What to Eat After a Run or Workout

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Ever wonder what you should eat after a run or workout? Well you're not alone. With so much information floating around the web, it's hard to figure out what you should be snacking on after logging a long run or intense workout session.

Not only is it confusing to figure out what to eat, it's confusing to figure out when to eat too. We compiled this post to help you figure out where your next post-workout nutrients should come from.

Carbs & protein, the perfect combination. Even if you "carb-load" before a long run, it's usually not enough to replenish energy after you cross the finish line. While everyone's body is different, most sports dietitians would agree that a 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ration is ideal for speeding up recovery.

How does it work? 30 to 60 minutes after your workout, you'll want to ingest 200-300 (we vote 300) calories or carbs, proteins and maybe even a little good fat -- think coconut flakes or avocado. Your muscles will absorb the carbs for energy and absorb the protein to help repair damaged muscle tissue.

We don't expect you to bring a full meal to your race. That's where energy bars & recovery shakes come in to play. Most over the counter recovery bars and drinks use different ingredients to accomplish the perfect carb to protein ratio.

Brands like RXBAR combine proteins, in this case egg whites and nuts, with carbs: berries, and dates while brands like Picky Bars use plant-based ingredients like nuts, rice protein, and fruit for a perfect blend.

picky bars
picky bars

Other energy bars to choose from: 

The scoop (pun intended) on Recovery Shakes:  Most whey and plant-based protein powders contain 3:1 or 4:1 carb to protein ratios. If you want to be prepared, make your shake before you head out to the gym or for your run so that's it's waiting for you when you get back.

So when should you eat a full meal? The bars won't hold you over forever. You should consume a FULL meal 2 hours after your long run or fitness session.

Check out these Post-Workout Meals for inspiration.

How do you recover after your long run or workout? Tell us in the comments below.