5 Of The Best Post-Run Snacks, According To A Dietician

by | May 23, 2023 | Nutrition

Sometimes when you come back from a run the last thing you want to do is prepare a whole meal immediately, even though you know you have to eat something soon.

Your highest priority after any exercise is to consume nutrition that aids in recovery and initiates muscle repair. While having a meal within 2 hours post-run is the recommendation, sometimes it’s not always possible — but this is not the end of the world. In the meantime, you can prepare a snack that will begin your muscle recovery process before you have something to eat later. Try to eat the snack within 15 to 30 minutes of your run.

“The ideal snack after a run is something that combines carbohydrates and protein,” Dietician, Mbali Mapholi, tells us.

With that said, here are 5 of the best snack options to have post-run:

1. A glass of milk or chocolate milk

While running can sometimes suppress your appetite, having a nutritious drink is also an option to help with recovery and muscle repair. “Milk has a nice balance of proteins and carbohydrates and we’ve also found that chocolate milk, surprisingly, is also a good option,” Mapholi says.

Chocolate milk is not only a great way to rehydrate, but it also gives you the same protein and carbohydrate benefits as regular milk does (some studies say that it might even give you more of these than regular milk).

2. Whole-grain crackers with cottage cheese (and a banana)

Whole-grain crackers are a good source of fibre, which is important for gut health but also helps you feel fuller for longer. Paired with cottage cheese and a banana on the side, you will have prepared yourself a killer snack!

“Cottage cheese is a fantastic source of protein and bananas are rich in potassium which is essential for preventing cramps and for boosting muscle function,” Mapholi explains.

READ MORE: Do These 5 Things On Rest Days To *Actually* Recover(Opens in a new browser tab)

3. Plain yoghurt and berries

As simple as it is, plain or Greek yoghurt, are great snack options particularly when they are paired with berries (or a fruit[s] of your choice). Plain yoghurt is high in protein and adding fruit, like berries, brings in the carbohydrate component and makes for a tastier yoghurt serving.

Yoghurt is also an immune-booster that’s packed with calcium which is crucial for overall bone health.

4. Green tea

Green tea is known to have countless health benefits and many studies have proven most of these. One study found that green tea can increase fat burning and boost one’s metabolic rate.

“Green tea is great for recovery. It has just the right amount of caffeine, which is important to increase metabolism but it also works as an aid to your recovery process post-run. It’s also high in antioxidants which are fantastic for protection against free radical damage,” Mapholi explains.

5. Peanut butter and jam toast

A  classic but impactful snack is the ol’ peanut butter and jam sandwich. For your bread, you’ll want to have seeded or whole wheat bread with a nice helping of peanut butter topped with some jam.

Try this basic nut butter recipe. (Nut butters are a stellar source of fibre, phosphorous, B vitamins, vitamin E, and zinc.)

“The bread is the carbohydrate source while the peanut butter gives you protein and other added nutrients such as iron, magnesium and vitamin E,” Mapholi explains. Seeded bread is the best option because it contains more vitamins, minerals and healthy fats than most other breads including whole wheat and whole rye bread.

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