Eat these three things after a marathon for optimal recovery.
Training for a marathon is a grueling task, especially in terms of what you eat. Your body is a machine, so making sure it has the best possible fuel is super important, especially when you are going to put your body through something as taxing as a marathon.
That being said, what you put into your body directly after a marathon is also super important. You may want to go out and binge on a huge meal, which I am totally in favor of, within reason.
What you eat directly after finishing a marathon though, can have a huge impact on the way you feel. Your body will have lost a lot of nutrients and hydration, so it’s a good idea to replenish that as quickly as possible regardless of whether or not you are going to pig out afterwards.
Here are three things you should eat directly after a marathon to replenish your body’s stores.
READ MORE: How to Handle Marathon Training Injuries
Protein- Since protein helps your body repair muscle, it is a super important thing to consume after a marathon. You can drink a protein shake, or eat meat, dairy, fish, or soy and legumes. Consuming protein will help your body start to replace some of the damage done, and also build new muscle.
Carbs- Carbohydrates help fuel your muscles by creating energy, so you should consume carbs almost immediately after the race. Bread, cereal, pasta, and rice are great sources of carbs, and if consumed within 30 minutes of exercise, they can greatly help your body recover by replenishing stored glucose and energy. Greek yogurt, paired with granola is a great way to jump-start both your carbs and protein at the same time.
Electrolytes- Electrolytes help you fight dehydration, and after a long race you are very likely to be dehydrated. You may feel inclined to reach for a sports drink, but fruit juices, and vitamin-rich fruits will do a much better job of hydrating you and offering your body some nutritional sustenance, too.
After any big race or extended period of exercise, it is important to consider these three types of food to make sure you bring your body back into balance.