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Couch to 5K
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Best food for after running

I am on my 8th week of the programme and loving it. I eat very healthy and I am vegetarian. I was wondering what is everyone's experiences of what is the best food to eat before and after running as a meal? Is carbs the best or protein or both? I tend to eat nuts but have heard they aren't the best at breaking down in the body? Would it be better to eat a carb rather then protein as a snack? Any thoughts in how to eat best to fuel body would be appreciated as there is a lot of information out there but want to hear about personal experience!

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i try and run in between breakfast and lunch so i dont have to snack really.

breakfast could be anything but on parkrun day a white sandwich with peanut butter and jam a few hours before going out, i also try and get back in time for lunch and ..not a veggie myself but i like making basic home made lentil curry with some bell peppers, red onions maybe mushrooms in and a bit of brown rice.


I am a big fan of no fuss and bother but I hope the fussers and botherers will be along to provide answers.

When I very first started, I dutifully ate (and enjoyed) a post run banana as per Laura's suggestion but then realised that as I was obese and working towards not being, that did not apply to me.

When the next mealtime rolls round, I eat (vegetarian too) and that's about it. (I do keep an eye on calories because although I now have a healthy BMI my waist to hip ratio could be better to reduce risks of cardiovascular issues, and protein because of underlying health issues)


You don't need to eat any more than you normally would to fuel 30 minutes of running. Eating before a run is ill advised as little as possible unless a good 2 to 3 hours before. Otherwise you may suffer tummy distress on the run.

As to postrun carbs vs protein... that depends on what the basis of your usual diet is. I am very carbophobic personally, and follow a high protein approach, but that isn't mandatory. If you do eat starchy carbs, then shortly after a run is the best tme of day to do so, because you body will use them to replenish your glycogen stores, rather than laying them down as fat.

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