Do you remember the last time you went on social media and saw your friend post a pic after completing a half marathon? We all do. And seeing pictures like this, we get this urge to try out this sport as well. I mean, It does look fun. So why not. In this content, I’m going to educate you on what to eat after half marathon.
But competing in a half marathon is not an easy thing to do. You need to know how to prepare yourself for that day. You need to know what to eat before the half marathon. Also, after the run, you need to refuel your body. For starters, make sure you eat correctly within 2 hours for proper recovery.
You used your entire carbohydrate storage to finish the run. Now that the run is over, you need to refuel your body. Make your diet that can compensate for carbohydrate damage, like whole grain, milk, fruits, potatoes, etc.
Running for a long time will take a toll on your body muscle. So eating proper protein is very important. That way, your body can heal back to its original shape.
Electrolytes balance is essential in a runner’s body. A runner mainly loses sodium and potassium during a long-distance run. So it’s vital to restore that balance in your body. Simply drinking water won’t be enough. You can have an electrolyte drink like Gatorade and Powerade during the run.
The half marathon can take anywhere between 90 minutes to 3 hours. In this extended time, you’ll sweat a lot, and your body’s hydration level will fall drastically.
Especially if you’re running in a hot climate, you’ll lose more water. So it’s good to take some small sips during the race in different hydration points. Then, after the race, you can have some more water. Maybe coconut water as well.
Avoid drinking beer, wine, or other similar drinks.
Problems if You Don’t Have a Proper Meal
After finishing the race, many runners tend to roam around without food. This is something that one should avoid. A half marathon is a hectic sport itself. The body uses all its energy to finish the run. So one needs to fill up that energy that he lost so that he doesn’t face any health issues.
According to a case study, 41% of runners have had stomach problems who don’t take proper nutrients and food after the half marathon. So if you don’t want to end up like that, take this seriously.
After the running event, many runners make the mistake of resting for a couple of days. While rest is essential, it’s also necessary to maintain some post-marathon recovery workout. It helps your legs so that they don’t get sore. So while having rest is necessary, having that small recovery run is equally important.
One of my favorite runners is Eliud Kipchoge. He is the only man who has completed a marathon in under 2 hours. In 2019 an event was arranged called INEOS 1:59 Challenge. He ended the marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 40 seconds. He is insane. This is not related to this topic. But I thought I’d let you know, just for fun.
Carb to Protein Ratio
Depending on your body type, the carb to protein ratio can be between 2:1 to 4:1. You need to fill up that carb void, but also, you need to eat protein-rich food.
What To Eat After Half Marathon
Salad is something that you can eat after your half marathon. After that hectic race, chances are high your body is craving vitamins, minerals, iron. Everything that your body seeks, a good salad dressing can fill that void.
There’s a saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. People don’t say this for no reason. Apple has tons of health benefits that you can’t just rule out. Apple is good for weight loss. It’s also good for your heart. Your heart is pumping the entire time you’re running on the track. Apple is good for the heart. For improving your bone density, apples can play a very vital role.
Greek yogurt is another good food to consume. It boosts your metabolism and helps improve bone density. In addition, Greek yogurt helps build muscle mass. And not only that. It can lower blood pressure as well.
Berry is considered very good for runners. Each berry has its own merits. For instance, blueberry is enriched with Vitamin K. Raspberry is well known for its fiber. Strawberry is the most popular berry, and it can give you tons of vitamin C. So you can do your research and keep some berry in your after-run diet.
Turmeric can be another thing to keep in your diet after a run. It increases the antioxidant capacity of the body. It’s anti-inflammatory.
Some more foods you can have are chicken breast, olives, date, avocado. If you want to know what to eat before half marathon, then you can check that also.
There’s also a couple of things you need to keep in mind. First, there’s a famous saying called four R in Recovery.
Refuel: You lost tons of energy. Now it’s time to refuel that body. Have proper carbohydrates in your body.
Repair: Not only do you lose energy, but you also lose muscle during the half marathon. So it would be best if you took proper protein to regain that lost muscles.
Rehydration: During any run, you have to sweat a lot, and now there’s a shortage of water in your body. So to fill up that void. You need to drink plenty of water.
Rest: When you take a good night’s sleep, your entire body is working. So if you have to take the proper protein that your body requires, your body will rebuild that muscle you lost in your sleep.
While finishing a half marathon can feel rewarding, don’t forget that the journey doesn’t end there. Everything is important, from initial preparations to daily practice, from pre-race diet to post-race diet.