Eat these runner-friendly recovery foods after a run to help your muscles rebuild and repair more quickly. The result? You’ll give yourself a greater chance of training injury-free.
Once thought of as a mere garnish, watercress is now an established big hitter for recovery and damage limitation. The peppery leaves contain hefty amounts of iron, vitamin C and calcium.
Eat: Whenever you can.
Venison offers more protein for the calories than almost all other meats, and it’s also a great source of iron and zinc.
Eat: A 75g steak after a tough run.
3. Alcohol-free beer
It contains powerful antioxidant phenols: a German study showed runners who were given non-alcoholic beer for three weeks before the Munich Marathon suffered less inflammation afterwards than a placebo group.
Drink: Erdinger Alkoholfrei
Among many good things, apples contain quercetin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant.
Eat: Like they say, an apple a day
The simple by-product of making cheese offers the complete set of amino acids and is absorbed more quickly than other proteins, speeding up muscle repair.
“Whey also contains the potent antioxidant glutathione,” says Dr Phil Maffetone, author of The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing.
Eat: Ideally, within 30 minutes of finishing tough sessions.
6. Green tea
A recent study found the body can absorb anti-inflammatory polyphenols from green tea during a run. It also contains caffeine.
Drink: Instead of normal tea when recovering, or try it mid-race.
Milk provides whey and casein proteins, and omega-3s.
Drink: A glass late at night for casein protein – to help build muscle as you sleep.
These pack a similar protein profile to tuna, but provide more iron, vitamin D and omega-3s.
Eat: On toast with tomato and garlic after training.
Contains the anti-inflammatory bromelain, which can reduce swelling, tenderness and pain.
Eat: Fresh (the canning process destroys much of the bromelain).
10. Pea protein
Of all veggie protein alternatives, pea has perhaps the most potential, thanks to its array of essential amino acids – it’s also easily digestible.
Eat: Pea protein burgers are available in most supermarkets as an alternative to meat.