Post run fuel advice please!

Hello all.

Having recently got back on the running wagon properly (rather than sporadic, half-arsed efforts twice a week), I've just come back from an 8 miler and basically thrown everything not nailed down into the blender with whole milk, whizzed it, and drunk it at a speed normally reserved for unpleasant medicines that I just want to get down in a hurry. Which was kind of a shame, as it accidentally turned out quite delicious.

Anyway, was wondering if any of the geekier* members of our little internet gang know what I should be eating after a long run to refuel, build/repair muscle, and hopefully gain a bit of weight as my BMI is stuck stubbornly at 17.5 despite swapping to full fat everything and making a real effort? I'm sure there are more effective and considered approaches than tipping the contents of the fridge into the food processor!

And if you've been out today, happy running! Really feels like spring is coming round here; just glorious. :)

*This is a compliment, not an insult.


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32 Replies

  • I'm not very good at this stuff but I'd say lots of protein to repair muscles and carb up generally to put on weight? loads of nuts and peanut butter too? Like is so often the case it could be that's the right body size for you??

  • I think it is; my mum and sister are a similar weight as well. But without wishing to open a while other can if worms, I think we're going to need IVF at some point in the not-too-distant future and to qualify for NHS funding I may need to weigh another half a stone at least :(.

  • Oh that's really tough...I guess you are doing everything like eating loads of cheese, nuts, fatty meat, butter, cream, oils in dishes? You could splash out and see a nutritionist or ask to be referred to one who can give you an appropriate diet to help? I feel for you and I hope you can get your treatment too :)

  • It's all a bit wait-and-see at the moment; I may not need to find the extra weight if the specialist thinks I'm healthy, and that's just one of about 6 million variables that I don't really want to offload onto internet strangers/running buddies! But thanks so much for your kind words and suggestions and yes, I'm a total cheese fiend ;)

  • I make energy bars, divvy them up into the correct portion sizes, wrap them individually and freeze them in a Tupper box and only get one out when I have a long run. I usually eat it when I get back. For races I take one with me either to eat a bit mid run or at the end to replace lost minerals fast. Full of good healthy fruit, nuts, oats, seeds, butter and honey and they are delicious. I use a WW recipe too but it's a belter. Well I think so anyway

    The last bars I made were raw. Espresso and fruit, nuts and a bit of choc. They were lush

  • Sounds great, d'you have a link to the recipe?

  • My son, who is a keen club cyclist, always swears by proteins, but his requirements may be different after a three hour hard ride, than we need after an hour or so running. I do find myself quite satisfied after a weekend run by brunching on scrambled eggs and baked beans on toast, covered with grated cheese, which is a protein fest par excellence. So maybe he is right. PS it supplies the carbs too.

  • Ooh, sounds good. Nice sploosh of lea and perrins on top?

  • Hmm - I'm more into losing weight myself - so after an hours run I have a BIG glass of cold water!!! :)

  • I do like MissW - and love these bars :

    They freeze well too

  • Thanks for the link! Will have an experiment. Where do you get hemp protein powder, and does it taste ok? I think it'd possibly work quite well in a smoothie and then I don't even have to chew! (runner's logic: running for over an hour is fine. Chewing is too much effort.) ;)

  • I don't actually use the hemp powder but I grind hemp seeds -as I personally do not believe I need expensive protein powders - which to me is another example of the power of good marketing.... (as well as having a lifelong habit to make everything I eat from scratch - ) - I find the bars handy when on long hikes, but after running I stick to bananas nuts and yogurt - there is enough protein there for what I am doing anyway

    There is a lot of info about the real need of protein - like here thenutritionguruandthechef....

  • Thanks, that's a reassuring article :). We tend to make things from scratch too and I eat quite a lot of nuts and seeds as we only have meat maybe once or twice a month. Will continue as I was with cashews banana and milk when I get in ( supplemented by the occasional blender-fest)

  • Hemp powder is available at most health food shops, but in my experience is one of the more 'powdery' tasting ones, although not as bad as pea protein. My protein powder of choice is this:

    which is vegan and full of good stuff and not to intrusive tasting. For an energy and calorie-boosting smoothie, I would start with a couple of scoops of protein powder to which I would be adding an avocado, a banana (frozen is best), a good dollop of full fat cottage cheese, a dollop of cashew butter, a dollop of coconut oil, a tbsp of flax seed, a tbsp of porrage oats, a handful of cooked beans and then topped up with either almond milk or, better still, a can of full fat coconut milk and a good squeeze of maple syrup or agave nectar.

