What’s the benefit to replenishing your energy quickly after running? Do eating a meal during a run help speed recovery? Your nutrition questions, answered.

At the time of high school, an classmate of mine was the winner of every race that she ran in with Dorito dust left on her fingers. One of my college teammates traveled to races with a jar full of peanut butter and spoon. When I was at the New York City Marathon a couple of years ago I was watching a group of friends shoot beers shotgun on the start line.

It is evident that a variety of food items, or drinks that fuel runners during their runs. After running for a set number of weeks or years, each runner will reach a point at which they’ll need to review certain aspects of their pre- and post-run food routines.

Perhaps it’s because your goal is to be faster or to maximize your recovery time or you often get nauseated after a workout.

The right meals and snacks that keep you running is a matter of patience and planning, said Amy Stephens, the team dietitian of Empire Elite Track Club.

So , this month as part of our interview series with professionals we requested Stephens to respond to our reader’s queries regarding post-run digestion as well as specific nutrition that runners require.

This is her tips.


The conversation was reduced in size and edited lightly to ensure clarity.


What’s the most important benefit of fueling your vehicle within 30 minutes of running?

Refueling is a crucial part of your exercise routine. After a workout your muscles are ready to absorb the full nutrients that come from food. If you put off eating for one to two hours, you’ll absorb nutrients , but in a smaller amount.

Consuming a meal 30 minutes following running can assist your body in recovering faster and prepare for the next run.

I advise my athletes to take food with them or prepare it prior to going out. Make a list of foods that are easy to prepare like oatmeal, peanut butter sandwich nutritional bar, or yogurt with fruits.

I usually recommend a food-first strategy, but an energizing liquid or smoothie could be more suitable for certain.


Do fueling your run during the race help with recover? And what are the best foods to suggest?

Fueling during mid-run is beneficial in reducing the fatigue of muscles and prevent running into an obstacle, however it it doesn’t aid in recovery. When I run or race, marathon, I use tablets of salt and gels.

Following a race, a post-race meal can aid in the recovery process by reducing inflammation. My personal favorites are tart cherry juice beet juice fresh strawberries as well as green tea and turmeric. Foods that are high in omega-3 fats — such as of fatty fish, chia or flax seeds can also help in decreasing inflammation and getting prepared to run your first race.

For recuperation, the most effective way to recover is to take a protein or carb meal every couple of hours. To boost your recovery, you should aim for an approximate ratio of four to one of protein and carbohydrates. One of my most favorites for recovery are those that can be prepared in advance for the day, like peanut jelly and butter, chopped the banana into yogurt yogurt smoothies or a nutritional bar.

The most common mistakes I’ve observed is eating fried food with high fat with inadequate carbohydrates. Fats require longer to be absorbed and they don’t supply enough carbs to replenish glycogen.


I tend to pay close focus on carbs and protein during exercise. However, are there any particular nutrients or vitamins that runners should be aware of?

A lot of the most neglected nutrients are electrolytes, that are essential to energy production and contraction. Electrolytes are lost in sweat, or when we are in extremely hot or cold conditions. I suggest experimenting with different electrolytes to figure out which one is the best for you.

Magnesium is a great mineral to help improve your the performance of exercise, as well. The chances of having deficiencies are low however if you’re worried about it, consult your physician about testing your magnesium levels. My most loved foods that contain magnesium include almonds, spinach cashews and cashews, black bean and avocado.

B vitamins (B6 B12, B3) are essential for athletic performance. B vitamins are beneficial for athletic performance. B vitamins aid in the production of red blood cells, energy production , and muscle repair. The most common food sources include eggs, dairy, meats and chickpeas, seeds, fish and bananas. If you’re not eating these kinds of foods, it could be worthwhile to consider taking B-supplements.


Does there exist a reason certain runners vomit right after a race? If so, do you know how to avoid it?

It’s not just normal to vomit but it occurs at every level , from novice to elite athletes.

A lot professionals I coach experience vomiting towards the end of an event, regardless of the pre-event fueling. The vomiting that occurs during running or at the end of a the hard work is caused by the body’s effort to supply muscles with high oxygen levels and more nutrients. When we exert ourselves our bodies’ working muscles prioritize the flow of blood to muscles, and then divert it away from the stomach. In this time of intense exercise it’s difficult to allow the body to digest any food at all.

If you’re not comfortable having to throw up at the conclusion of the race, here’s some options that might assist you.

  • Keep the fluids flowing:Make sure you’re hydrated so that the blood volume increased.

  • Be aware of when you eat: Time nutrition so that your fuel is digested before you take the last run. Try pre-run fueling before your run by eating for at least 90 minutes prior to your run. This will give your body enough time to process food. Everyone requires an individual amount of carbohydrates Start with 45 grams of carbohydrates 1 hour before running and observe how your body responds.

  • Discover ways you can lessen vomiting:Try ginger- or lemon-flavored hard candy.

  • Talk with your doctor:If you tried these diet strategies but still feel the desire to vomit, discuss with your doctor the use of antacids, Pepcid or antiemetics.