Chicken and Rice Recovery Soup

Myth vs. Fact

Myth: “I lifted for an hour this morning and practiced 3 hours this afternoon and burned a ton of calories! It’s fine for me to have a bacon cheeseburger and fries French for dinner…I deserve it!”

Fact: The truth is foods high in saturated fat like French fries and bacon can actually cause inflammation in the body thus preventing proper recovery post-workout. Choosing foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, help decrease inflammation and help promote recovery. Thus choose a meal with lean protein, whole grains, vegetables and fruit post-workout to get bigger, stronger and faster!”

Sports Nutrition 101

Decreasing Inflammation and Recover Faster with Berries

Inflammation is the body’s way of healing or fighting off an infection. This can be beneficial initially. However, if the inflamed state is continued longer than needed, then the inflammation can cause pain and decrease performance for athletes. Exercise will increase the body’s inflammation in response to intense exercise. Through diet, and rest, the inflammation can be reduced so that further damage can be prevented. Free radicals are also created with intense exercise. These free radicals can cause damage to cells that can also contribute to inflammation. Long-term exercise can help the body adapt to the inflammation and free radicals by creating its own antioxidant defense. Another way of helping the situation, or to provide more of a safeguard, would be to consume fruits that are high in antioxidants. Some of these fruits include cherries, blueberries, and pomegranates. These fruits can potentially help reduce inflammation and help fight off free radicals after a strenuous workout. Consumption of these fruits is great not only for their antioxidant properties, but also for their carbohydrate source. After long strenuous exercise, glycogen (stored carbohydrate) stores are low and need to be replenished immediately to help promote recovery. Here are a few ways to include these fruits in a post-workout meal.

  1. Make a smoothie and mix in frozen or fresh cherries, blueberries, or pomegranate. Add some whey protein to make it an even more powerful post-workout beverage.
  2. Mix the fruits into some low-fat Greek yogurt
  3. Whole Grain cereal with low-fat milk and add in any of the mentioned fruits
  4. Add dried berries to some trail mix and eat as a snack throughout the day

Foods to be avoided that can possibly lead to increased inflammation: Foods high in saturated and trans-fats.

Limiting fried foods, processed pastries and white, thick, creamy sauces/spreads/gravies will lower saturated and trans fat intake. By consuming higher antioxidant foods, the body should be able to fight off inflammation more effectively. Also eating more fruits will help athletes replenish glycogen stores, consume more fiber, and obtain more healthy vitamins.

Healthy Bites…Recipe of the Month:   Chicken and Rice Recovery Soup

Looking for a way to hydrate, replenish electrolytes, and stay warm after a workout during the cold winter months?

Winter workouts come with their own challenges. Not only can the cold weather make a person want to stay indoors by the fireplace, but the frigid temperatures can also trick people into thinking they need less fluid after a workout. Individuals often underestimate how much they sweat in the cold. It is just as important to rehydrate and replace electrolytes lost from sweating when it is 32 ̊F outside as it is when it is 102 ̊ F.

Let’s breakdown the “Chicken and Rice Recovery Soup” ingredients: Soup contains fluid, sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, and protein making it a perfect post-workout meal. The chicken is a lean source of protein, which helps rebuild muscle. Rice provides carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins. Carbohydrates are essential after a workout to help replace energy stores. The broth is a fluid and a great source of sodium, both of which are needed to rehydrate after a long workout. Carrots, onions and celery provide additional vitamins and minerals to help boost energy and recovery.

“Chicken and Rice Recovery Soup”

  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 2 stalks sliced celery
  • 1⁄4 chopped onion
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepperBring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add rice and allow water to return to a boil. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork. Warm 1⁄4 cup of chicken broth and add celery, carrots and sautéed onions. Cook about 5 minutes until vegetables are softened. Add the remaining chicken broth and bring to a boil. Next, reduce heat to a simmer and allow vegetables to cook about 10 minutes until tender. Add chicken to soup and cook until heated, about 2 minutes. Add cooked rice and heat for about 1 minute. Add seasoning. Makes approximately 4 servings.

    Nutrition Facts:

    Calories: 319; Carbohydrate: 41 gm; Fiber: 2.5 gm; Protein: 28 gm; Fat: 3.4 gm; Cholesterol: 54 mg; Sodium: 785 mg

–Amy Goodson

amy-goodson-quarterback-ranchAmy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and serves as the sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Soccer Dallas, Jim McClean Golf School, Texas Christian University Athletics, and University of Texas at Arlington Athletics. In addition, she is an adjunct professor and dietetic intern preceptor for Texas Woman’s University, Texas Christian University and t