Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sooner Than Later Is Better

Research shows that post-workout eating is critical to a rebuilding muscle and the sooner you do it the better. When you exercise you're actually tearing muscle and depleting your glycogen stores. These stores need to be replenished as soon as possible. A good rule-of-thumb is to eat a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrates and protein (i.e., 4grams of carbs to every 1gram of protein) within 15-30 minutes of finishing your run. It's also important to rehydrate after your run. You can combine the rehydration with the carbs by drinking a sports drink. Accelerade—a 3-in-1 sports drink that provides the liquid, carbs, and protein—is great to drink during and after your run.
What kinds of foods are good for post-run eating? A lot!
a glass of chocolate milk
dried fruit and/or nuts (raw, unsalted)
bagel with peanut butter or Nutella
English muffin with cheese, peanut butter, or Nutella
rice or popcorn cake with peanut butter or Nutella
egg sandwich or eggs and toast
turkey sandwich
smoothie made with fruit, Greek yogurt, and milk (for recipe, see archived 1/13 posting "Smooth Move")
cottage cheese with fruit
sports bar (be sure it's not loaded with extra sugar and fat)

For more post-run food options, click on any of the pictures above to view a video clip from sports dietition and Runner's World nutrition consultant, Leslie Bonci.


Laura The Crazy Mama said...

I worry about carbs though. I don't know much at all about how to continue to lose weight (extra baby weight...NEED to lose it so I don't get so tired and worn out on my runs! 15 pounds to go) and not lose or hurt muscles. What do you know about this?

RunnerDude said...

Hey Laura! I hear ya. Lots of people are concerned about the number of carbs they eat. Some of that tiredness on your runs could also be from your body telling you it needs some more fuel. I'm no expert, but from the reading I've done and from my own experiences, you need carbs in your diet to fuel your body before a run and to refuel your body after a run. Actually, often times people who are exercising and trying to lose weight who restrict their calorie intake too much often end up gaining weight or losing very little. If you're exercising your body needs quality calories some of which need to be carbs, but good carbs not the Krispy Kreme donut kind. Your body is going to use these carbs to refuel and repair. That's why it's key to eating them 15-30 minutes after your workout. So for those after run snacks, make sure the carbs are coming from whole grains, whole wheat, items. Be careful though. Merchandisers are very cleaver in their wording. "Made with Whole Grains" doesn't mean "100% whole grain." Check the ingredients and make sure whole grain is listed as well as being near the beginning of list. If it's the last ingredient, then there's hardly any in there. LifeClinic has a great website that provides great info on carbohydrates that you might want to check out.
Hope this helps.

ShutUpandRun said...

Great advice. I always forget to replenish the way I should after a run. And who doesn't like Nutella?

RunnerDude said...

Hey Beth, let me know when you start that running blog!