As I train for my 8th half marathon, I like to try new options for refueling after a long run. I know what the experts say and what the research says too, but I also like to listen to what my body needs as well.
For those of you also in the same boat, whether you are training for a half or full marathon, triathlons or even longer distances, you need to know that the importance of refueling after your training runs can never be underestimated! If you don’t refuel properly, you are at a higher risk for developing injuries, not giving your muscles sufficient nutrients to help repair the damage as well as not being “ready” for your next training session.
But wait! Don’t I need to eat right after my session for it to work? The answer is yes and no. The quicker you can get your post training snack/meal in the better, but you do have a fairly large window of 2 hours to work with. If your meal is going to be within the hour afterwards then you really don’t need to have a post workout/training supplement. However, if you know that you won’t be eating for more than 2 hours, yes, let’s please take something!
But what? Ideally, we are looking for a combo of protein and carbohydrates. This combo will help reduce the muscle damage that has happened and can help increase your endurance level by about 15%. But really Meghan, how much? The basic ratio is 4:1 (carbs:protein). So if I were to have 3.5 ounces of cooked chicken breast then I would pair it with 80 g cooked rice. Another tip, is to make sure that your post workout/training meal be lower in fats and fibre. This way you will digest your meal quicker and your body will get access to the nutrients faster!
Other nutrients to consider are omega 3 fatty acids (I’ve talked about them here). Omega 3s can help reduce the inflammation that may have occurred in the muscles and joints and may help speed any recovery that needs to be done!
So what’s my go-to post workout/training meal? Gluten free mac ‘n cheese with a can of tuna and 1/3 cup frozen peas! Mmmmm :)
What’s your go-to post workout/training meal?
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.