A chilled glass of chocolate milk or a few dollops of yogurt drizzled over granola might make for an appealing post-run snack in the warmer months but in the current temperatures you may well be yearning for a more hearty, soul-warming snack.
A post run-snack is necessary for the replenishment of your glycogen stores and the repair and recovery of your muscles. If it’s just a short run you have completed than an immediate post-run refuel will not be necessary - your normal eating habits will suffice to achieve these tasks.
However, after a long run an immediate snack is necessary. An ideal post-run snack is between 300-400 calories with a carbohydrate to protein ratio of roughly 3:1 - 3 grams of carbs for every one gram of protein. Carbs replenish your glycogen stores, without which you won’t have the energy to train the next day, whilst protein repairs muscle tear and stimulates the growth of new tissue.
It is important to consume your post-run snack within 30-60 minutes of completing your run as it is during this time-frame that your body is most receptive to both replenishing your glycogen stores and storing that glycogen in your muscles.
High-glycemic index carbs are the easiest for your body to break down and use as energy stores. Therefore carbs such rice, potatoes, pasta and bread are good choices. Combine with a protein such as chicken, salmon, eggs or black beans and you’ll have yourself a decent post-run recovery snack.
A few options include porridge with fruit on top, chicken noodle or tomato soup with a wedge of bread, sweet potato fries and egg scrambled with spinach, or chicken with wholegrain rice. All contain a roughly 3:1 carbs to protein ratio.