Training for distance races is not only about going the distance but also about learning to fuel yourself before and especially after for recovery. Staying fueled during my training was where I struggled and I soon learned that it kept me from training at my best. My husband always encouraged me to eat something after a long workout, whether it be swimming, cycling or running but me being my stubborn self never listened.
I always said, “I’m not hungry”.
The result in my stubbornness caused me to become extremely hangry! If you have never experienced being hangry than believe me when I tell you, it is not pretty. As I got farther into HIM training I began to take my husband’s words seriously, I would come home, drink a bunch of water and then become a couch potato. After some time, the hunger set in and I became an eating machine. It wasn’t until I ate a whole bag of goldfish, a PB&J and leftover macaroni and cheese that I realized, there must be a smarter way to handle this. So I began to take the steps each workout to replenish my calories lost to prevent becoming hangry. The three nutrients that need replacement after a workout are carbohydrates, protein, and water. Each nutrient aids the body in recovery. Below you will find some of my favorite post-workout foods. These are great items to add to your cart next time you are at the grocery store.
10 Post Workout Foods to Add to Your Cart
- Whey Protein
- Whole Grain Cereal
- Frozen Pizza
- Citrus (Oranges, Mandarins, Grapefruit)
- Whole Wheat Waffles
- Sweet Potatoes
- Chocolate Milk
Distance workouts, especially swimming always seemed to make me extremely hungry. My go-to post-workout meal became two whole wheat waffles with natural peanut butter and blueberry preserves. I would squish them together and make a sandwich and then out the door I went. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and tastes delicious after a tough workout. If you’re pressed for time it is always good to get something in your system, in these moments a protein shake or a smoothie are great. No need for a recipe when it comes to a smoothie, just add your favorite veggies and fruits, add some almond milk or water, and blend!
If I had some extra time, an egg white omelet is what I tended to cook. This always included a protein, spinach, cheese and some other kind of vegetables. I quickly learned that eating within 45 min after my workouts kept me and my belly happy! As easy as it is to go for what we're craving like fast food, try something healthy during training. There are so many options for athletes to get the nutrition they need while tasting great! Don’t be afraid to try new things while training because it’s all about finding out what fuels you the best! Learn from my mistakes, always eat after a long workout especially during training for a big race!
Written by Kate Taylor, Siren Luminary
Follow Kate on Instagram! @mrskatelynntaylor