For longer runs, recovery can be almost as important as the workout itself. Ideally, recovery should be started within 30 to 60 minutes of workout completion, because your muscles are ready to take in nutrients and glycogen so that they can rebuild their depleted supply.
A recovery meal has the potential to prevent further muscle breakdown, optimize muscle glycogen stores, and can help make your muscles adapt better to your training. Generally, in recovery foods you should look for:
- carbs that are high in glycogen, glucose, and sucrose (rather than fructose)
- protein that will speed your muscle recovery
Read more about the importance of nutrition for recovery
Keep in mind that your body generally needs a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio for proper recovery. Check out some of our favorite post-workout snacks for you to try after your next long run!
Besides the fact that chocolate milk is delicious, it provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and B vitamins to help you recover from a run.
Whey protein shake
Besides the fact that it can taste like chocolate milk which is delicious, it provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and B vitamins to help you recover from a run. It can also be mixed with milk of your choice for added nutrients.
Many of these are designed especially for runners, and there’s such a wide range of flavors you’re bound to find one that you like. Plus, you can choose from high-carb or protein-plus bars, although energy bars generally have a pretty good 4:1 carbs:protein ratio. There are ones made primarily out of nuts, those made from dates, and many meat-based (think jerky) products available to meet your needs.
Cottage cheese has a good amount of calcium and a lot of protein, which is great for muscle rebuilding. Try it plain or add fruit!
Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
A good post-race snack because rice cakes have energizing carbohydrates and peanut butter is a great source of protein, unsaturated fats, and vitamin E. You can also swap for almond or other nut butter.
With fruit and almond or soy milk, smoothies are a great way to get fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. Add chopped spinach, collagen powder, yogurt, nut butter… the possibilities are endless to make this full of even more beneficial nutrients.
Check out these great smoothie combos, suggested by Runkeeper community members:
Marlies: Take a frozen banana, a tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder, a tsp of honey or agave syrup, and about 250ml of milk. Blend it (I use my magic bullet) and drink it within 20 minutes after training. Spice it up with grounded red hot chili peppers if you feel like an extra kick.
Mon: berries, bananas, grapes, apples, oranges blended with lots of ice…
Monica: Sidenius chocolate protein shake with almond milk
A great post-run snack because it is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Fiber is great because it helps you feel full. Feel free to add a little fruit to this snack to make it sweeter.
Packed with protein, you can add honey, almonds, fruit, or granola to greek yogurt to make it a delicious and nutritious snack.
Eggs are high in protein, and egg yolk even has special amino acids to aid in muscle recovery.
High in potassium, these nuts are great in helping replenish those electrolytes that you lose through sweat.
Bananas, apples, and oranges are particularly good glycogen-replenishing carbs to help you recover faster. Bananas also have a lot of potassium, and oranges have fiber to keep you full!
Try keeping track of what you’re refueling with so that if any trends arise, you can look back and see what was helping or hurting your training. Happy snacking!
What did we miss? What do you go for after a nice hard workout? If you want to track all those yummy snacks you’re taking down after a workout, be sure to sync your ASICS Runkeeper account with a nutrition app like MyFitnessPal.
Please note: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.