Running a marathon burns 2,500 calories. Although it’ll help you stay slim and fit, burning that many calories in such a short amount of time can also deplete many of your essential nutrients. After you run 26.2 miles, you need to ensure that you’re getting an optimal post-run diet that consists of muscle replenishment, rehydration, soft tissue repair, inflammation reduction, immune system support, and hormonal sustenance. Check out some of these post-marathon foods that will make sure you’re ready for your next race.
Omega 3s for Muscle Repair
Fish like salmon are high in Omega 3s and are the ultimate post-marathon foods. They provide a lean source of protein and have anti-inflammatory properties that speed up muscle recovery and repair tears. Omega 3s can also reduce joint swelling, increases muscle-building response to amino acids, reduce levels of perceived pain, and increases your body's range of motion. Not only does salmon help your muscles, but it can also give you great nutrients to increase cardiovascular, brain, eye, and skin health.
Probiotics and Fermented Foods for Immunity
Probiotics can help to create and maintain healthy gut bacteria that is good for digestion and the immune system. After a race, stomach aches, loss of appetite, and stomach cramps are pretty common. Therefore, if you eat probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, sourdough bread, and pickled foods, you can alleviate many of these runner concerns. Probiotics can also reduce inflammation, eliminate stress, prevent high blood pressure, and boost your immune system. However, it is important to note that the benefits of probiotics are acquired. You shouldn't add them to your diet if you aren't used to it. It is highly recommended that runners eat probiotic-rich foods consistently during training and racing to receive their full benefits during post-marathon recovery.
Fruits that Rehydrate Your Body
When you run 26.2 miles, you very quickly deplete your body’s water level. Therefore, you need to make sure that you rehydrate during the race as well as after. Some great foods that can quench your thirst but also provide essential electrolytes include celery, watermelon, bell peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Many of these fruits also contain Vitamin C which can help repair and maintain your immune systems while others such as cantaloupes have high levels of potassium which can prevent cramps and muscle soreness.
Once you’ve finished running the race, you can congratulate yourself on a job well done. However, your race isn’t over yet. You need to pay attention to your body and help it recover so that you can stay healthy and get ready for your next adventure.