Wednesday Wisdom from Framar Health what to eat after you run
20 February 2019
Wednesday Wisdom with Sarah Trimble Nutrition from Framar Health, providing expert nutritional advice & recipes to help support your marathon training.
What to eat after you run
While what you eat before you run will provide the fuel for your run, what you eat afterwards will provide the nutrients that your body needs to ensure proper muscle recovery. This is essential to prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and to provide your muscles with the nutrients that they require to recover and develop during your months of training. There are a number of rules to follow to ensure that you get the most out of post-workout nutrition, they involve Timing, Quantity and Quality.
Timing: Within a 45 minute window after a training session it is essential to provide the body with a serving of protein. Protein-based foods including meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils are made up of amino acids that help in the repair of muscle damage that we all experience as a result of exercise and consuming protein after exercise will ensure proper recovery of muscles while also supporting the building and development of muscle.
Timing: try to include a small serving of some protein in your last meal pre-workout, this meal should be eaten at most 4 hours before exercise.
Quantity: research indicates that a serving of 20g (or 0.25 g per kg of body weight) of protein is optimal to promote muscle recovery, there is no benefit to be gained from eating a larger serving. 20g of protein is provided by: 3 eggs, 600ml milk, 450g plain yoghurt, 250g Greek yoghurt, 85g meat or poultry or 100g fish.
Quality: we need a balance of all amino acids for muscle production, however, protein sources that provide higher levels of a specific amino acid called leucine are most effective at promoting muscle synthesis. Therefore foods that contain higher levels of leucine are more effective at promoting muscle recovery, these include dairy products, egg and meat.
Quality: plant-based sources of protein including beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, however they are not considered as high quality as animal sources of protein. It is possible to ensure muscle recovery and development on a vegetarian or vegan diet, however, you have to be more mindful of ensuring that sufficient dietary protein is consumed and that protein sources are effectively combined. In the coming weeks we’ll be posting specific advice for training on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Always combine your post-exercise protein with some carbohydrate-based food, this promotes the integration of amino acids into the muscles. So mix a banana into some Greek yoghurt, have your eggs on a slice of toast or some rice with your meat or fish.