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Mar 31, 2021

Running on E? Why You Need to Refuel After Your Run

By: Danielle Barnes – @dannibsays (IG) @dannib413 (Twitter)

Raise your hand if you’ve come home from an evening run famished. Fearing you’ll undo the benefits of all those miles you just left on the pavement by eating and going to bed shortly thereafter, you gulp down a liter of water recalling the article you read somewhere that said sometimes, you’re just thirsty and not hungry. When the roaring sounds emanating from your stomach grow louder by the second, you forcefully open the refrigerator, almost ripping the door handle off in the process, only to find it bare. Like, you can literally hear your echo in there it’s so empty. In desperation, you rummage through your cabinets like a squirrel looking for a nut and truth is you are in fact looking for a nut, a few nuts would do the trick you tell yourself, but you come up empty. You give up and call it a night.

Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

Eating after a run is not an option, says April Ausar, NJ-based Integrative Nutrition Counselor and Whole Foods Certified Chef. “It’s really important to replenish after your run and timing is crucial. Within 45 minutes after your run is ideal. It’s within this timeframe the body will best absorb nutrients from food. Waiting longer or skipping a meal altogether, the body becomes weaker, and you risk muscle degradation.” Ausar likes to use analogies to drive home the importance of smart eating to her clients. “Think of it as a chair. One of the legs on that chair is loose. If you keep sitting in it without tightening the loose leg, the next time someone goes to sit, the chair will collapse. The same applies to the body. Every time you exert yourself during a run, micro-tears form in the muscles. If you keep going without ‘tightening” after each workout, you may not collapse but you will risk injury. Eating a healthy, balanced meal after your workout will help repair those tears,” Ausar said.

According to Ausar, it’s not a question of if you should eat after a workout but what.
“A healthy mix of protein, complex carbs and leafy greens is best. Protein is needed to repair muscles, carbs restore depleted glycogen used as fuel, and greens add a healthy supply of essential vitamins and minerals.”

Take time to refuel after your run. Your body will thank you in the long – you know what’s coming next – run.

This No-Cook Black Bean Salad is a great quick, easy and nutritionally balanced choice. I took one for the team, making this while writing this piece. Delish!

No Cook Black Bean Salad

1 15-oz can black beans, preferably organic

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Stir to combine

Optional: Top with wilted baby spinach, diced avocado and salsa

Tip: Rinse beans under cold water to help prevent intestinal gas

Recipe courtesy of April Ausar

Danielle Barnes is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Wayne State University. Her superpower is her ability to captivate audiences with her words whether it’s in person or on paper. Danielle enjoys devouring a good book, volunteering for causes she’s passionate about, staying active and traveling the globe to see the world in all its glory.