What to Eat After a Run

In my last post, I talked about what to eat before a morning run. So, now that you’re an expert on what to eat before your morning run, let’s talk about what to eat after.

When we run, our bodies use our glycogen – or carbohydrate – stores for energy. Even if you only went on a short run, it’s likely that you used up a lot of your glycogen stores and need to replenish them.

On top of that, our bodies require protein for muscle building. Protein helps to rebuild any muscle that’s broken down during exercise and helps to continue to build new muscle – both of which are super important for runners.

So, after a run, aim to eat something that contains both carbs and protein. This combination not only replenishes glycogen stores and helps to rebuild muscle, but also helps you to recover faster.

Additionally, when should you aim to eat after your run? While I know it’s not always realistic to eat right after your run (you do have to shower!), try to eat within 45 minutes after you’ve finished. This window helps give your body those nutrients it needs at the most optimal refueling time.

And, like with anything else, the meal or snack you refuel with definitely doesn’t need to be complicated. Some of my favorite easy, mini meals after a run include: Greek yogurt with berries and whole grain cereal, oatmeal with peanut butter, or scrambled eggs with a whole wheat English muffin.

And if you’re hungrier for a larger meal, go for it! Unlike before a run, you don’t have to worry about the amount food or fiber in a meal after your run upsetting your stomach. Nearly any carb- and protein-containing meal will do. Options like a veggie omelet with whole wheat toast or even a simple turkey sandwich will help you refuel perfectly.

--Sammi Haber Brondo, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a private practice in NYC, Sammi Brondo Nutrition. Sammi graduated with a degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Science in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She’s the author of The Essential Vegetable Cookbook, a cookbook with 130 simple and delicious vegetable-focused recipes. Sammi practices an all foods fit approach to nutrition and believes that in order for a diet to be sustainable, it also has to be realistic and enjoyable. She shares more about this philosophy on her Instagram account, @veggiesandchocolate.