Many runners plan out their daily health routines down to the nth degree. However, even though you are seeing your desired results on the outside, you may not be doing everything you can to ensure your body is being properly cared for on the inside.
Eating the proper foods at the right times can mean the difference between a healthy body and one that isn't receiving the post run nutrition it needs to recover. Therefore, you should take some time to learn exactly what foods should be eaten before, during and after your running events, if you want to keep your body in optimal condition. Let’s take a look at some of the best post run recovery foods.
Post Run Recovery Foods By CategoryThere are a number of different types of foods your body needs after a run. Let's start with discussing specific categories and why they are important. Then, we will go into the types of post run recovery foods your body needs.
You should strive to consume carbohydrates within 20-30 minutes after your run. Eating carbohydrates shortly after your workout helps optimize your body's recovery as that is when your muscles are the most receptive to rebuilding your glycogen reserves.
Protein helps with the repair of muscles after a strenuous run. Therefore, you should try to consume some carbohydrates and proteins at a ratio of 4:1. In other words, 4-grams of carbohydrates for every 1-gram of protein you eat.
3. Electrolytes and Antioxidants
Running, especially long-distance running, significantly depletes your body's electrolytes and antioxidants. There are several ways to help restore these vital nutrients in your body. Certain fruits and fruit juices will do the trick. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and eat frequent small meals to help combat fluid loss and replenish your body's electrolytes.
You are probably asking yourself "what about a sports drink?" Well, sports drinks can be helpful. However, while a sports drink will supply your body with the sodium and potassium you lost through the sweating process, they really don't have any nutritional value. Therefore, you can guzzle a sports drink for a quick fix but you should ultimately strive to replenish your reserves with fresh fruit or fruit juices. One more tip is to avoid drinking alcohol or large amounts of caffeine as these will only dehydrate your body further.
The Best Post Run Recovery FoodsNow we are going to provide you with specific examples of the best post run recovery foods you can eat to help replenish your body with the vital nutrients it needs. Of course you need to start restoring your fluids as soon as possible after a strenuous run. Therefore, a sports drink or some water are both great for a quick fix. However, the recovery process does not stop there. Here are some specific foods that will help restore your body back to pre-run status.
What You Should Do If You Can't Eat Immediately After A RunIt's best to try and eat a post run meal within an hour or so. However, if that's not possible, strive for one of the following:
1. Chocolate milk is helpful for immediate nutrient replacement.
2. Drink a protein shake with either milk or water.
3. Snack on some Greek yogurt.
4. Grab an apple.
5. Have a banana with some peanut butter.
6. Try some Hummus with carrots or pita chips.
Last But Not Least
Although running is an integral part of your health regimen, it can also be hard on your body. Therefore, you will need some rest and relaxation after your run. Make sure you give your body plenty of time to recover properly after a rigorous workout. That means sitting down, relaxing and putting your feet up as you enjoy the fruits (no pun intended) of your labor!
More From SparkPeople