“Refueling immediately after running restores the essential nutrients and glycogen lost during training and triggers the body’s muscle repair process,” said Meek.
“Carbohydrates, stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver, are our body’s fuel source while protein is vital to muscle growth and repair.”
“A ‘transition’ snack of around 50g of carbs combined with 10-15g of protein will get this recovery underway before your next substantial meal,” Meek added.
Perth Run Collective stalwart, Stephen Best, who is currently clocking around 60km per week in the lead-up to the Chevron City to Surf marathon, has just the recipe to restore those lost nutrients with his protein balls:
The goods...120g pitted dates, 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, 1 tbsp protein powder, 150g peanut butter or choice of nut butter (almond, macadamia etc), a little water to mix if needed.
Get Rollin’... combine dates, oats, coconut and protein in a food processor or blender until the mixture looks like crumbs and the dates have mixed through the oats. Pop mixture into a large bowl and add the nut butter, mixing until combined. Add water, only if needed, to mix into a slightly sticky dough. Roll into balls, and coat with desiccated coconut or finely chopped nuts. For optimum freshness, refrigerate until needed. Keeps for up to seven days.
A twist... add a pinch of cinnamon, swap out some dates for apricots or blend two protein balls with frozen banana and your choice of milk for a calcium-packed smoothie.
Stephen has set himself the challenge of running six half and full marathon events in Perth this season to raise awareness and funds for the invaluable work of Guide Dogs WA. Stay tuned or donate to Stephen’s initiative here.
Other Perth Run Collective post-run snack favourites:
Banana: A carb-packed and easy to carry go-to for many runners. Plus, the potassium content is a bonus which helps balance the fluids and electrolyte levels - Think cramping!
Chocolate milk: A trifecta of protein, carbs and calcium to get you on the road to recovery.
Almonds: A handful of these fibre and antioxidant packed goodies will tide you over till your next meal.
Let’s not forget the importance of a good guzzle of water too. Hydration is so important for runners, especially after a hard run session or race. Julie Meek’s tip: “Have a water bottle handy at all times and drink at regular intervals throughout the day.”