Good nutrition is extremely important to good performance when you run. What you eat after running is equally important as to what you eat before running.
One of the most commonly asked question by newbie runners is “what to eat after running” Before I answer that question I need to explain what happens to your body after rigorous running exercise.
After your running routine your body enters into a catabolic state in which your metabolism is breaking down tissue. Muscle glycogen has been depleted and cortisol levels are up. Both states are unhealthy.
You need a quick fix to return to an anabolic state where tissue growth and repair takes place.
How do you accomplish that necessary recovery in a speedy and healthy manner?
Choose foods that your body can quickly, easily and efficiently digest. You need to create a quick insulin spike with simple carbohydrates(fruits, veggies, pasta etc) to move nutrients to the muscles fast. You also need quickly digestible protein that provides the amino acids that start muscle repair ASAP.
Generally you will get the fastest response from a meal ranging around 300-500 calories, depending on your body size. Females usually need the lower amount and males the higher number.
Super Foods to Eat After Running
This fish is rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Those two are powerful healing nutrients. They help in rebuilding muscle, repairing stress fractures, tendons, and ligaments.
After running your body immune system is down and you are vulnerable to infections. To give it a lift, feast on a bowl of carrots. Carrots are rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A helps in building white blood cells, which your body needs to fight infections.
Bananas are rich in calories and give you much needed energy boost. They are also a good source of potassium. During running you lose a lot of potassium through sweating and eating a banana will give you a fix.
3. Soy drink
Soy is a great source of post-exercise protein to promote muscle recovery.
It is rich in calories, and the energy from it is long lasting.
Although low on calories, ovacado is packed with healthy fats. It also contains essential vitamin and minerals necessary for body repair.
5. Whole meal pasta/rice eat
After you have eaten simple carbs to get a quick fix and you now feel like resting and and taking a well earned rest you should eat a whole meal diet of pasta or rice. Whole meal is slow acting and provides you with longer lasting energy.
How much should food should you eat after running?
The optimal ratio of carbs to protein runs between 2:1 to 4:1. How do you decide the numbers that are right for you? Start with the lower number and notice how you feel. Your goal is to feel good and be at your best to face the day full of energy, vitality and clear thinking.
If you do not get back to feeling great quickly increase your ratio above the 2:1. Always honor how you feel. When you feel good keep doing what you are doing!