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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Day 25 What to Eat after the Race

Day 25 What to Eat after the Race

After the Niagara Half Marathon ... my first walking 21K about 7 years ago!

 I was asked to write something for a magazine about post race food suggestions so I thought I would share it with you here. 


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Here is the article as promised:

3 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Post Race Meal

As a fitness professional for over 25 years teaching everything from aqua-fit to group cycling classes to high impact aerobics I have always had my radar up for information around sports nutrition. I have participated in many race events and the food that you find at the end of an event can help to restore if it has the right components. There are usually a variety of choices at the finish line buffet and if you're careful you can avoid the food that will drag you down and make the best decisions for building your body back up.

Here are a few rules you could follow to choose your best post race fare:
Eat within half an hour to get the maximum benefit from your refueling. You may not feel like eating right away so grab a bottle of water to rehydrate and walk to cool down and stretch your body. Then it's time to get over to that food table!

Include carbohydrate and protein, which are essential to recovery, in your post race meal.  During your event you have been burning up the carbs for immediate energy and protein is an important building block for your muscles.  A good carb choice would be some kind of whole grain like a bagel. Bagels are high in calories and dense but if you just walked a half marathon you can probably afford the indulgence and adding some cream cheese to your bagel will add that protein you are looking for.
For your protein component you would also be doing well to choose yogurt and if Greek yogurt is available it packs a lot more protein. If you add a little granola and some almonds to your yogurt you have a great combination of carbs and protein to refuel.

Choose a piece of fruit. Fresh fruit is always a great source of carbohydrates and fiber and if you want to maximize the benefit, choose a banana. Bananas pack a nutritional punch that really can't be beat. They contain potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and C in higher levels than most fruit. Bananas help restore your body and they are also a good food to have before a long walk or run especially if they are dipped in a little nut butter to give you that extra protein boost.

When you are at the end of a long race be sure to take care of yourself: rehydrate, cool down and stretch and make sure you stick to the whole food basics that will refuel that amazing body of yours.

Walk On Strong!

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