For longer runs, recovery can be almost as important as the workout itself. Ideally, recovery should be started within 30 to 60 minutes of workout completion, because your muscles are ready to take in nutrients and glycogen so that they can rebuild their depleted supply. A recovery meal has the potential to prevent further muscle breakdown, optimize muscle glycogen stores, and can help make your muscles adapt better to your training. Generally, in recovery foods you should look for 1) carbs that are high in glycogen, glucose, and sucrose (rather than fructose), 2) protein that will speed your muscle recovery, and 3) electrolytes. Keep in mind that your body generally needs a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio for proper recovery. Check out some of our favorite post-workout snacks for you to try after your next long run!
Besides the fact that chocolate milk is delicious, it provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates, calcium and B vitamins to help you recover from a run.
Calories: 160 calories per 8 ounces of 1 percent milk.
Not only are these designed especially for runners, but there’s such a wide range of flavors you’re bound to find one that you like. Plus, you can choose from high-carb or protein-plus bars, although energy bars generally have a pretty good 4:1 carbs:protein ratio.
Calories: Varies per brand, size, type.
Cottage cheese has a good amount of calcium and a lot of protein, which is great for muscle rebuilding.
Calories: 165 per 1 cup of 1 percent cottage cheese.
Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
A good post-race snack because rice cakes have energizing carbohydrates, while peanut butter is a great source of protein, unsaturated fats, and vitamin E.
Calories: 225 per one rice cake with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
With fruit and almond/soy milk, smoothies are a great way to get fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. Putting some whey protein powder in will give it a nice boost too!
Calories: Approximately 200 per 12 ounces.
Check out these great smoothie combos, suggested by Runkeeper community members:
Marlies: Take a frozen banana, a tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder, a tsp of honey or agave syrup and about 250ml of milk. Blend it (I use my magic bullit) and drink it within 20 minutes after training. Spice it up with grounded red hot chilli peppers if you feel like an extra kick.
Mon: …berries, bananas, grapes, apples, oranges blended with lots of ice…
Monica: Sidenius chocolate protein shake with almond milk
A great post-run food because it is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Fiber is great because it makes you feel full. Feel free to add a little fruit to this snack to make it sweeter.
Calories: 160 per cup
Packed with protein, you can add honey, almonds or fruit to greek yogurt to make it a delicious and nutritious snack.
Calories: 100 per 170 g
Eggs are a great source of protein, and egg yolk even has special amino acids to aid in muscle recovery.
Calories: 78 per egg
High in potassium, these nuts are great in helping replenish those electrolytes that you lose through sweat.
Calories: 160 per oz
Bananas, apples, and oranges are particularly good glycogen-replenishing carbs to help you recover faster. Bananas also have a lot of potassium, and oranges have fiber to keep you full!
Calories: 105 in a banana, 65 in an orange, 115 in an apple
What did we miss? What do you go for after a nice hard workout? If you want to track all those yummy snacks you’re taking down after a workout, be sure to connect your Runkeeper account with a nutrition app like MyFitnessPal.
Feature Image courtesy of Gregor