Do you need to eat something after a run, even if it’s just after a few kilometers?
If you’re doing a shorter run (under 90 minutes) at low to moderate intensity, you should be able to achieve those goals with your normal eating habits (ie what ever you normally eat before your run) and there’s no need to eat specifically to recover. But after a long or an intense fast paced run, you’ll want to replenish energy as quickly as possible.
Studies have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. If you eat soon after your long run or intense workout, you can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. How many of you do that? Could that be the secret to your recovery after a long run?
What should you eat?
Carbs in the form of glucose are the easiest to break down and used as fuel. So high-glycemic index food like potato, bread, rice are good choices to refuel muscles. Pair that with some protein and you have a great recovery meal.
Of course some of the time you are not close to a place where you can just refuel on food so a protein bar with all the nutrients can help in this regard. And if you are like me I can’t stomach solid food immediately after a long run so you can try chocolate milk or prepare are recovery drink the day before or even a high protein shake.
Don’t Eat too much that is the key…..
While its important to eat something and of course replenish fluids after a long run, be careful not to overindulge and consume more than you need to. It’s tempting to eat what ever you want after a run, after all you deserve it right:)
Make sure to refuel and rehydrate once you have completed your runs, this is key to helping you with your recovery. Each runner has their secret like having an ice cold beer at the end of a long run or a giant boerewors roll:) What ever it may be, do make sure you eat and keep hydrated.