Are you a runner looking for optimal post run nutrition? Here are the top tips and advice for post run recovery to feel your best and perform your best.
As a past runner myself, and now registered dietitian, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of the top pre and post run nutrition tips – in order to really help you feel your best and train your hardest!
After running in college, I took awhile off of running completely. I was simply burned out and just didn’t enjoy it at ALL anymore. But now, 7 years later, I’m excited to say I’m partnering with Natural Delights Medjool Dates to run the Gasparilla Half Marathon in February with their team! Woo!
So now this post even makes MORE sense… right?
Every month up until the half marathon, I’ll be sharing nutrition and training tidbits here and there both on the blog and my instagram – and simply sharing my journey of incorporating running again (but in a more balanced way).
Don’t worry, I’ll still be doing other workouts and not just running (or even training super hard for this race). I am thinking about it as just a fun way to get back into running a little!
But without further adieu…
Post Run Nutrition Tips + Ideas
1. Post Short, 2-3 Mile Run
After a shorter run, you haven’t burned too much off or need a HUGE recovery meal necessarily.
- If you are due for a meal and are super hungry – have a balanced meal of some lean protein, lots of vegetables, and some unprocessed carbohydrates.
- If you aren’t ready for your typical meal yet, have a protein and carbohydrate snack like a Natural Delights medjool date with some greek yogurt or almond butter on top – or an on-the-go shake with >/= 15-20g protein and some carbohydrates like Rockin’ Refuel.
- Find a lot of other great snacks and smoothie recipes (other than all the delicious ones on here!) on the Natural Delights Medjool Dates website here
2. Post Normal, 45 Minute Run (steady state or intervals)
For runs less than 60 minutes, don’t worry about getting exactly the right ratio of carbs-to-protein post run; rather, focus on eating foods that contain both.
- Making a smoothie is a great choice! Shoot for at least 15g protein – whether that’s adding protein powder, greek yogurt, or other sources of protein.
- If you’d like to use a fun little smoothie calculator to make sure you’re getting in enough protein and carbs, check out this fun one here that gives you smoothie ingredient ideas too!
- Find many smoothie recipes on my blog here
3. Post Long Run (over an hour)
After over an hour of running, you have about a 45 minute window to really replenish those glycogen stores (aka, carbs!), along with protein!
- How many carbs? Good rule of thumb is to divide your body weight by 2, and that’s the amount of grams to have. Weigh 150lbs? You should shoot for 75g carbs!
- How much protein? About 15-20g minimum!
- Good solution? Protein shake made with bananas, other fruit, and some dry oats blended in. Sandwich. Protein bar with carbs in it. Yogurt with granola.
- Then try to have a balanced meal about an hour after that!
4. Post Any Run – Feeling Nauseous/No Appetite
When you’re feeling nauseous or queasy after a run, you want to skip the quick digesting carbs like sports drinks and energy chews – and go for slower digesting ones like cheese and crackers.
- If you’re feeling really bad, ginger tea with honey can be a good option
- Or something easy on the stomach like peanut butter toast, banana with peanut butter, or a couple Medjool dates!
4. Post Pre-Bedtime Run
Right before bed, you don’t want to eat a huge meal and let that sit all night or disrupt your sleep. Instead, opt in for a protein and carb snack!
- Eat your last big meal about 2 hours before your night run
- Have a protein and carb snack after your run – such as a yogurt fruit and granola parfait, a smoothie, some oatmeal with added protein, or a couple Medjool dates with cottage cheese (it’s a slow releasing protein that is great before bed!)