Eating Post-Run Do’s and Don’ts

While most people focus on their pre-workout nutrition, what you eat after your run can also impact your performance, whether you run on a treadmill or outside.

To help you optimize your running nutrition, we have gathered together two lists recommending what you should be eating after your runs and what you should absolutely avoid post-run.

Best Things To Eat After A Run

Directly after a run, many people don’t feel hungry at all. However, that feeling can change quickly and being ravenously hungry does not often lead to wise decisions. To help you make the right dietary choices when the hunger hits, keep these foods on hand.

Enjoy fresh fruits – Eating fresh fruits can provide your body with healthy simple carbs for refueling and natural sugar to refill your glycogen store. Some of the best fruits to keep on hand are:

  • Oranges
  • Berries
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Apples
    • Choose protein – Working out creates micro-tears in your muscles, which creates that feeling of soreness. Eating protein after a run can help your body repair itself more quickly. Some top sources of protein you can easily snack on are:

    • Boiled eggs
    • Avocado (great on toast)
    • Cottage cheese (mix with fruit)
    • Greek yogurt
    • Nuts
      • Hydrate carefully – Plenty of gyms have attached juice and smoothie bars, while advertisers push sports drinks. While these kinds of beverages aren’t the worst things to drink after a run, they tend to be more sugary and calorie-laden than your body needs. The drinks you should be downing post-run are:

      • Water
      • Milk (soy or cow)
      • Coconut water
        • Do Not Eat These Things After Running

          Your body will put up with a lot of bad nutritional choices post-run, but the trade-off can be problems such as upset stomachs, slower recovery times, and lower energy levels. To protect your body post-run from these problems and others, avoid these foods.

        • Say no to high-fat food – Maybe what got you through your last few miles was the thought of a burger and fries. But the saturated and trans fats in high-fat foods are difficult for the body to process, especially post-run. If you really want a victory feast of high-fat foods after a run, wait until a few hours have past and give your stomach time to settle.
          • Don’t drink alcohol post-run – An ice-cold beer after a run can feel like nirvana, but it can trick your body into feeling like it is hydrated properly. Your body uses a good deal of water while running and requires you to hydrate for full recovery. Alcohol is dehydrating and can slow down that recovery. Wait at least an hour after your run to enjoy your first alcoholic beverage.
            • Avoid processed sugars – Highly-processed sugars like donuts, candy, and other treats should be avoided post-run. These treats can create a spike in your blood sugar levels and leave you exhausted after they drop off. Also, processed sugars can irritate the stomach post-run, leading to indigestion and bowel issues.
              • By being careful about what you do and don’t eat after your runs, you will be able to see improvements in your future performances and daily energy levels.