Post-Race Nutrition Advice

Nutrition by Becca Blumberg – Post-Race Nutrition Advice

What you eat after a run matters just as much (or maybe even more) than what you eat right before or during the run. It’s important to take in nutrition and hydration after a long run; your body desperately needs to rehydrate, replenish its glycogen (energy) stores, and repair damaged muscle. Taking care of these needs first and foremost will set you up to recover well and be ready for your next workout. It can also help keep the hunger that can follow you all day long after a long run at bay.

Here’s some solid Post-Race Nutrition Advice-

Within the first 30 minutes after your run, you should aim for a snack with 60-100 grams of carbs and 15-30 grams of protein. If you’re driving somewhere for your long run, this may mean packing a cooler with food for the ride home. Some great options are eggs with potatoes or on a bagel, rice, a large tortilla, fruit & Greek yogurt, or a sandwich with some protein (cold cut or PB&J). If you’re on the go, protein bars can be a convenient option.

Some runners aren’t that hungry after a run and have a hard time eating. In this case, protein shakes, smoothies, or chocolate milk can be an option for beginning the recovery process. They’re also great options if you’re crunched for time and need to move on with your day. Ideally, you should also drink 16-20 ounces of fluid to start rehydrating.

Within the first 4 hours after your run, your goal is to refuel with a good meal such as pasta with veggies and protein (chicken, shrimp, or tofu are all great options), a stir-fry over rice (don’t forget the protein), or oatmeal or pancakes with nuts (or nut butter) and fruit. You should also try to replace ALL fluids lost. This can be a lot! Opting for cold water on a hot day, or hot fluid (herbal tea, decaf tea, or coffee) on a cold day can make this easier. You can start sipping right after your run and just keep on until you’ve gotten enough.

Here is my recipe for a fabulous Post-Race Nutrition Smoothie!

Recipe: Recovery Smoothie

This smoothie is the perfect recovery food after a long run. It has a 3:1 carb to protein ratio and 22 grams of protein, which will help your body repair damaged muscle and restore glycogen stores so that you’re ready for that next run. All the fruit and vegetables also add a lot of antioxidants which can combat the stress of a long workout and aid in recovery.

The ideal milk for this smoothie is skim or 1% dairy milk as it adds 8 grams of protein. The natural sugars also contribute to the carbohydrate content of the smoothie. If you cannot or choose not to consume dairy milk, look for one with similar amounts of protein. Soy and pea milk are great options. Nut milk (almond or cashew), coconut milk, or oat milk generally have a gram or less, and aren’t the best choice for recovery foods or your breakfast oatmeal because the lack of protein may leave you hungry and undernourished.

Ingredients

1/4 cup oats (any kind of oatmeal will work)

1 cup milk (any kind)

1 carrot, peeled and cut into large pieces

1/2 cup spinach

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 tablespoon honey (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Pour oats into a blender and blend on high for 15 seconds.
  2. Add milk and blend on high for 15 more seconds to combine.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and blend for about 1 minute, alternating speeds, or until smoothie is smooth.

 

Smoothies are such a great food once you figure out the secret to them. You can fit a lot of nutrients in them, and they still turn out delicious. This smoothie is packed with fruits and vegetables, but also includes oats and yogurt. The oats add a delightfully creamy texture and thicken the Smoothie.

Some of the secrets of making a great smoothie are using frozen fruit, adding enough liquid, alternating the speed of the blender, and getting your liquids in as early as possible. Normally, the liquids are added first, but in this case, the oats need to be ground a bit finer before adding liquid.

Another great food to consume is my Post race Nutrition Hummus!

Recipe: Hummus

Hummis is a great addition to any runner’s diet. The chickpea base provides a great source of plant-based protein as well as fiber. This combination helps to fill the body up after a run and fight run-ger. Chickpeas also add in iron (important to replace the red blood cells that are literally crushed every step) and B vitamins (important to keep our overall energy levels up).

The olive oil and tahini provide anti-inflammatory fats and minerals which can help aid in recovery and our ability to handle the marathon training volume. Hummus is also high in phosphorus, which plays an important role in bone health.

Hummus is a staple food in many cuisines. The formula for hummus is pretty easy to follow. There are chickpeas, tahini, an acid, and seasoning. Supplementary ingredients can be added, but if you use those basic elements together and mix, you end up with hummus. With this formula you can really play around with flavors to make many interesting kinds of hummus.

 

Ingredients

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ cup tahini

¼ cup lemon juice

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste

Olive oil and Paprika to garnish

 

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and chickpeas. Pulse until a crumbly mixture forms.
  2. With the food processor on low, slowly add oil until the mixture becomes smooth. To make the hummus creamier, slowly add up to 1 tablespoon of cold water while the processor is set on low.
  3. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

 

Variation: Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar

Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ cup tahini

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 large yellow onion, sliced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt to taste

Olive oil and Paprika to garnish

 

Directions

  1. In a large pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over low heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions turn a deep brown and begin to smell sweet, about 45 minutes. Do not increase the heat.
  2. Add chickpeas, tahini, garlic, balsamic vinegar, caramelized onions, and cumin to a food processor. Pulse until a crumbly mixture forms.
  3. With the food processor on low, slowly add oil until the mixture becomes smooth. For a creamier mixture add up to 1 tablespoon of cold water while processor runs.

 

Pita Chips make a perfect post race Nutrition carb! Check my pita chips recipe here!

Ingredients

Whole wheat pita

Olive oil

Optional:

Salt

Garlic Powder

Everything seasoning

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.
  2. Brush pita with oil on both sides. Add seasoning if you opt in to use it.
  3. Place pita on wire racks.
  4. Bake for 10-20 minutes, until pita becomes crisp.
  5. Cut pita into 8 pieces.

 

About Becca Blumberg

Post race nutrition with becca blumberg

Becca (she/her) is a registered dietitian-nutritionist (RDN) based in Fort Collins, CO. She has a Masters in Human Nutrition from Colorado State University and completed a dietetic internship in the Northern Colorado area focused on wellness & lifestyle medicine and is a certified intuitive eating counselor. She’s also a personal trainer and RRCA Level 1 Running Coach. She’s passionate about helping people achieve their endurance goals and seeing the ripple effect that this can create for them.

If you have any questions, are looking for general advice, or just want a nutritionist to have your back, check Becca out at https://www.facebook.com/Ripple.Nutrition or rippleenutrition.wixsite.com/ripplenutrition or reach out to her @ripple.nutrition on Facebook or at beccablumberg@gmail.com.

 

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