Quick Guide To Refueling After A Run

Quick Guide To Refueling After A Run

Running: You either love it or hate it. For those of us who love our runs or are just getting into it, it’s important we’re refuelling our bodies afterwards. We already know it’s one of the most effective forms of aerobic exercise but to be honest, we just love getting out there and traveling for miles.

Running results in increased appetite– a perfectly normal response– as the body needs more calories to be able to match the physical demands put forth by running. But the tendency is to indulge a bit – after all you feel as though you’ve earned it!

For runners, it’s better to eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day, instead of 3 big meals. Equally important is the focus on what you should eat pre-run and post run.

Post Run Snacking

Running results in the loss of fluids, and also burns up carbohydrates (which is glycogen used up as energy during exercise).According to Runners World, fluids are important to regulate body temperature, ensure that the joints are adequately lubricated, and help flush out the damaged cells that can lead to inflammation. Hydrating the body post run is the first priority and it is best to drink water or a sports drink with electrolytes (and with very little sugar).

Besides fluids, it’s important to have some healthy post running snacks to replenish the energy levels with carbohydrates and proteins. According to James Collins, renowned sports nutritionist, you should be snacking no later than 30 minutes after running as your body requires the essential nutrients to kick start the growth and repair process after a strenuous run. The rule of thumb recommended is a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio: four grams of carbohydrates for every 1 gram of protein.

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It is important to note that carbohydrates can be from a variety of food sources, but in the first window of 30-45 minutes post run scenario, focus on foods with high Glycaemic index carbohydrates. This is because these are closest to its simple form, glucose, and are easier for the body to break down quickly and absorb.

According to nutritionist Abby Housefield of Runnersconnect, the second window of recovery is one hour to three hours post running. Here, a meal or snack which has higher protein and which includes a healthy fat and carbohydrate is best. Examples – potatoes, whole-wheat pastas or breads, and rice. It’s important to fuel your body with protein after exercise as it will help allow your body to recover, as well as improving your muscle mass. For a quick and easy fix of protein, you may want to try a protein muffin to see some of these benefits.

4 of Our Favorite Post-Run Snacks

Now that we know why the post-run meal is such a crucial part of the whole activity, it’s a good idea to plan your snacks beforehand. Here are five recipes we’ve put together for you, to make your life a little easier.

1) Protein-Packed Fruit Smoothies

Instructions: Blend together your fruit, yogurt or milk and spinach and drink up. We personally love bananas and berries. The sugars from the fruit supply the carbohydrates while the protein comes in from the yoghurt, milk or nut butters. You could also add protein supplements to this mix.

green smoothie

Pro tip: Add some chia seeds, they are virtually flavorless and add a massive amount of nutrients to your smoothie.

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2) Yogurt with Frozen Berries

Instructions: Grab some yogurt and throw in some frozen berries for a chill surprise. You can choose to blend it or eat it as in. Even try throwing some nuts in there! Our personal favorite is sliced almonds.

yogurt with frozen berries

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Pro Tip: Use greek yogurt. It provides a great source of calcium, potassium and protein. This is perfect for recovery from a long run.

3) Scrambled Eggs With Whole-Wheat Toast

Instructions: After scrambling your eggs and toasting your bread, top the toast with the eggs. Adding some milk will add a fluff to your eggs.

scrambled eggs on top of toast

Photo Credit:www.flickr.com

Pro Tip: Add some veggies to your eggs. Our favorites are spinach, onions and sun-dried tomatoes. Another favorite is adding some avocado to the toast before putting the eggs on top.

4) Carrots and Hummus

Instructions: This is a simple and quick snack for after a run. The hummus is full of protein and a variety of essential minerals and vitamins.

carrots and hummus

Photo Credit: http://fitnesstipsandtraveldiary.com/

Pro Tip: Put the amount you want to eat in a container before your run. This snack is so delicious it’s almost impossible to stop yourself from eating a couple more carrots.

Post run nutrition is too important to be neglected. There are a variety of options that’ll help to refuel your body, these are just some of our favorites. Stock up on some of these ingredients beforehand to give your body the much needed nourishment to recover and prepare itself for the next run. Now you’ll have another thing to look forward to after your run, a nice hearty snack!

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What are your favorite post-run snacks? Share in the comments below.

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