Let’s chew the fat: post-workout recovery eating.

March 24, 2012 § 3 Comments

Okay, so after yesterday, I thought you deserved a picture of what I really look like after a run.


I had just finished a long, slow distance run this morning and took this picture (and about 5 others in which I didn’t look this good..which speaks, I think.) Before you jump on your email to ask who punched me in both eyes, let me reassure you those are just dark circles.  I know.  That’s why I purchase concealer.

Real life, real talk.

Anyway, this is what I looked like next, directly after throwing some Vega Berry, peanut butter, and frozen mixed berries in the Vitamix:

Notice the time frame here.  I cooled down for about 5 minutes, stretched for about 5 minutes, took pictures outside for about 3 minutes, and was drinking my recovery shake within the next 2 minutes.  For the mathematically challenged out there (I am one of you), that’s 15 minutes total from end-of-run to getting that glycogen restored.

No Meat Athlete, which is an awesome blog for the plant-eaters among us, as well as anyone who values good health and good writing, has an excellent post about what to eat after you workout.  They point out that the 15-60 minute window after you finish working out is critical for restoring what you’ve lost during the workout.  Your muscles are like little, famished beggars going, “Please don’t make me wait til you shower! Please don’t make me wait til you meet friends for brunch! Please don’t make me wait til you feel like eating!”

This is important.

I haven’t always been such an advocate or practitioner of the post-recovery meal/snack.  I used to think, “Gosh, I just burned all those calories.  Why would I want to ruin that with a snack when I’m not even really hungry?”

Again: real life, real talk, folks.

But if you want to keep going, if you’re not planning to just be a six-months-and-then-I’m-injured-and-overtrained-and-out-for-the-count runner, if you really have in mind to make running and staying fit a part of your lifestyle, I invite you into my new reality: the post-workout recovery meal.  Try it.  See how you feel.  Don’t go overboard and eat a pizza when you walk in from running 2 miles.  But yeah, drink some chocolate {soy} milk or have a banana with some peanut butter.

It’s about the journey.  Happy running!

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