After a high-intensity run, marathon or training session, you can jump-start your body’s recovery process by eating certain types of food and consuming various supplements. Runner’s World recommends refueling up to 60 minutes after the running session to restore energy and repair the muscles. You can choose from several shakes, pills and solid foods made with amino acids, protein, vitamins and minerals to assist with recovery and also improve performance for the next run.
Energy gels are readily absorbed by the body, and many contain a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates, antioxidants and amino acids to provide instant energy during or after exercise. These supplements can also replenish electrolytes that you lose when sweating. You can consume energy gels before, during and after a run to ensure you have enough energy to get through your exercise session.
When you want to eat a light meal after a run, you can enjoy an energy bar with a high carbohydrate content, healthy fats and protein. Look for energy bars with protein that contains essential amino acids, as these support muscle tissue regeneration. Healthy fats will restore lost lipids during the exercise session. Complex and simple carbohydrates in the energy bars will replenish glycogen and provide you with more energy.
Energy drinks can also assist with performance recovery, because they contain sugars and salts that help to replenish electrolytes. Some energy drinks also contain protein and are formulated to optimize recovery, rehydrate the body and replace lost glycogen in the muscles. Energy drinks can be consumed during the first 30 to 60 minutes after intense physical activity.
Glucosamine is an arthritis supplement that helps support the joints. It also helps prevent and repair damage and inflammation in the cartilage and tissues. Many sports recovery drinks, energy bars and nutritional shakes contain glucosamine. If you are experiencing knee pain or any type of joint pain, consider taking glucosamine after a workout to keep your joints in good health.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) act as lubricants for the joints and can help prevent tearing of the muscle and joint tissues. Taking EFA supplements on a regular basis may help prevent excess wear and tear of the joints and help to improve range of motion and performance throughout your training season.
Glutamine is an amino acid that supports the skeletal muscles and your immune system. If you are completing intensive workouts and training sessions on a regular basis, you may not have enough glutamine in your system to recover from the workout properly. Glutamine supplements can support the recovery process and protect your muscles from unnecessary damage.