Here’s What to Eat After a Run to Boost Your Recovery

Try one of these 30 nutritious suggestions.

what to eat after a run

Anastasia Dobrusina//Getty Images

What you eat after a run to boost recovery is just as important as what you munch on before your miles to maintain energy. Post run meals restore nutrients lost through exercise, and the right foods can help refuel your muscles, strengthen your bones, and reduce the inflammation that intense exercise produces.

If you’re not sure exactly what to eat after a run, we have plenty of suggestions. Stock up on these 30 nutritious foods to help you recover faster and stay healthy through every training block.

what to eat after a run, greek yogurt

ATU Images//Getty Images


Greek Yoghurt

Your muscles get broken down during a workout, and protein is key for building them up again. Greek yoghurt, which contains more protein than regular varieties, is an easy snack to grab out of the fridge postrun. Opt for plain versions, which have about 6 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein per serving. Flavoured varieties sneakily pack in added sugar.

what to eat after a run, oatmeal

Arx0nt//Getty Images



Hearty oatmeal not only warms you up after your sweaty runs, but it also provides complex carbs to help replenish depleted energy stores—without causing a crash later.

what to eat after a run, tart cherries

Aleksandr Zubkov//Getty Images


Tart Cherries

Studies have found that the antioxidants found in dark-coloured fruits, like cherries and blueberries, can delay the onset of muscle soreness.

what to eat after a run, avocado toast

Alexander Spatari//Getty Images


Avocado Toast

We know, avocado toast is the trend that won’t quit—but the combination of healthy monounsaturated fats from avocados and whole grains from toast makes for a great (and easy) postrun bite. Sprinkle on salt for a little extra sodium.

what to eat after a run, cottage cheese

LauriPatterson//Getty Images


Cottage Cheese

If the last time you saw this food was at your grandparents’ house, it’s time to bring it to your own refrigerator. Cottage cheese is packed with protein and calcium, and its relatively high sodium content is great for replenishing the electrolytes.

what to eat after a run, tofu

LauriPatterson//Getty Images



Whether you like it fried, roasted, baked, or added to a soup, tofu is an excellent source of protein (it contains all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein). Plus, it has iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

what to eat after a run, eggs

Carlo A//Getty Images



Eggs, a classic protein workhorse, can be added to literally anything—try them fried on top of toast, tossed with brown rice for a healthy stir fry, or folded with veggies for a nutritious scramble. You can also use them to make egg muffins on a Monday, then save them up for breakfast all week.

what to eat after a run, salmon

lacaosa//Getty Images



This protein-packed, superfood fish is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which can strengthen bones and help prevent osteoporosis.

what to eat after a run, sardines

Antonio Hugo Photo//Getty Images



Tinned fish is trending right now. And sardines are a great way to get in on that good-for-you fad. Salty sardines, like salmon, are an excellent source of protein and bone-boosting fatty acids, as well as essential vitamins like B12.

what to eat after a run, whey protein

Scarlet Rodríguez / EyeEm//Getty Images


Whey Protein

Whey protein has been somewhat neglected in favour of whole foods as of late, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good recovery food. Look for brands that are low in sugar, then blitz up with berries, oats, and milk for a nutrient-rich smoothie.

what to eat after a run, whole grains

fcafotodigital//Getty Images


Whole Grains

When you’re depleted after a run, it’s tempting to reach for a sugary granola bar. But whole and ancient grains like farro, quinoa, brown rice, and barley are a healthier choice for replenishing carb stores, as they also provide protein and fibre that’ll keep you full longer.

what to eat after a run, mixed nuts

Emilija Manevska//Getty Images


Mixed Nuts

A handful of nuts—such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and pistachios—goes a long way in satisfying your protein, fat, and salt needs after a run. Plus, they pack minerals like calcium and zinc that boost bone health.

what to eat after a run, ginger

manusapon kasosod//Getty Images



If you’ve ever felt nauseous after a particularly hard session, ginger is a life saver; but while the rhizome’s stomach-settling abilities are well known, its other benefits, like reducing inflammation, may be less so. Brew a pot of ginger tea for a warming recovery drink.

