Easy Post-Run Recipes to Refuel

Group of people trail running on a ridge

One of the best parts of running is eating afterward. That post-run meal is important because it replenishes the nutrients you lose during your workout and kick starts recovery, so you come back stronger.

But do you really know what to eat after your run?

Your body's favorite fuel source is carbohydrates, and it burns a lot of them during a run. You also sweat out electrolytes, which help balance the amount of water in your body and move nutrients in and waste out of your cells. Then you have your muscles to think about. Hard workouts break them down; protein rebuilds them. Healthy fats, like those from avocados and nuts, help keep you full and can benefit you heart, according to the American Heart Association.

In short, you need the right combination of carbohydrates, protein, fat and electrolytes to maximize recovery.

These simple recipes for runners will fill you up with all the nutrients to put you on track to recovery—and your next run.

Cocoa-chia seed protein mousse from Gu

Cocoa-Chia Protein Mousse

The benefits: High in protein to repair and rebuild muscles, this indulgent chocolate mousse also provides omega-3 fatty acids and fiber from chia to quell inflammation and support digestive health. Cocoa is a powerful antioxidant that supports heart health and is high in iron, magnesium and calcium, all of which athletes need to support recovery.

Try it as a delicious dessert or post-workout treat.

Pro tip: Tips: Make ahead of time for a great take-and-go breakfast or satisfying pre-bedtime snack.

Servings: 1 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 60 minutes (fridge)

Amount

Ingredient

1 cup

Unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsp

Chia seeds

1 serving

Vegan protein powder, chocolate or vanilla flavor

2 tbsp

Unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

1 tbsp

Maple syrup (optional)

¼ cup

Fresh berries (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a high-powered blender, add chia seeds first, then almond milk (or other non-dairy beverage of choice). Blend for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, protein powder, and sweetener (if desired). Blend until smooth. May need to add liquid if too thick, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Scoop mixture into lidded container and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  4. Top with fresh berries (optional) and serve chilled.

Top with unsweetened coconut shreds, chopped nuts or raw cacao nibs for a satisfying crunch. Try with different flavors of protein powder, such as mocha; look for varieties with 20-30 grams of protein per serving.

Pumpkin Pie Recovery Smoothie

The benefits: Easy to make ahead and take on the go, this fall-themed recovery smoothie delivers beta-carotene (Vitamin A) and Vitamin C from pumpkin to keep your immune system strong after those brisk fall runs.

Just be sure to get canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling!

Servings: 1 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: None

Amount

Ingredient

1 cup

Unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice

1 medium

Banana

1 serving

Vanilla protein powder of choice

½ cup

Canned pumpkin puree

½ tsp

Pumpkin pie spice

1 tbsp

Honey or sweetener of choice (optional)

2-3

ice cubes

Instructions

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth


Roxanne Vogel is a sports nutritionist at GU Energy Labs. When she's not crafting sports fuels, she's running trails, tackling ultramarathons or summiting the world's tallest mountains.


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