What to Eat after a Night Run


A few weeks ago we spoke about what to eat before a night run. So what should we eat after run? Our resident nutritionist Virginnia Thomas from Nourishing Pantry shares her tips and tricks for refuelling post run.

What you eat after exercise is very important because your body recovers for the following 24 hours. The key is to get some carbs and protein in a ratio of 4:1 within 30 minutes of a run. This helps with muscle repair and recovery. After an evening run I recommend just a palm-sized serve of protein and lots of vegetables for your carb hit.

The other reason to eat immediately after exercise is because the carbohydrate intake stimulates an increase in the hormone insulin, which in turn stimulates the muscle to take up the amino acids from the protein.

Meal ideas:

Wholegrain sandwich with meat, cheese or nut butter

Boiled egg and salad

Smoothie made with full fat milk and a banana

Small handful of nuts

Apple with nut butter

Each of the following foods provides approximately 10gm of protein. These foods are moderate to low fat and rich in other nutrients:

2 small eggs

30g (1.5 slices) hard cheese

70g cottage cheese

1 cup (250ml) low-fat milk

35g lean beef, lamb or pork (cooked weight)

40g lean chicken (cooked weight)

50g grilled fish

50g canned tuna or salmon

200g yoghurt

4 slices (120g) wholemeal bread

3 cups (90g) wholegrain cereal

2 cups (330g) cooked pasta

3 cups (400g) cooked rice

3/4 cup (150g) lentils or kidney beans

200g baked beans

120g tofu

60g nuts or seeds

300ml soy milk

What are others eating after their night run:

Runner Pippa Tunicliffe enjoys a banana smoothie with added peanut butter.

Running coach Mel Warman usually has a couple of boiled eggs or a handful of nuts.

Owner of Running Science, Fletch, likes avocadoes with some salt because it’s full of healthy carbs, fats and protein. Although Virginnia warns if weight loss is your goal don’t eat more than one a day.

For extra ideas check out this Healthy Eating Athletes guide from Nourishing Pantry.

What do you eat after a run? Tell us in the comments below.