what to eat after a run, milk

boonchai wedmakawand//Getty Images



The no-frills staple shouldn’t be overlooked: one glass of skim milk provides about 10 grams of protein, plus bone-building calcium and vitamin D.

what to eat after a run, banana

Westend61//Getty Images



This portable, easy-to-digest fruit offers a one-two punch of carbs and potassium, which can stave off muscle cramping. Plus, there are many other science-backed benefits of bananas, like supporting your hydration and gut health.

what to eat after a run, nut butter

Wanwisa Hernandez / EyeEm//Getty Images


Nut Butter

For a quick hit of protein and fat, nut butter—think peanut, cashew, or almond varieties—can be slathered on toast, stirred into yoghurt, or melted and drizzled on a warm grain salad.

what to eat after a run, broccoli

Edelweiss Spykerman / EyeEm//Getty Images



The cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus—all nutrients that are crucial for maintaining healthy bones.

what to eat after a run, dark chocolate

(C)Andrew Hounslea//Getty Images


Dark Chocolate

Yes, you can indulge that sweet tooth—dark chocolate is a powerful antioxidant, and can help to reduce inflammation. Aim for varieties that are about 70 percent cocoa.

what to eat after a run, pineapple juice

photograph by dorisj//Getty Images


Pineapple Juice

The citrus juice replenishes your carb stores, provides immune-boosting vitamin A and beta-carotene, and can help reduce inflammation.

what to eat after a run, beef

Owen Franken//Getty Images



While you shouldn’t eat red meat every day, having beef after a long workout is a great way to replenish protein and iron.

what to eat after a run, whole wheat pasta

wsmahar//Getty Images


Whole Wheat Pasta

Whole wheat versions of the go-to meal for runners offer protein, fibre, minerals, and complex carbs. Make a batch, then toss it with olive oil and veggies for a rounded meal.

what to eat after a run, dried fruit

bhofack2//Getty Images


Dried Fruit

While these foods can be sneaky sugar bombs, their high carb profiles make them great for a quick energy boost during or after a run. Figs, dates, and plums also provide fibre, which keep you full between meals.

what to eat after a run, turmeric

manusapon kasosod//Getty Images



A staple in Asian cuisines for centuries, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Add a shake of turmeric to hummus for a great postrun snack or turn it into a golden milk latte, blended with your milk of choice.

what to eat after a run, sweet potatoes

Westend61//Getty Images


Sweet Potatoes

Packed with complex carbs, fibre, potassium, and iron, this starchy root vegetable is the perfect base for a postrun breakfast hash.

what to eat after a run, kale

Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman//Getty Images



These dark greens are chock-full of vitamin K, which helps produce proteins that strengthen bones. Leafy greens also promote heart health and pack in lots of other important, wellbeing-boosting vitamins and minerals.

what to eat after a run, tomato juice

Burak Karademir//Getty Images



These ruby fruits are one of the few foods that contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which has been linked to a reduced risk of several diseases.

what to eat after a run, blueberries

Anastasiia Yanishevska / EyeEm//Getty Images



This bright blue superfood is the king of antioxidants. Toss a few in your oatmeal or yoghurt to help reduce inflammation and protect your heart.

what to eat after a run, watermelon

lacaosa//Getty Images



Like tomatoes, watermelon also contains lycopene, which reduces muscle soreness. Containing almost 90% water, the melon is also a great way to stay hydrated.

what to eat after a run, chickpeas

Westend61//Getty Images



These legumes are high in fibre and protein, which makes them a fantastic plant-based protein source. Toss them in olive oil and seasonings, then roast them in a hot oven for about 25 minutes for a crunchy, satisfying snack or topping.

what to eat after a run, bone broth

RUSS ROHDE//Getty Images


Bone Broth

Made from simmering chicken bones low and slow, this popular broth is said to alleviate joint pain and promote healthy bones. After a cold run, sip it straight from a mug, or use it as a base for a satisfying soup.

Related Articles