Nutrition for Recovery Post Run

Your muscles are sore and your energy and water stores are exhausted. Rejuvenation and fighting fatigue are as important as was the preparation for the run. Now is the time to switch on the recovery mode!1,2

The 3 Rs of Recovery

Refuel

It is important to eat right after the running event. Go slow and begin with easy-to-digest carbohydrates within 30 minutes after the run. The sooner you consume carbohydrates, the more glycogen your body will produce, and the sooner your muscles will return to their normal state. In addition, continue to fuel the muscles with a steady stream of carbohydrate-based meals and snacks during the first 24 hours.1-3

Rehydrate

No matter how effective your fluid replacement plan is during the race, you will very likely be dehydrated to some degree. Rehydrate your body with fluids and electrolytes as soon as you finish the race. Aim to replace 120% to 150% (3.5-4.0 litres) of your estimated fluid loss. It may be tempting to celebrate your finish with a beer; however, it’s best to avoid alcohol because it is not good for your muscles and will cause further dehydration.1-3,5

Repair

For your muscles to recover from the stress they have endured, it is good to have protein-rich foods, which enhance the repair of muscle tissues. In addition, antioxidants also assist in muscle repair.1,4


References

1. Recovery nutrition: AIS: Australian Sports Commission [Internet]. 2009 [Cited 2016 Apr 27]. Available from: http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/factsheets/competition_and_training/recovery_nutrition
2.Recovery strategies: nutrition for optimal recovery [Internet]. [Cited 2016 Apr 27]. Available from: http://www.sportscotland.org.uk/media/791070/recovery-strategies-nutrition.pdf
3. Australian Sports Commission. Sports drinks [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2016 Apr 20]. Available from: http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/594170/CORP_33413_SSF_Sports_drinks_FS.pdf
4. Sports Dietitians Australia. Fact sheet recovery [Internet]. 2012 [Cited 2016 Apr 27]. Available from: https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/120628-Recovery_SD-version.pdf
5. Peternelj TT, Coombes JS. Antioxidant supplementation during exercise training. Sports Med. 2011;41(12):1043-69.
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