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Top 5 Nutrition Tips To Help Recover After The NYC Marathon

Congratulations to all the runners who completed the NYC Marathon this past weekend! The most important aspect of participating in any distance event, is the recovery. A lot happens to your body during those 26.2 miles including; overheating, dehydration, severe glycogen depletion from your muscles, and increased release of stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine.

The goal after competition should be to get your body and health back together as soon as possible. Here are our top 5 tips for optimal recovery:


Leg stretches after running

1. Rehydration Your most important focus. If you weighed yourself before and after the marathon, aim to drink 125% of the weight you lost from sweating. Choosing carbohydrate rich fluids will help your body absorb fluid and recover quicker. We love drinking coconut water, or adding nuun tablets to your water for optimal fluid resorption!

2. Glycogen Resynthesis Research shows our post marathon muscles need a high- carb diet for at least 46 hours to have complete repletion of glycogen stores. The first 10 hours post marathon are the most important for recovery, so load up on those carbs! What kind of carbs should you eat? This is one instance where we actually recommend high-glycemic index food and drinks! These boost blood sugar levels quicker, causing a quicker release of insulin, driving more glycogen into muscle cells. High glycemic index foods include baked potatoes, white rice, crackers, honey, dried dates, raisins, pineapple and apricots. After the first 46 hours, stay away from these refined sugars and simple carbs, as they promote inflammation in the body.

Running in the park

3. Protein You should ingest about .4g/kg of body weight of protein immediately after the run, and again two hours later. A protein shake is the ideal ratio of carbs to protein and will enhance glycogen stores. The source of protein best absorbed by the body is whey or casein, and is actually beneficial when mixed with carbohydrates like Rice or Coconut milk post run.  

4. Antioxidants Vitamins and antioxidants can assist in repair of damaged tissue, eliminating free radicals and decreasing oxidative stress experienced during those 26.2 miles. Important vitamins to include in post race, as well as training should include; Vitamin A (beta carotene), Vitamin E, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C. Following your race, you should eat meals rich in different colors of vegetables and fruit for a greater variety of vitamins and minerals. Foods rich in antioxidants include veggies like kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, fruits such as berries, pomegranate, plums, green tea and to everyone’s delight; dark chocolate!

Strecthing after running the NYC marathon

5. Anti-inflammatory Inflammation is a natural part of healing. With that being said, too much inflammation can be detrimental. An anti-inflammatory diet, and anti-inflammatory supplements can help calm down your body’s natural inflammatory response. This includes eating whole, natural foods and avoiding processed foods, red meats, and refined sugars. Supplementing with Fish oils (EPA & DHA) will help with anti-inflammatory efforts. Additional anti-inflammatory supplements include tumeric, ginger, tart cherry juice and garlic.

Our team is here to help you get back on your feet post race and even help you PR  your next race. We’d love to hear from you! Fill out this contact form and we’ll be in touch soon to answer all of your questions!

Best in Health,

Urban Wellness Clinic Team