Best Meals to Recharge After a Run
There's no magic formula for energizing after a long run, but there are some important guidelines you should consider. After you clock a few thousand steps on your nuyu™ Activity Tracker, make sure to get something to eat and drink that will help get you back in tip-top condition.
Ultimately, there are three important criteria you should be following with any post-workout diet. What you consume should help you rehydrate, repair and refuel. Here's a detailed breakdown for each point.
What to Drink to Rehydrate
You guessed it, water is one of the best things to grab right after a run. You'll lose a lot of fluid while you're chugging down your route, especially if it's a hot day. That liquid lost needs to be replaced, and water is one of the best ways to do it. But remember, slow, short sips are best. Chugging after a long run is a surefire way to get an upset stomach.
"Sports drinks often come at a sugary cost."
Of course, a sports drink isn't a bad alternative. They will replenish your electrolytes, but many come at a sugary cost. Read those food labels and try to stay away from anything too sweet.
Finally, keep in mind that hydrating is something you should do throughout the day, not just after a run. You'll perform and feel much better if you drink plenty of water before exercising, too.
Repair Muscles With Protein
Whether you're running, lifting weights or doing yoga, your muscles will strain as you exercise. The fibers of your muscles actually tear and break, prompting other cells to repair the tissue. When the muscle is repaired, it's built thicker, making you stronger. That's the very basic mechanism, and it needs fuel to work effectively.
Protein is that fuel. It aids muscle repair so you can recover more effectively, but what should you be eating to help jumpstart that process? Focus on low fat, low sugar items like:
- Lean meat, like salmon, tuna, turkey, white meat chicken, lean beef
- Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
- Nuts and granola.
Just a small snack can make a difference, so don't skip a little meal.
Refuel With Carbohydrates
Runners are probably familiar with the carb-loading ritual that occurs before a big race. What's less well-known is how badly your body needs carbohydrates to build energy back up after the run. Refueling is essential for exercising multiple days per week, reducing fatigue and performing well. Not to mention it simply feels better when you're running on all six cylinders.
Your body burns through carbohydrates while exercising, but you can build those energy reserves back up with foods like whole wheat grains, pastas and breads. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, meals like sandwiches, chicken pasta salad or even an omelet with toast can be a great way to get your carbs and protein at the same time. Just remember to enjoy a glass of water with it.