I have talked in the past about what to eat before a run but what about what to eat after a run?
This is often the point when many people make mistakes with their nutrition as many over eat, under eat or simply do not eat the right things.
Getting the right nutrition is a key part of your training plan as not eating the right things could lead your legs and muscles hurting for longer after your run, preventing you from doing another run.
It also helps with ensuring you keep your body in the best shape to heal itself and replenish your depleted energy stores.
What to eat after a run
I have put together this quick guide to help you decide what to eat after your run:
- Steady paced run less than 1 hour. If you have done a steady pace run for less than one hour then you don’t need to worry to much as your body should have the energy it requires for this. I recommend a small snack and ensure you have your next full meal within 2-3 hours of finishing.
- High tempo runs. If you have done an intense high tempo run then you need to eat within 30 minutes of finishing. Aim to have a balance of carbs and protein, generally 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
- Endurance run. Been out on a long run for over an hour? Then you also need to eat something within 30 minutes of finishing. Eat a 200-300 calorie meal straight away followed by a bigger meal a couple of hours later.
As you can see there is some variation in what you eat.
As an example, after a steady run less than one hour you could have a banana or an energy bar after your run to tide you over to your next meal.
For the longer or higher tempo runs you should look to eat something with carbs to replenish your energy stores. Why not try a bagel with peanut butter after your run and then a full meal a few hours later.
The cheaters way: This is my little treat for you all. I love chocolate milk! And it turns out it is one of the best things you can have after a run as it has a good balance between carbs and protein… Just don’t drink loads of it!
It also very important to rehydrate yourself after a run so keep a bottle of water with you for a few hours after your run and keep sipping it.
Many people worry about eating after a run as they are trying to lose weight and think eating will prevent the weight loss, if anything it actually helps you lose weight. Your body needs the food you eat post run to help break down your fat stores. Just don’t over-eat is my simple tip for you.
I would love to hear what you like to eat after your runs? Anything you find that helps you recover quicker and stop your muscles aching?