    A word of caution with peanut/cashew butter and agave nectar - be sure to check the labels to get the 100% natural varieties. Peanut butter should contain nuts and salt and nothing else. Agave nectar and maple syrup should be only have one ingredient. Many have an ingredient list of horror as long as your arm.

  • My other post-run/workout go-to is a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich on sprouted grain bread. Big energy boost.

  • that is the best one :) There are some 100% nut butters in health food stores that don't even have salt

  • Have you had hazelnut butter? Blooming glorious :)

  • oh yes - nearly as addictive as running!

  • wow that sounds scrummy, but loaded with calories surely???

  • Yeah, but I'm underweight, so that's rather the point.

  • Big energy boosts and calories tend to go hand in hand. Calories being a unit of energy.

  • The easiset thing is to make your own, of course. Macadamia nut butter is my fave at the mo, but grotesquely expensive.

  • Sounds like that'd be gloriously silky. Macadamia, cranberry and oatmeal cookies are a good treat.

  • Hi Tea Fairy, have read through your post and the replies with interest. Sorry that the weight thing is actually quite an emotionally-weighted problem with you. I would have agreed with JJ that may be you're actually at your own correct weight. After all, these BMI graphs are only guidelines and if the rest of the family are skinny.....? (Actually, 'Svelte' is a better word!!) I was tiny for years and could eat like a horse, it was only menopause that made a few pounds creep on (but they've gone again).

    Two thoughts:

    1. I have a son who climbs and is always trying to build up muscle. He buys all this protein stuff at vast expense, but I heard on the radio that you're better off eating a tin of sardines to build up muscles. (Buy them in oil and you'd get extra calories, too.)

    2. I think that it sounds as if you have an exemplary diet and probably eat enough protein already (not that I'm a nutritionist). I have a super Nigella recipe for breakfast bars that involves condensed milk, no difficult to get hold of ingredients & is super easy, but I can't help thinking that this might be the time to resort to junk. Lard, chips doughnuts, icecream, cornish pasties, dumplings, Mars bars, spotted dick and shaving cream. Calories in quantity. Frequently.

    I've just been messing about with a BMI calculator and for my height, the difference between a BMI of 18.5 and a BMI of 17.5 is gaining or losing 5 1/2 pounds. So can cheating come into it when 'weigh in' time comes?! Did you know that 1 litre of water weighs 1kg, i.e. 2.2 pounds? (Worth thinking about?!)

    Another random thought, would the Fertility 'Powers That Be' be sympathetic to a food diary that you've filled in to show them how well you're eating plus details of your families weight and body size?

    Wishing you all the very best!

  • Thanks so much for your thoughtful and thorough reply, and the reminder about water. Good shout with the sardines as well - I hadn't thought of fish for after a run and I bet it's perfect.

    I'm going to wait til we meet the specialist and speak to them; I may not need to worry, but it feels a wise idea to have a contingency plan! Junk is probably effective in theory, but seems to just sap my energy and give me spots without really filling me out. Maybe just mashed potato with everything is the key?!

  • :) Well, mashed potato with a generous dollop of butter in it- the sort of amount that you'd put in if you were really trying to spoil somebody else!!

    Aw shucks, 3 meals a day sitting down at a table eating just good, hearty food with a pudding whenever possible!

    (Trouble with true junk food is that I just don't fancy much after a real grease-fest for some time afterwards!!)

    Hope you sort out some post-run calories and protein too. The blended and necked shake you described sounded pretty good!

  • Maybe pudding is the missing ingredient! Excellent! :). Just had a look at your profile by the way and realised what a journey c25k has been for you. You're one heck of a human being, I reckon :)

  • Thanks, Tea-fairy but think I'm just doing what zillions of other people do.

    Pudding! We tend not to do puddings these days do we? We have a 14yr old German exchange student with us at the moment, and I'm on a mission to get him to sample various British treats. So have resorted to good British puds. On Sunday I made Lemon Surprise pudding and it was just yummy and not cloying at all. Also, it was difficult not to keep 'tidying it up' as I was clearing up afterwards.

    All best to you!

  • My hubby swears by his 'green drink' he mixes broccoli, celery, spinach, cucumber and peppers in a blender and makes enough for 3 days ( the time he is home) he absolutely believes that he feels amazing after it. but it looks gopping to me! I am too classed as underweight but we all know what BMI is like. The hubby is an 18 stone body builder and he is classed as morbidly obese!! Laughable!! Eat what you like and live well. Good luck! x

  • That sounds truly disgusting! Heehee! :D

  • I know!! You couldn't pay me to drink it! He says he feel amazing after it though :)

  • Well as long as he enjoys it I suppose that's all that matters hehe!

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