Lets be honest, racing is hard. After a race, I usually feel exhausted, sick, out of breath, and sore. If I don’t feel these things, I didn’t run fast enough. Although eating is about the last thing I want to do soon after finishing, it’s important. By refueling your body after intense exercise, you can help raise your glycogen levels, which speeds up recovery. Even though indulging in something with no nutritional value after a race seems like the best option, your body needs to restore vital nutrients that were lost during the workout. Here is the ideal post-race nutrition plan.
The most important aspect of post-race nutrition is hydration. The body needs fluids immediately after finishing the race. Drink plenty of water, but also opt for sports drinks and supplements that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes will help rehydrate your body faster and speed up recovery. My cross country coach is a huge fan of drinking chocolate milk after a hard run or race because it restores protein and sugar levels (plus it tastes good!).
Restoring sugars through carbs and fruit is also wonderful for post-race nutrition. Nuts, granola bars, and peanut butter add some healthy fats and helps rebuild caloric intake. I like to eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches or turkey subs because I can restore a lot of different nutrients through one meal.
It is important to think about how your body can benefit from food in recovering from a challenging workout or race. The best thing you can do is listen to your body and what it wants. If your body is telling you to recover by eating a burger, that’s probably what you should do!
By Fixt Blogger Emma