What to Eat to Recover After a Marathon
Eating is an important component of training. You need to eat the right foods (and enough of them) to sustain your longest days, and you have to find nutrition that doesn’t upset your stomach. But what you eat after your run is just as critical because it replenishes lost nutrients and repairs spent muscles. The best post-run foods do both, and taste delicious.
Your body burns lots of carbohydrates—its favorite fuel source—during a marathon, and your muscles break down from the extended effort. So, it’s important to refill your tank with both carbohydrates and protein to restore balance (a 2:1 carb to protein ratio is recommended).
As with everyday nutrition post-marathon, reach for real, whole foods like leafy greens, lean proteins and fats rich in anti-inflammatory omega 3s to aid recovery.
And don’t forget to hydrate. Your body needs water to function properly and flush waste products out of your system. A good goal: Drink about half your body weight in ounces each day. That’s 60 ounces for a 120-pound person or 100 ounces for a 200-pound person. But remember this is just a rule of thumb. As temperature and humidity changes, so do your hydration needs (for example, warmer weather calls for more water).
When in doubt, check your urine; your pee should be light in color, not dark like apple juice, or worse, soda.