Whatever it is your palate craves after a hard race, I can guess it falls into one of these categories: salty or sweet. If coffee was a category, I know that many of you reading this would jump right on board, but news flash: coffee is not a snack! After taking multiple nutrition classes in my undergrad years and being coached by nutritionists while running collegiately, I learned some valuable post-run nutrition habits:
Post Workout Nutrition Tips
- The 30 minute window. Eat at least 100-300 calories within 30 minutes of workout/race.
- Limit fats. In your 30-minute window, it’s important to focus on carbohydrate intake. Fats (ie: a handful of nuts, avocados, etc.) inhibit the absorption of carbohydrates back into the muscles. Stick to a snack with less than around 10 grams of fat.
- Rule of thumb is 4 to 1. Your snack should include four grams of carbohydrates for every one gram of protein. This applies to post workout snack and larger meals as well. As a distance runner, carbs are our main fuel source – we want the tank full all the time.
I’m far from an expert in nutritional sciences – even though I would love to be – but taking these tricks and tips to the kitchen is one of my specialties. These simple snacks are exceptionally helpful for runners who think they don’t have “spare time” to cook or become overwhelmed setting foot in a kitchen. I promise: whipping these up is not rocket science. They are guaranteed not to take more than five minutes.
Three Post Run Recovery Snacks
- Yogurt + oats: 3/4 cup low fat Vanilla yogurt, ½ cup rolled oats uncooked, ½-1 tbsp. flax seed, coconut flakes, topped with frozen blueberries and/or banana slices.
- English muffin + apples: Whole wheat English muffin, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon, 3 apple slices.
- Pita pocket + turkey: Whole wheat pita bread pocket (or cut in half for smaller snack), 3 slices peppered turkey, small bunch of sprouts, 1 tbsp. hummus (I use garlic and chive).
If you’re really on a time crunch, here’s a snack that will do just the trick…
- Picky Bar + chocolate milk: Chocolate milk and Picky Bars fall into the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Bring this snack for a post track workout, or pack it in your Feather Spike Bag for a post-race treat.
That’s all for now. Craving more nutritious recipe ideas? Tweet me at @JackElizabethK.