Here’s What to Eat After a Run to Boost Your Recovery
What you eat after a run to boost recovery is just as important as what you munch on before your kilometres 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.
1. Greek Yogurt
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 post run. 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.
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.
3. Tart Cherries
Studies have found that the antioxidants found in dark-coloured fruits, like cherries and blueberries, can delay the onset of muscle soreness.
4. 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) post-run bite. Sprinkle on salt for a little extra sodium.
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.
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.
This protein-packed, superfood fish is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which can strengthen bones and help prevent osteoporosis.
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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
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.
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.
The cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus — all nutrients that are crucial for maintaining healthy bones.
18. 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.
While you shouldn’t eat red meat every day, having beef after a long workout is a great way to replenish protein and iron.
21. 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.
A staple in Asian cuisines for centuries, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Add a shake of turmeric to hummus for a great pos-trun snack or turn it into a golden milk latte, blended with your milk of choice.
24. Sweet Potatoes
Packed with complex carbs, fibre, potassium, and iron, this starchy root vegetable is the perfect base for a post-run breakfast hash.
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.
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.
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.
30. 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.