What To eat AFTER a long race

24 Feb, 2019 • by Admin

There's also a lot to be lost, at least for a short period. Intense exercise eats away at glycogen—the energy source that the body stores to fuel activity

When you finish your run it is also important that you eat a good recovery meal to kick-start your body’s recovery process. Try to eat a snack containing about 250-300 calories when you finish your run and this should contain both carbohydrate and protein. A good example might be rice cakes with jam and peanut butter. Follow this with a recovery meal two hours after you finish your run. Again this should contain a portion of carbohydrate, a portion of protein and some vegetables. While you shouldn’t obsess over nutrition, eating a takeaway pizza as your recovery meal might not leave you feeling in the best state to complete your next run at your highest potential!

Starting a new training plan and getting into a running routine can seem a bit daunting, especially when you’re told to think about nutrition as well. Have a bit of fun with it, experiment and enjoy cooking different meals, and think about what you’re putting into your body. Your running performance will definitely benefit from simply eating a healthy, balanced diet!

Timing Your Recovery Meal

Studies suggest that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. The theory is if you eat soon after a long run or intense workout, you can minimize muscle soreness.

Carbs and Protein

What you eat is as important as when you eat. Aim for a combination of carbohydrates and protein. The carbs will replace the glycogen that was used up during your run. The protein helps to rebuild muscle fibers that were broken down and damaged.

There are no hard and fast rules about how much of each nutrient is ideal for a post-exercise meal, although some general guidelines do exist. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, for example, it's ideal to aim for between 0.14 to 0.23 grams of protein for every pound of your body weight. If you weigh 130 pounds, for example, then you should eat between 18.2 grams and 29.9 grams of protein after a tough workout.

Another reason to consume some protein after a run: It will be most effective at curbing post-run hunger. But experts and other sources feel it's more important to pay attention to how much food you feel your body needs after exercise and to eat accordingly. Do, however, make healthy choices.

Carbs in the form of glucose are the easiest to break down and be used as fuel. You can certainly choose high-glycemic index foods like sweet potatoes, whole-grain pasta or bread, and rice, but fresh fruit or veggies would be a healthier choice. Pair one of those foods with protein—3 ounces of chicken or turkey breast, salmon, or a large egg and you've got yourself a solid post-run recovery meal.

Quick Recovery Snacks

Of course, you may not always have the time or energy to prepare a meal after a run. Carefully chosen protein bars can be convenient, healthy options. Look for bars with a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein.

Other examples of quick nutrient replacement would be a bagel with peanut butter or almond butter, a protein shake, and a piece of fruit, such as a banana and plain Greek yogurt—straight up or blended into a post-run smoothie. Toss some fresh ginger or cinnamon: Both have been found to decrease post-exercise muscle soreness.

Some runners experience a bit of nausea after a long run. If you can't stomach solid food immediately after a long run, drink some cold chocolate milk. Besides being refreshing, chocolate milk provides the ideal amount of protein and carbohydrates, and also contains B vitamins, making it a great recovery beverage.

Rehydration for Recovery

Be sure to rehydrate with water or a sports drink after your run. Plain water is fine if you ran for less than 90 minutes, but after a super long run, a sports drink has the added benefit of replenishing glycogen.

To make sure you rehydrate adequately, take note of the color of your urine the next time you pee. If it's a light shade of yellow (like lemonade), you're good; a dark yellow means you need to keep drinking up.

Don't Overdo It

Thinking that it's OK to overindulge after a stint of intense, calorie-torching exercise is a common mistake. But while it is important to replenish nutrients and fluids after vigorous activity, be careful that you don't overindulge. While it's true you may have burned lots of calories during your run, it's not a great reason to eat more than might be healthy for you, even if you happen to be trying to put on a few pounds.


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