Pita bread

Sweet corn


Orange juice

Oatmeal cookies

Canned fruit


Brown and white rice

Sweet potato

Special K cereal

Whole grain bread


Sports barsOatmeal



Beans, peas

All bran cereal

Apple juice, grapefruit juice

Tomato soup

Apple, pear

Fat free milk, chocolate milk


Plum, grapefruit, strawberries

Peanuts, peanut butter

Low-fat yogurt


3 responses to “Protocol for Post-Game Recovery

  1. Water, water, water. Fruit I feel is the better of the all around recovery. Apples, Bananas, Oranges, Pineapple thousands more nutrients than any want a be drink

  2. Stephen Magennis

    Is it not best to carb load directly after intense exercise i.e within the first half hour after ?

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