It’s easy to undermine the importance of refuelling after a run, particularly for those of us who experience a loss of appetite after training.
Refuelling after a run is the perfect opportunity to help your body benefit from a workout. Choosing foods which balance a combination of healthy carbohydrate and protein after a run will not only fuel muscle recovery and repair, but will top up your body’s glycogen stores for that all important energy boost.
However, having a meal straight after a run is not always feasible – or appealing! Perhaps you’ve been for a run in your lunch hour, or run straight before picking the kids up from school. Many of us simply aren’t able to schedule our runs with our meal times and when we can, we often don’t fancy it.
That’s why a post-run snack is a great option. While it’s easy to grab a ready-made recovery drink or cereal bar after a run, these products are often lacking in essential nutrients and are often crammed full of sugar and saturated fat. We’ve collated five fantastic recipes for post-run snacks, which are healthy, appetising and can be enjoyed on the move. These snacks are packed full of nutrients and vitamins, are great for muscle repair and recovery, and will give you an energy kick to charge the rest of your day!
Apricot and Almond Bar by Christine Bailey
The ingredients in many commercial cereal or cake bars are bound together with a butterscotch mixture full of sugar and saturated fat. These delicious bars are sweetened naturally with apricots and orange juice. They also use almond nut butter but you could add peanut butter or tahini. Christine also recommends adding a scoop of protein powder to give them a real protein boost – great for a filling snack, breakfast or post sport food.
- 3 large oranges pips removed
- 225g (8oz) dried apricots, chopped
- 170g (6oz) almond nut butter, cashew nut butter or tahini
- 225g (8oz) porridge oats or buckwheat, millet flakes
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
- 125g (4½oz) wholemeal self-raising flour or gluten-free flour mix
- 25g (1oz) mixed seeds e.g. sunflower, sesame, hemp, pumpkin
- ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 125g (4½oz) dried apricots, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5.
- Place the oranges, apricots, nut butter in a blender and puree to form a thick paste.
- Place the porridge oats, flour, seeds, protein powder and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in the chopped dried apricots. Add the apricot puree and combine thoroughly. Press the mixture into a greased shallow rectangular tin, approximately 20cm by 35cm. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out. Cut into small bars.
- Store in an airtight container. As it contains a high proportion of fruit it is best kept in the fridge. It also freezes well.
Dean Edwards’ Fruity Cinnamon Granola
Not just for breakfast, this granola is a mix of healthy oats, nuts and seeds which will provide that vital post-workout energy boost. Eat on its own, or sprinkle over yoghurt for a substantial snack and added protein.
- 200g whole rolled oats
- 150g mixed nuts, seed and berries (Dean has used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, dried cranberries and goji berries)
- 50g almonds, crushed
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 40g dried apricots, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp The Groovy Food Company Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 40g The Groovy Food Company Agave Nectar Amber and Mild
- In a small pan gently warm the coconut oil until melted. Meanwhile combine the dry ingredients in a bowl then add the agave nectar and oil, and stir until fully combined.
- Spread onto a greased baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven set at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool before crumbling into an airtight container.
- Serve with some fresh berries, Greek yoghurt and another drizzle of agave if you like.
Fruity Papaya Cottage Cheese by Christine Bailey
After a workout your tired muscles need a combination of protein and carbohydrate to restore glycogen stores and provide the building blocks to aid muscle recovery and repair. Cottage cheese is a great choice for a low-fat, high protein food that is easy to digest. If you are suffering with sore, aching muscles or an injury due to training, then it’s worth noting that papaya contains a digestive enzyme known as papain. Papain (like bromelain found in pineapple) is an enzyme that not only helps break down proteins for digestion but has anti-inflammatory properties to speed up your post-workout recovery.
- 2 oatcakes
- 2tbsp natural cottage cheese
- ½ fresh papaya diced
- 1tbsp fresh blueberries
- Place the cheese in a bowl and stir in the papaya.
- Spoon on top of the oatcakes and top with a few blueberries to serve.
Coconut Chia Seed Pot
This incredible recipe is made with Wheyhey Protein Strawberry, Banana & Acai Ice Cream by Wheyhey Chef Pamela Bustard and Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. Chia seeds and Wheyhey ice cream are excellent sources of protein – perfect for helping the body repair and rebuild muscles after strenuous exercise. Chia seeds contain all eight essential amino acids, they are high in fibre, antioxidants and even omega-3. Coupled with 20g of whey protein, this will keep you satisfied until your next meal of the day. Coconut also fuels rehydration due to its abundance of electrolytes. Adding fruits such as bananas is a good idea to give you an instant boost of energy too. The addition of berries and super foods will also mop up free radicals caused during the stress of a long run and will provide the body with those much-needed antioxidants.
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 100ml coconut water
- 100ml coconut milk
- 1 tbsp unsweetened dessicated coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Large handful of fresh raspberries
- 1 banana, frozen in chunks
- 1 small tub of Wheyhey Strawberry Protein ice cream
- 1 tbsp acai berry powder
- A few raw cacao nibs, to scatter over
- Put the chia seeds in a kilner jar or large bowl and pour in the coconut water, coconut milk, vanilla then stir in the dessicated coconut. Leave for 5 minutes, stir well again, then leave in the fridge for at least an hour (good to do before you head out on a run!) or overnight so there is less preparation in the morning.
- When you’re ready, remove your Wheyhey ice cream tub from the freezer about 10 minutes before. Scatter over the fresh raspberries on top – the coconut and chia seed mixture will now be pretty solid and firm so they should sit on top nicely.
- Place the frozen banana chunks, your slightly melted Wheyhey ice cream and acai berry powder in a blender and whizz up until you have a smooth, thick ‘ice cream’.
- Spoon this on top of the raspberries, scatter over some cacao nibs and there you go, a super quick, easy and healthy refuel after burning those calories!
Iced Tea Protein Shake By Christine Bailey
If you don’t fancy eating after a run, a protein shake is a refreshing way to refuel. Christine Bailey’s Iced Tea Shake is not only deliciously refreshing but packed full of protein. Cherries have been shown to help combat soreness after exercise and to speed up recovery, and combined with antioxidant-rich superberry powders and colostrum they are a winning formula. The smoothie also balances protein and carbs to refuel and support muscle recovery. Green tea is high in antioxidants and is also a natural fat burner, helping you to achieve a toned, lean body.
- 90g/3¼oz/1 cup frozen pitted cherries
- 100ml/3½fl oz/generous 1/3 cup cooled green tea
- 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp acai berry or superberry powder
- 1tbsp colostrum powder e.g Neovite optional
- 4 ice cubes or coconut ice
- Put all the ingredients, except the ice, into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the ice and blend briefly to retain some texture.
- Serve immediately.