30 Scientifically Proven Post Run Meals for Optimal Recovery


For many people fantasies of a juicy burger on a pretzel bun topped with melted cheese and a fries dipped in a milk shake get them through the final 6.2 miles of a marathon, the post run meal dream is real.

There???s nothing wrong with enjoying a little splurge, especially right after a race when your body NEEDS carbohydrates to kickstart the recovery process.

But after that meal the focus needs to come back to recovery and there are indeed best post run foods.

I say this because one of the first questions almost ANY runner asks is ???how soon can I start running again????And I cover this in depth in the??post marathon recovery plan, so today we???re adding to that by looking at how the foods we eat will improve??not only our post race recovery, but our recovery throughout training!

A smart recovery nutrition plan will decrease inflammation, improve energy/mood and take you back in to training without having packed on a few lbs from all those dreamy meals.Understanding Anti-Inflammatory Eating-- How it can improve post workout recovery, reduce injuries and speed up healing. Plus 30 recipes


The idea that certain foods can help to reduce inflammation in the body is nothing new. But as I have undertaken my own journey to feel my best, heal my digestive system and perform better well I finally started really paying attention!

What???s the deal with inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is what leads us to major disease states, effects athletic performance and causes mental issues such as depression. Thus implementing long term solutions such as meditation and optimal food choices are going to help achieve all those goals I just listed!

I absolutely believe food is powerful and I love this statement from??Dr Haymen:

Disease is not a normal consequence of aging???Your body is a system, an ecosystem where everything is connected. When that system is out of balance, disease arises???.the body becomes out of balance {from}: Too much of the bad stuff (poor diet, stress, microbes, toxins and allergens), and not enough of the good stuff (whole, real fresh food, nutrients, movement, water, air, light, rest, sleep, rhythm, love, connection, meaning and purpose).

As discussed previously??tired, sad and sick are not normal??{read it to take charge with your dr}! Or maybe more accurately it has become common for many American???s, but it doesn???t need to be that way.

The following anti-inflammatory food pyramid was developed by??health expert Dr.Weil??and I find it more useful than any chart ever produced by the US Government! I love that the biggest focus is on 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily!Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid - read more about which foods are ideal for post workout recoveryEveryone who has undertaken one of my challenges knows that I promote this over cutting out foods and many are surprised to find that they weren???t getting anywhere near that number.

Another reason I love this chart is because it includes the use of herbs and spices!

While I do use some supplements daily, like a digestive enzyme and Vega Sport, I believe that you must start with a base of great nutrition before expecting supplements to work {hence their location on the chart}.

One way you can naturally do that is through understanding how spices like??turmeric??reduce inflammation or garlic serves to promote great heart health.??EASY and cheap spices allow you to change the taste of your food and improve your health without ever buying a pill.


So what is best to eat after a long run or marathon for optimal recovery? While these are great marathon recovery foods, they???re not just on race day! I???ve listed a number of individual foods that will enhance the recovery process.

The goal of a post run meal is the following 6 things:

  • Hormonal Support
  • Immune System Support
  • Muscle Glycogen Replenishment/Protein Synthesis
  • Rehydration
  • Soft Tissue Repair
  • Inflammation Reduction

Research has shown the nitrates help your muscles use oxygen more efficiently, it can also help to dissolve calcium deposits and detoxify. Try adding them to your post run food with these recipes.Recovery meals with Beets - get the recipe for Cotter Crunch Beet and Apple Slaw, plus 5 moreRaw Beet and Apple Salad??from The Clever Carrot
Beets and Berries Overnight Oats??from RTTF
PomegranateBeet Recovery Juice??from Chantal Soeters
Roasted Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette??from Local Savour
Roasted Red Beet and Tomato Soup??from The Paleo Diet

Probiotics/Fermented Foods
Tempeh, a fermented food, is a fantastic digestion helper, which can often be thrown off after the stress of a race. Studies have shown that athletes who use probiotics or eat these foods (high-quality yogurt, tempeh, pickled veggies, kombucha) reduce inflammation and improve immunity.

Recovery meals with fermented foods and probiotics - get the recipe for this tempeh broccoli stir fry and morePistachio and Dried Cherry Yogurt Parfait??from Recipe Runner
Creamy Overnight Vanilla Probiotic Breakfast??from The Daily Meal
Polish Sauerkraut??from The Healthy Chef
Tempeh and Broccoli Stir Fry??from Dietitian Debbie
Kombucha Waffles (Dairy-Free)??by Natural Family Today

Vitamin C
Russian researchers have showed that surgical patients who supplement with Vitamin C are discharged from the hospital one to two days earlier, compared to individuals who receive no Vitamin C. This is because Vitamin C plays a critical role in collagen formation, and collagen is the primary component of connective tissue, which makes it another great post run meal.Recovery meals with Vitamin C - Get the recipe for Broccoli Tater tots and more20 Minute Healthy Mexican Pizza??from RTTF
Triple Berry Kiwi Smoothie??by The Pretty Bee
Lemon Orange Chicken Broccoli Stir??Fry from Go Dairy Free
Healthy Baked Broccoli Tots??from Gimme Delicious
Skinny Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers??from Chef in TrainingRecovery meals with Berries - Get the recipe for Triple Berry Smoothie and moreBerries
Great for boosting immunity which is down after the stress of a marathon, plus a study in Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that eating blueberries accelerates muscle recovery and resulted in faster recovery rate when consumed before and after exercise.Recovery Meals with Berries - Get Love and Zest Recipe for Butternut Squash Chicken Pasta with Tart Cherries and moreChicken Pasta with Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions and Tart Cherries??from Love and Zest
Peach Blueberry Crumble??from Eat 2 Run
Anti-Inflammatory Cherry Smoothie??from Strength and Sunshine
17 Delicious Protein Packed Post Workout Smoothies??from RTTF
Blueberry Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts??from Blueberry Council

Omega 3???s can help reduce joint swelling, while also providing a lean source of protein for muscle repair.Recovery meals with salmon - ideas for getting all the anit-inflammotry benefits to recover fasterEasy Vegetable Packed Salmon Cakes??from Cotter Crunch
Salmon Asparagus Egg Muffins??from Hello To Fit
Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa??from Cooking Classy
Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles??from Just a Taste

Chia Seeds
Slows the impact of sugar on the bloodstream which can help with post race cravings, while also expanding and helping to maintain hydration levels. Also known as a great source of protein to help with muscle repair.Chia seed recipe ideas for post workout recovery meals - including these pancakes from Running on Real Food