How To Refuel After A Run To Maximize Recovery
Think about this: You finish a hard workout or even a long run, + it was a success! You hit the times you wanted, ++ you felt good even after the run was done. Now what is your next move? Do you…
#1] Take a nap
#2] Make a protein smoothie
#3] Stretch + foam roll
#4] All of the above
Each + every choice is the step in the right direction, but the best answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE! ; ) Why? Well, it starts with what happens in your body when you do a run.
When you run, your muscles elongate + shorten on each step. Each time it stretches + relaxes, a muscle tears a bit of the fibers as you are building that muscle. When you break something down, you have to build it back together. You have to heal it. That is why we refuel.
Refuel is the term I use to describe the snack or meal after a workout or the foods + beverages consumed for at least 24 hours after a workout. Ideal refuel happens within 30 minutes of ending a run + it is a combination of carbohydrates + proteins to serve two purposes: #1] Replenish your glycogen stores [energy] + #2] Repair + build muscle. So what is the perfect refuel? It depends on how long your run is!
Simply drink some water + have a snack of banana + nut butter
- 16 fl oz of water with a Nuun tablet
- Protein bar
Eat or drink at least 50 grams of carbs + 20 grams of protein within 45 minutes of finishing the workout
- Peanut Butter Breakfast Quinoa
- Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie
- Kodiak Cake Protein Pancakes
In addition to having at least 50 grams of carbohydrates + 20 grams of protein immediately after the run, you also need to continue to refuel every 2 hours with at least 30-60 grams of carbohydrates with 10-20 grams of protein for at least 12 hours
- Protein Muffins
- Crackers + Cheese
- Salmon + Veggies + Rice
- One Pan Chicken + Sweet Potatoes + Green Beans
- Protein Smoothie
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As you can see for the different types of runs, the ideal proportion of refuel is 1 gram per kilogram of body weight with at least 0.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. You may know it as a 3-to-1 ratio, which is the best recovery option for any runner. You’ll notice a difference not only in your running strength, but also in your recovery time. Refueling gives you an opportunity to maximize your work in this training program ++ become a stronger, healthier runner.
*Wondering where these recipes are? You’ll receive them [+ more!] as a member of CHAARG Run Club! Also — if all of this still feels confusing, don’t worry! I’ll be in the CHAARG Run Club slack channel to answer all of your running + nutrition questions. I’ll see you in there June 1!
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PSA: Looking for a running-focused workout program + community this summer? Always wanted to run 13.1 miles without stopping? Join CHAARG Run Club! Registration is open until May 29 — see more details here!