Going for a run can be hard on your body, and it's important for you to replenish your muscles with the necessary nutrients and fluids that were lost. Luckily, there are certain foods and drinks you can consume to aid your running recovery.
Replenish Carbohydrate Levels Quickly
During a workout or run, your body powers itself with stored carbohydrates and glycogen, which can you leave you feeling exhausted. Focus on resetting your carbohydrate levels right away after you run. Reach for simple carbohydrates, such as fructose, because they will help replenish the glycogen that was depleted during your workout. An easy way to replenish carbohydrates is to whip up a real fruit smoothie. If you need a quicker option, consider drinking coconut water or eating an energy gel. If you're trying to build muscle, keep in mind that some research shows that consuming carbohydrates with protein after your workout may help boost the process of protein synthesis, which is how muscles grow.
Don't Forget to Consume Protein
Protein can help speed muscle repair after a hard workout, and consuming a protein shake is an effective way to do so. A shake allows the protein to be quickly absorbed into the body, which means a faster recovery. If you're not into shakes, it's also easy to add a scoop of protein powder to your post-run smoothie. Keep your smoothie simple, and stay away from fats or fibrous ingredients because those may block the absorption of the protein and cause your stomach to feel upset. Try tossing one scoop of vanilla whey or pea protein, 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries, and 1 cup water or milk into your blender for a great post-run recovery meal.
Eat the Right Meal
When you're ready to eat after your run, your first meal should contain all three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats), and have fiber and plenty of micronutrients in the form of vegetables. For a tasty recovery meal, try grilling a four-ounce chicken breast and pairing it with a spinach salad and brown rice. You could also grill a salmon fillet, which is filled with healthy omega-3 fats that help reduce inflammation. Pair it with a side of quinoa and grilled asparagus or cauliflower.
Before you go for a run, make sure you have the right running recovery foods in your fridge or pantry. Follow these tips and ideas, and you'll be a stronger, healthier runner in no time.