Food for recovery after running

What you eat after exercise can be crucial to how quickly you recover. Learn more about what to eat after a workout.

What to eat after running?

Physical activity requires a lot of energy, and it is difficult for the body to recover if the energy level is not replenished within 15 to 30 minutes after completing a workout. Eating even a tiny snack shortly after exercise can help restore energy levels. This article looks at several components of healthy eating after training and running and describes how they benefit the body.

The importance of food after exercise

Eating after a workout will help the body replenish lost energy. During exercise, the muscles use stored glucose, called glycogen, and energy levels are replenished. Endurance sports, such as running, use more glycogen than strength training, such as weightlifting. Proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats are all necessary for recovery.


To build on existing muscles is possible only if they recover after each exercise. Consumption of protein after exercise helps the muscles to heal and prevents the loss of lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass contributes to a muscular and toned appearance.


Carbohydrates are macronutrients that help the body recharge and restore fuel supply. Consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods may be the best way to reduce the decline in immunity after exercise. Consumption of carbohydrates as part of a snack after exercise also helps to promote glycogen storage. If you exercise more than seven times a week, you should consume plenty of carbohydrates.

What to eat after running

Dairy proteins

According to research published in 2017, as little as 9 grams of milk protein may stimulate protein synthesis in the muscles, which helps with recovery after exercise.

Apart from milk, dairy products rich in protein include:

  • Greek yogurt
  • ricotta cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • kefir

Soy-based proteins are less effective than milk-based proteins in promoting the growth of muscle proteins after strength training. Researchers concluded that although milk and soy proteins help a person maintain and build muscle mass, milk proteins were more effective in supporting the rapid growth of muscle mass.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplements help increase muscle protein synthesis and muscle cell size in healthy young and middle-aged adults. Oily fish, including salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and Tuna also contains high levels of fatty acids. Other evidence shows that oil extracted from oily fish can help reduce muscle soreness after strength training. A 2016 study found that consuming 6 grams of fish oil every day for one week before starting strength training reduced muscle soreness.

Water for recovery

Drinking water to stay hydrated gives you the best possible benefit from exercise. Drinking water during and after a workout can promote performance and recovery.

How much water you need depends on the type of exercise, sweat, thirst, and other factors.

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