A reader has asked me for tips on post-ride nutrition. I'm probably not the best person to ask, as I have questionable nutritional habits - I usually eat everything I can find around the house after riding - and I'm one of, if not the, most over-weight rider in my group. I could certainly stand to lose 15-20 pounds. With that as an important caveat, the keys to a quick recovery after a tough and/or long ride are to (1) start the ride well fueled; (2) make sure you eat and drink well during the ride; (2) get fluids, protein, and carbs into the system within about 45 minutes after the ride.
Before today's ride, I had a bowl of Honey-Nut Cherrios, a banana, a cup of coffee, and a big glass of water.
During the ride, I consumed too large bottles of water (one good gulp every ten minutes or so), each with two scoops of Perpetuem and one scoop of Heed (both Hammer Nutrition products), a bottle of Gatorade (purchased during a SAG stop), one Clif Bar, a banana, 3-4 ounces of Hammer gel (an ounce or two per hour), two Hammer Endurolyte capsules at each SAG stop (we stopped twice), and 12-16 ounces of Coke (purchased at the last SAG stop). If the Dairy Queen in Lizton had been open, I probably would have had a milkshake, rather than the Coke. (BTW, if you don't pee within a reasonably short time after finishing the ride, you probably didn't drink enough during the ride.)
When I got home today, I ate reasonably well. My wife had made scrambled eggs with scallions for breakfast. So, I had some of those and two slices of black bread (with Smart Balance butter substitute). I drank one glass of iced-coffee (which is an excellent recovery drink), followed by a glass of slightly watered-down grapefruit juice, and a glass of plain water. Between those fluids and my shower, I felt pretty well rehydrated. Because I have a ride early tomorrow, I will try to eat sensibly, every 2-3 hours in small doses, throughout the rest of the day.
Caveat: What I have said about my own eating and drinking before, during and after rides should not be taken as nutritional advice. For those who want quality nutritional advice for riding, I can recommend a good coach. Also, what works for one person may not work for another; different riders may need less (or more) food and drink than I consume. In addition, the other crucial factor in recovery, aside from nutrition, is proper stretching, which I do at least once, and often twice, during the day after a ride.