A VERY simple guide to post-run nutrition

So, who has ever got back from a run and eaten ALL. THE. FOOD.?

Especially when we’re long-distance running, the temptation to eat whatever we fancy with “full justification” is rather rife. Sadly, quite often we may find that it’s pretty easy to out-eat the run that we did… even when we’re marathon training!

If you struggle with having the most insane post-run appetite (like me!), here is what you can do to curb it a little.

NOTE: this by no means indicates that I think we should avoid post-run-treats, because post-run-treats are kind of a huge part of what makes long-distance running worthwhile… I’m talking about avoiding the binge. See my experience with bulimia if you really wanna know why this is important for MY noggin.

So, given the physical demands that we put on our body through running, a solid recovery meal would include:

  • Fluids (hydration!)
  • Carbs (to replenish muscle glycogen)
  • Protein (to repair damaged muscle tissue)

This could look like:

  • A chicken sandwich
  • Cereals with milk
  • Fruit and a yoghurt
  • Lean meat & veggies
  • Chocolate milk and a banana
  • A protein shake
  • A baked potato with cheese
  • Water (obviously)

(note that I’ve included a pretty damn-wide variety of “stuff that tastes good” and stuff that looks, well, kinda “healthy”. Guess what I think you should eat? WHATEVER WELL WILL BLOODY MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD!… but like, try and make sure there’s proteins and carbs).

Interestingly (if there are any humans left in London who still drink cows milk), milk is apparently a very very good option for a post-run replenishment. Good quality carbs and protein, lots of calcium for the bones that have taken rather a beating, and apparently it’s also an excellent rehydration drink. One study has shown that it can replace water lost through sweat to a greater extent than Powerade or water (Shirreffs et al. 2007). Interesting.

Also, it is apparently best to consume your post-run nutrition 20-60 minutes post-run (but I wouldn’t get too caught up on that, I think the general underlying note is the sooner the better).

If you DO find yourself perhaps over-eating just a little (or maybe a lot) after your run – be that long distance OR short distance – then please please please don’t berate yourself. You are human, and humans get hungry. You can find some tips on what to do post-binge RIGHT HERE to make sure you’re feeling as good as possible, as soon as possible.

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