Perseverance.  Focus.  Endurance.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
        Hebrews 12:1-2
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Blog Archives - 2012
Recovery Food

Ever come back from a long run and skipped the recovery meal? How did you feel? Were you fatigued, nauseous, and had a pounding headache? Although it may not seem like it, that's quite dangerous and detrimental to the body. Your body needs post-workout nutrition in order to replenish glycogen levels, repair damaged muscles, restore tissues, and metabolize nutrients. In case you weren't aware, well after a long run or intense workout, your body actually continues to burn calories, even two hours later! This means that if you don't add some fuel to the fire, it'll start feeding on your muscles and break them down. That's why you always hear about bodybuilders and running drinking either chocolate milk or protein shakes after their workouts. It won't make you gain unnecessary weight as long as you're consuming wholesome foods.

It's important to take the 30-60 minute time frame after an intense workout to get some nutrients into your system. This is the "window of opportunity" for your body, since it's the peak rate at which your body is metabolizing nutrients. So what exactly should you be eating post-run? The answer varies, depending on the type and intensity of your workout. Let's say you've been running for about a hour, so a meal of about 400 calories including carbohydrates, protein, and some fat will suffice. A bodybuilder, on the other hand, usually opts for a protein shake or some kind of high protein meal. That's why bodybuilders consume so much fish, certain kinds are high in protein yet very low in fat. But this is a runner's blog, so we'll stick to that side.

You've heard the term carboloading, right? Well post-run meals are pretty much a version of that. You consume simple carbohydrates, limit fiber, and restore those energy levels as quickly as possible. Why limit fiber? Fiber tends to give runners indigestion if consumed right before or after workouts. Simple carbohydrates are digested slowly, giving your body more time to recover without feeling sluggish and bloated afterwards. Simple carbs like white bread, pasta, and fruit are perfect examples of good post run carbs.

Protein and fat are equally important, although you're gonna need less fat than protein. Your muscles become fatigued towards the end of a workout, so protein will assist in repairing torn and damaged muscles and tissue. Protein will also help your muscles to grow and become stronger by giving them the boost they need. Eggs, chocolate milk, nonfat greek yogurt, and whey protein shakes all contain high amounts of protein. I personally prefer a hard boiled egg and chocolate milk after a hard lifting day, but that also suffices for a run as well. Fat just helps keep your blood sugar from shooting skyward as your body metabolizes the simple carbohydrates. It keeps everything in check and aids in the absorption of nutrients. Good fats like avocados and peanut butter are great in moderation post run.

As long as you're eating right, running nutrition is a breeze and you can focus more on the actual workout instead of worrying about what you're going to eat. Just relax, and your body will know what to do.

Happy Trails!

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