One of the best parts of a long run is getting to refuel afterwards. I joke about being hungry all of the time because I love to eat, but there's no meal or snack so satisfying as the one you eat after an endurance workout.
Sometimes after a long run the first thing I want is something really decadent, like a cupcake or a donut. But what makes my body feel best, is refueling with nutritious whole foods. So, after an endurance workout I typically opt for foods like fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains.
The four most important factors of refueling after an endurance run are carbohydrates, electrolytes, protein, and water. Whether I eat a snack or an entire meal after an endurance run depends on what time of the day I plan it for, but the following three snacks are my favorite refueling foods for the times when my workouts end in between meals. Fair warning: They're super simple. After I've been running for an hour or more, the last thing I want to do is spend a long time preparing my food. (Actually, who am I kidding? I always hate taking a long time to prepare my food.)
1. Grapes and Whole Wheat Pretzels
Ok so this snack actually excludes the important protein component, but it's my favorite because of the sweet and salty combo. Plus, grapes are one of the most refreshing fruits, perfect for quenching your thirst and replenishing nutrients all at once. Not only are whole wheat pretzels a good source of complex carbs, but the added salt will help replace electrolytes, too. If I want to include protein with a snack like this I'll usually grab a hard boiled egg.
2. Peanut Butter and Banana on Whole Grain Toast
Again, this is a favorite of mine because it combines sweet and savory flavors. Peanut butter and banana might just be my all time favorite food combination. This is a great recovery snack for a few of the same reasons I mentioned earlier. Whole grain toast is a nutritious source of carbohydrates and so are bananas. Throwing peanut putter into the mix packs in some protein and a little bit of healthy fat, too.
3.Red Pepper Slices with Roasted Garlic Hummus
Sometimes I like to step away from my favorite sweet-tasting snacks. (Sometimes!) When such is the case I usually turn to crispy, raw veggies. Red peppers are my favorite and I love to slice them up and dip them in hummus. For anyone who's diet requires the exclusion of grains, fresh vegetables are a great carbohydrate source, plus they're loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. I love dipping veggies in hummus not only because it comes in lots of different yummy flavors, but also because it packs some protein!