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What not to eat after a run

Avoid these foods when choosing your post-workout meal

Refueling after a run is important, but that doesn’t mean you just shovel anything and everything into your mouth as soon as you walk in the door. Some foods will make you feel satisfied and re-energized, while others may leave you sluggish, with an upset stomach or worse. Figuring out what works for you might take some trial and error, but if you’re still trying to figure it out, you may want to steer clear of the following foods.

How to properly refuel after a winter long run

Pizza

Nothing tastes better than a big slice of pizza after a long run, but unfortunately, it’s not your best post-run food option. While it can have a good mixture of carbohydrates and protein (depending on what toppings you choose), the problem with pizza is that it can be pretty greasy. When you run, there’s less blood flow to your gut, which can make digestion more of a challenge. High-fat foods can be harder to digest already, so immediately after a run, you may want to give your gut a break and avoid the cheese.

Spicy food

Like high-fat foods, spicy foods can also be harder to digest, so you might want to leave the hot sauce off of your post-workout meal.

Carbonated beverages

Ultrarunning superstar Camille Herron has been known to recover (and even to race) with beer and tacos, but she might be the exception that proves the rule. Most of us would do well to avoid pop, beer and soda water after a big effort. Again, the bubbles can be hard on your stomach, and they’ll fill you up too quickly so you won’t be able to drink as much water. It also might ruin your appetite for your post-workout meal. You’re better off having flat water (or a sports recovery drink first) and then moving on to the bubbles once you’ve re-hydrated and re-fueled, if you desire.

Fried foods

Again — heavy, high-fat foods can be hard to digest, so save these for a few hours later, when your stomach has had time to settle.

Fruit smoothies

Yes, this one may come as a shock to you. A lot of runners swear by their post-run smoothie, but it might not be a good idea for everyone because of the high fructose content. Fructose is the sugar found in fruit, and when you make a smoothie, you tend to consume more fruit, and thus more fructose, than you would if you were eating it whole. Fructose can be hard on your stomach, so if you’re feeling gassy or uncomfortable after your post-run smoothie, you may want to consider switching to whole fruit instead.

Smart snacking for runners

Just water

Yes, you should replenish your fluids after a workout, but if that’s all you’re consuming after a run, you’re missing a major opportunity to kick-start the recovery process. Your metabolic rate remains elevated for about 30 minutes after your run, so if you eat something within that 30-minute window, you can dramatically improve your recovery and reduce muscle soreness.

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