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What to Eat After Your Run?

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What to Eat After Your Run?

Although running is great for your physical and mental health, it can be tough on your body.

Running puts a lot of strain on the muscles and joints which can often lead to inflammation and pain.

This is why you should always allow time in your training schedule for recovery, and a solid post-run nutrition strategy is key. 

With so many great recovery products on the market (recovery drinks, recovery bars, etc) you might not give much thought to the actual food you’re eating after you work out, but this is still important. Try our Protein Bar Selection Box for a great post activity snack.

So, what should you eat after a run? 

After running your glycogen stores will be depleted along with low levels of electrolytes and tiny tears in your muscles. To restore nutrient levels and repair your muscles it’s essential that you’re eating the right post-run foods, without this all of your hard work will be for nothing.  

The key things to focus on are: 

  • Carbohydrates - Helps to replenish glycogen stores, reduces muscle soreness, maintain blood sugar levels, reduce exercise-induced immunodepression 
  • Protein - Promotes growth to repair damaged muscles, enhances immune function 
  • Sodium - Rehydrate and replenish electrolyte stores. 

What does this look like in terms of real foods? 

CARBOHYDRATES

Not loading up on carbs to replace those vital glycogen stores can mean you go into your next run at a greater risk of injury or illness due to exercise-induced immunodepression. It’s recommended that you try and incorporate 1.2g of carbs per 1kg of your own body weight into your post-run meal.  

This could look like: 

  • Grains - rice, quinoa, pasta, lentils 
  • Fruits and vegetables - sweet potato, beetroot, corn, bananas 
  • Bread 

PROTEIN

Packing protein into your post-run meal is crucial to help your muscles begin to repair themselves. Not getting enough protein post-workout can leave you feeling weak and achy.  

This could look like: 

  • Nuts and nut butters - We prefer peanut or almond, it goes great on toast or a bagel to combine protein and carbs! 
  • Eggs - Why not try a veggie omelette. 
  • Meat and fish - With vegetables or mixed into a pasta sauce. 

The perfect post-run meal will combine carbs and protein with an ideal ratio of 3:1 carbs to protein. 

SODIUM

Sodium (salt) is an electrolyte and is crucial for rehydrating. Sodium is also key for proper neuron and muscle function in the body. When you exercise you lose a lot of sodium through your sweat so it’s important to top this up again post work-out.  

It’s fairly easy to incorporate salt into your diet. Most foods have some level of sodium content and if not then it is very easy to add salt during the cooking process.  

Foods that you might not realise have a high sodium content: 

  • Tinned Soups 
  • Cheese 
  • Stock cubes 
  • Cured meats 
  • Processed foods  

If you don’t have a taste for salty foods then you can also get sodium in the form of hydration tablets and drinks powders.  

What Recovery Nutrition can I use?

Recovery products like drinks and bars contain a mix of protein and carbs to kick off your recovery and are great for immediately after a run. . 

If you have a sweet tooth recovery powder can even be incorporated into your post run meal. Try mixing your recovery powder into a smoothie or even pancake batter for an indulgent sweet treat that will have you back on top form in no time.  

While these products are great, we do still recommend that you also have a proper meal after any workout to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients to help your body recover properly. 

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