Whether you enjoy running recreationally or competitively, or as part of your overall wellness goals, it’s a great way to improve your heart health. Running is an exercise many people enjoy to stay healthy.
But as you may know, an intense exercise consumes glycogen, the energy source that the body stores to fuel activity. As you exercise, you break down muscle cells and fibers that will need to be repaired.
All of these need to be replenished and not to forget lost fluids through perspiration, which is why what you eat and drink after a run matters.
Depending on your goals, such as weight loss, muscle gain, or completing a long-distance, run different foods can offer different benefits.
Here are the best foods to eat after your run.
For weight loss
Move over, bananas. One cup of sliced avocado contains almost twice as much potassium as does a whole banana.
Potassium, an important electrolyte that helps you run harder, longer, is lost through your sweat, so it’s important to refuel after your runs.
Adding a little sea salt is also a great way to replace the sodium and other minerals lost.
Nuts are good for post-run recovery because you can eat them on the go, wherever and whenever.
They are packed with both protein, fiber and unsaturated fats, which is linked to lower levels of inflammation, improved weight loss and a healthier life.
Healthy dietary fats such as nuts, helps in hormone production as well, which is essential for runners, and bone health.
Beets are low in calories and rich in nutrients but a great source of fiber which makes it a really good addition to those greens.
Studies show that the dietary nitrates found in beets as well as in spinach and arugula can help delay running fatigue and improve overall performance.
This favorite summer fruit comes with a few calories but rich in compounds that encourages weight loss.
A powerful plant compound called citrulline is what help delay body fatigue due to running and relieving of muscle soreness.
Other fruits such as Bananas are also a great choice. They are rich in dietary fiber which helps the prevention of cramps, they contain probiotics, and are known to help muscle stiffness and soreness.
Watermelon consists of 92 percent water, making it a hydrating snack for the hot summer months.
It’s important that you don’t completely cut carbs from your weight-loss plan, especially when it involves running.
Grains like quinoa, bulgur, oats, amaranth and whole wheat, will fuel your runs and recovery while still providing the fiber that you need to prevent you from overeating, promote healthy digestion and lose weight more easily.
If the goal is to gain muscles, these are the top foods to include in the diet:
Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables
It’s hard to go wrong with Chicken and vegetables.
Fresh vegetables are natural sources of antioxidants to help manage inflammation. Consider raw cabbage, spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, and asparagus in your post-workout meal, as they all contain the amino acid glutamine, a much needed fuel for immune cells.
To start the muscle-rebuilding process after running, chicken would be a great choice when lean protein is needed.
Add olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper for extra flavor.
Of course, you may not always have the time or energy to prepare a meal after a run.
Protein shakes are the go-to choice for many people looking to build muscle. Although there are several types of protein powder, whey protein is loaded with essential amino acids and is one of the best choices for building muscle after a run and to jumpstart the muscle-building process.
If you want to bump up the calorie and protein content, use milk instead of water. The body digests and absorbs the nutrients from milk-based proteins much faster.
Cottage Cheese is an excellent source of calcium and protein. One cup of cottage cheese provides the body with 28 grams of protein.
Because it is high in sodium, cottage cheese is a perfect option to replenish your lost electrolytes.
Mixing fruit into cottage cheese adds sweetness, healthy fiber, more vitamins and minerals and can turn plain cottage cheese into a treat.
Making this the perfect post-run drink, it is loaded with high-quality protein and fast-digesting carbs for muscle recovery.
This drink has double the amount of carbs, protein and everything you need to refuel in one serving size.
Finally, remember to always stay hydrated. It’s better to take frequent sips of water rather than chugging larger amounts infrequently. Adding in sport/energy drinks can also help restore carbohydrates and electrolytes.
After you exercise, you generally have about a 30-45 minute window before your body starts working to rebuild your muscles in recovery mode. That’s when you’ll want to replenish energy so that your body can recover effectively.
Proper nutrition and well-balanced diet that are rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes will ensure you promote and maintain good health.
After restocking all of your lost nutrients, the most important part of a long run is relaxing and resting, which is key to great optimal recovery.