Written By: Adithi Tirumalai
So you just finished a long run at the start of your day, but what’s next? If you had asked me six months ago, I would’ve proclaimed that that was enough of a justification for me to raid my pantry for snacks and collapse on the couch for the next hour. But trust me, you don’t want to fall into that trap or these other common post-run eating mistakes listed below:
1. You go directly to snacks in your pantry.
While a post-run snack is perfectly healthy, you should be wary of excessively processed foods, as whole foods are a better source of fuel (or in this case, “re-fuel”). Plus, most processed snacks have tons of added sugars, which will provide only an initial energy boost before drastically tanking and leaving you wanting more. And on top of that, it’s pretty natural to overestimate the amount of calories burned at the end of a run when you’re sweaty, sore, and hungry. So be careful with your quantities or you’ll
gain back everything you burned!
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2. You wait too long before eating.
Just because you now know that endless snacking isn’t the best decision post-run, doesn’t mean skipping that and going directly to the couch is necessarily a better idea. Sports nutritionists recommend getting food into your system within 30 minutes of your run for various reasons. The main one is that post-run proteins and carbohydrates help reduce muscle soreness and allow for quicker muscle repair. Once you pass that window of time, muscle recovery gets slower, which could potentially lead to overuse injuries during your next run.
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3. You’re overdoing the protein.
That’s right. Even with all the health experts raving about post-exercise protein replenishment, too much protein is still a thing. As with everything, a balance is necessary. Eating too much protein can backfire because your body will take the excess calories that are not instantly needed and turn them into fat for storage. The extra protein can also cause excessive thirst, which you might mistake as beneficial since you’re drinking so much water. But in the long run, this dehydration could actually be detrimental to your health since your kidneys have to work harder to get rid of the extra protein introduced into your body.
All in all, the single most important thing to keep in mind is that your body has a natural balance, and that you should strive to return to that certain range even after a work-out. Avoiding these post-run food fails could be a step closer to achieving your health goals!
Source: Derick McKinney/Unsplash
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