You’ve finished your long run or crossed the finish line of a long race. What should you grab to eat so you can start refueling?
Experts recommend refueling with a blend of carbs and protein within an hour of a hard workout. That’s because your muscles are primed to take in nutrients and much-needed glycogen at this time.
Don’t forget to pair anything you take in post-workout with a healthy serving of water. Hydration is super important at all times for runners, particularly after a long run, race or hard training workout.
— Chocolate milk: This treat will take you back to when you were a kid, and it is so delicious. The great news is it’s also packed with a good mix of carbs and protein. In addition, it contains calcium to help you recover.
— Bagel with peanut butter: The bagel gives you ample carbs to refuel, while the peanut butter is a great source of protein and unsaturated fats. This snack will help fill you up until you can get a bigger meal in your stomach.
— Banana: There’s a reason nearly every race ever offers these at the finish line. They’re packed with carbs to rebuild your glycogen levels. They also have a ton of potassium. Plus, they’re easy to cart around and eat on the go.
— Pretzels: The salt content in pretzels provides an immediate pick-me-up. Pair them with some hummus – a good source of fiber that helps you feel full – for a nice treat.
— Greek yogurt + fruit: The yogurt is filled with protein you need to refuel, and it offers a great base you can add to many foods – including fruit, honey, nuts, granola and more.
— Nuts: Ones such as almonds and pistachios are a great source of antioxidants, carbs, fiber and healthy unsaturated fats. Just a handful should be enough to give you a boost before you can get home to a bigger meal.
— Cereal + milk: This back-to-basics meal gives you the carbs and protein you need after a tough run. There are so many cereal varieties to choose from that you’re sure to find something you like. Many cereals are also high in vitamins, iron and fiber – all good things.
— Oatmeal: This is a great post-run treat because it’s filled with everything you need: carbs, protein and fiber to help keep you feeling fuller longer. Plus, you can add a little fruit or brown sugar to sweeten it up.
— Smoothie: Combining your favorite fruit or fruits with some low-fat milk or almond/soy milk makes for a tasty, sweet treat that packs in protein, calcium, carbs, vitamins and fiber.
— Cottage cheese + fruit: Like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is a great food because you can add many different things on top of it, most notably fruit. It also is packed with protein and calcium.
P.S. I vote that all races 10 miles and over should hand these out to runners at the finish line!
For more from Katharine Lackey, visit Kat Runs D.C.