You’ve finished your long run or crossed the finish line of a long race — what should you grab to eat so you can start refueling?
Experts recommend refueling with a blend of carbs and protein within an hour of a hard workout. That’s because your muscles are primed to take in nutrients and much-needed glycogen at this time.
Don’t forget to pair anything you take in post-workout with a healthy serving of water. Hydration is super important at all times for runners, particularly after a long run, race or hard training workout.
Here are 10 of the best snacks to savor after a hard run or race. P.S. I vote that all races 10 miles and over should hand these out to runners at the finish line!
– Chocolate milk: This treat will take you back to when you were a kid, and it is so delicious. The great news is it’s also packed with a good mix of carbs and protein, as well as calcium to help you recover.
– Bagel with peanut butter: The bagel gives you ample carbs to refuel, while the peanut butter is a great source of protein and unsaturated fats. This snack will help fill you up until you can get a bigger meal in your stomach.
– Banana: There’s a reason nearly every race ever offers these at the finish line – they’re packed with carbs to rebuild your glycogen levels and they also have a ton of potassium. Plus, they’re easy to cart around and eat on the go.
– Pretzels: The salt content in pretzels provides an immediate pick-me-up. Pair them with some hummus – a good source of fiber that helps you feel full – for a nice treat.
– Greek yogurt + fruit: The yogurt is filled with protein you need to refuel, and it offers a great base you can add to many foods – including fruit, honey, nuts, granola and more.
– Nuts: Ones such as almonds and pistachios are a great source of antioxidants, carbs, fiber and healthy unsaturated fats. Just a handful should be enough to give you a boost before you can get home to a bigger meal.
– Cereal + milk: This back-to-basics meal gives you the carbs and protein you need after a tough run. There are so many cereal varieties to choose from that you’re sure to find something you like. Many cereals are also high in vitamins, iron and fiber – all good things.
– Oatmeal: This is a great post-run treat because it’s filled with everything you need: carbs, protein and fiber to help keep you feeling fuller longer. Plus, you can add a little fruit or brown sugar to sweeten it up.
– Smoothie: Combining your favorite fruit or fruits with some low-fat milk or almond/soy milk makes for a tasty, sweet treat that packs in protein, calcium, carbs, vitamins and fiber.
– Cottage cheese + fruit: Like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is a great food because you can add many different things on top of it, most notably fruit. It also is packed with protein and calcium.
For more from Katharine Lackey, visit Kat Runs D.C.