What Foods Help Speed Up Recovery?

Q Are some foods better than others in aiding recovery after a rough run? – AMBER


A As far as I am concerned, the when and how much are as important as the what.



For the best recovery, refuel within 15-30 minutes of a run. Make it a priority!


How much

Aim for a post run appetiser (about a tennis-ball size amount of food), not a full meal. Often, you may finish a run without an appetite, so remember less is more.

Recovery can also carry into the following meal. Your post run meal should include ¼-1/3 of a plate full of carbs (rice, pasta, potato, bread, tortilla or cereal), ¼ plate full of protein (lean meat, poultry, fish, soy foods, beans, eggs, low-fat dairy), fruits/vegetables for the remainder of the plate, plus some fat (oil, avocado, nuts, nut butters).



Be prepared. Bring non-perishable snacks to store in your car or locker so you don’t have to wait until you get home or to a restaurant to start refueling. Follow this trifecta for optimal refuelling: replace 710mL of fluid for every 450g lost during a run, eat 12-15 grams of protein, and 35-50 grams of carbohydrates immediately after a run.

If you’re too tired to chew, you can refuel with beverages (provided they’re other than plain water). A 355mL glass of low-fat flavoured milk, a ½ cup of trail mix of roasted soynuts/dried fruit and cereal, or a sports bar with enough carbs and protein (but under 840 kilojoules) should work fine.


A few special items of interest to consider:

Ginger may help to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness, so you could add ginger to a stir-fry, or mix a little candied ginger into a trail mix, or even add ginger root to tea. To expedite recovery, think about the type of carbs you choose: higher glycemic index items such as cereal, crackers, a small amount of honey/syrup may aid in faster muscle glycogen recovery. You don’t need a special recovery product, or supplements. Just time it right, and in terms of the quantity – keep it light. Recover, Restore, Replete! – LESLIE

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