“Don’t give up. Especially after you’ve finished.”
Athletes often get caught up in the distracting excitement and satisfaction of reaching the finish line and consequently often neglect post-race nutrition. Refueling and rehydrating after a race can significantly decrease muscle soreness and reduce recovery time, leaving you stronger and ready to tackle your next run.
To realize these benefits, aim for consuming between 60-80g of carbohydrates and 15-20g of protein within 30-60 minutes of completing your run. Taking in sufficient carbohydrates will replenish glycogen stores, while protein intake will reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, build new muscle and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Timing is everything, so if you don’t have a post-race meal prepared in advance or you’re far away from your kitchen, consider a protein shake added to milk or juice to get the nutrients you need quickly and conveniently. Doing so will also help with fluids lost during your effort. The ultimate rehydration goal, however, should be consuming 16-18 oz of an electrolyte replacement drink within 2 hrs of finishing the run.
Post-Run Break Down
- 60-80g of carbs within 30 minutes
- 15-20g of protein within 30 minutes
- 16-18 oz of electrolytes within 2 hours
Before you jump in your car to go home, make sure you’ve already hydrated and fueled up so your body can recuperate and repair. This will ensure a stronger body come time for your next run.
Get the basics of Run Nutrition down in less than 3 mins by reading these quick tips.