Recovery: Nutrition for Runners
This week we’ll focus on Nutrition following a run. These tips can be used for any type of run, but especially following a tough workout or long run when the recovery process gets started. The ability to recover from a run varies from person-to-person, but there are some actions you can take to maximize the process. The quicker you can recover from a run, the more quality you can put into your upcoming runs and continue charging toward your race goal!
Following a run, there is roughly a 30minute golden window, when your body is highly receptive to replenishing used energy stored (glycogen). I recommend eating a small snack that is high in carbs and ideally has some protein in it too to fully utilize this golden window. I find it best to prepare this snack ahead of time, so you can just grab it without having to think about it as you crash onto the sofa after a long run.
Here’s some of my go to options:
- a bagel with peanut butter
- banana or some blueberries with yogurt
- whole-grain toast with hummus
- Fruit – My current go to is watermelon that I’ve already sliced up beforehand. It consists of lots of water so good for hydration, plus lots of great vitamins and minerals too!
Additionally you might want to consider including some anti-inflammatory foods in your meals that day that will help speed that recovery process up and leave you feeling less achy the next day. Try including some of the following (mostly fresh fruits and veggies) in your meals throughout the rest of the day following a run:
- Salad leaves
- raw tomatoes
If you feel like you’re not recovering well from your runs and/or don’t feel like you are starting your runs with enough fuel or take on enough fuel during a run, I recommend checking in with a registered dietician for some expert support.
(Disclaimer: I’m not a registered dietician, but I love food and I love trying to maximize my recovery process so I can train to the best of my ability).