Nutrition Thursday: What to eat Post-Workout?

Hi guys, how are you??

I’m still freezing up in the DC area but me and the treadmill have rekindled our love affair so it has been okay. I sprint from my car into where ever I am going and I think my speed work has really improved. …kidding…kind of.

I had a reader request for our next Nutrition Thursday to be about what to eat post-run. I love this question so much because I think a lot of runners (myself included) put so much time into planning and executing our workouts, but we forget about the importance of the post-workout routine.

Detox smoothie before running workout

The quick and dirty: Post-Workout Meals

Of course this is going to vary based on the distance, duration, and intensity of your run. Be sure to do what works best for you and as always, check with a doc before making any major diet changes.

When to eat post-workout?

  • Easy run – no need to eat anything specific right after. Try to eat a snack within the first one to two hours after your run to avoid becoming ravenous later or sudden sugar cravings.
  • Speed workout – Try to eat within the first 30 minutes after you finish your workout!
  • Long run – Like a speed workout, try to eat within the first 30 minutes. A few hours later, sit down and eat a high nutrient meal to replenish your body.

We do easy runs to Frozen Yogurt…

What to eat?

  • Easy run – Fruit, greek yogurt, raw almonds. Something simple and healthy!
  • Speed workout – Easy digestible carbs immediately after your workout.  These are also called ‘simple carbs’ which your body can digest quickly and give you a shot of energy, replenishing your glycogen levels in your muscles. Chocolate milk is a great choice!
  • Long run – Right after the run, a good mix of simple carbs and protein.  A few hours later, anti-inflammatory foods are a great choice: Fatty fish, leafy greens, raw nuts, peppers, and ginger.

How much to eat?

  • Easy run – Low calorie, but your snack should be nutrient dense – a high nutrient to calorie ratio.
  • Speed workout – About 200-400 calories.  This depends on the duration and intensity of your workout.
  • Long run – About 200 – 300 calories. Many experts recommend eating anti-inflammatory foods to help with any muscle swelling that may have resulted from miles of pounding. For long optimal recovery after a marathon, a carb to protein ratio of 4:1 is best.

Read more HERE, this is a great article!

There is a ton of information and studies done on what to eat after a workout. These are just the quick highlights!

I made this chocolate, peanut butter smoothie after my run the other day and it was delicious! Have fun experimenting with your smoothies, you’ll quickly discover new recipes!

Q: If you could have 1 food waiting for you at the finish line of your next race, what would it be?

— a large Dominos pizza. Just being honest!

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