Proper nutrition is the best way to recover from hard training sessions. Replacing what you lost during exercise is the most important component of recovery – water, sodium, and carbohydrate intake is very important after exercise. Protein is also important for building muscle tissue so a full meal following a workout is probably the best way to optimize post-workout nutrition. Check out our article, “Post-Workout Nutrition,” here for more info.
Reference 1: Kenney, W. L. (2004). Dietary water and sodium requirements for active adults. Sports Science Exchange, 17, 92.
Reference 2: Thomas, D. T., Erdman, K. A., & Burke, L. M. (2016). American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 48(3), 543-568.