by Karen Campbell, specialist in personalised nutrition for endurance runners; from beginners to professionals.
Do you struggle to re-establish your energy levels after your running training? Recovery Nutrition for Runners is VITAL.
Restoring muscle glycogen is one of the principle aims of recovery nutrition for runners, especially endurance runners. This helps re-establish peak athletic performance in subsequent training sessions.
Signs of Poor Recovery after Training
- Reduced Sports Performance
- Muscle soreness
What is glycogen?
Carbohydrate is the principle energy source for endurance runners as it is converted in the body, to glucose (for energy) and glycogen (stored energy).
Glycogen is stored predominantly in the muscles and liver. However, during endurance running these glycogen stores are greatly depleted because they are converted into glucose for energy.
So how much carbohydrate is needed in recovery nutrition for runners?
Following endurance running – in the absence of carbohydrate intake – the rate of glycogen reproduction is thought to be extremely slow. 1
For this reason, early intake of carbohydrate foods following training is highly recommended.
Current guidelines suggest 1-1.2g of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight, per hour, during the first 4-6 hours following training to restore glycogen levels.2 So for a 70kg athlete, this equates to a large banana, plus either 40g dried cranberries or 150ml fresh orange juice.
Guidelines also recommend an optimal intake of carbohydrate within the first 30 minutes following exercise 2 because this is thought to be the most favourable “window of opportunity” for refuelling.
- Jeukendrup A and Gleeson M (2010), Sports Nutrition: An Introduction to Energy Production and Performance, 2nd edn., Stanningly, Leeds, Human Kinetics.
- Thomas DT et al (2016), Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Nutrition: Nutrition and Athletic Performance, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116:501-528.
As You Can See Recovery Nutrition for Runners is VITAL.
Do you want to know more about the optimal intake of carbohydrate for YOUR recovery following training?
If you would like to learn more – to help you improve your running performance with nutrition – please book onto our next online course Easy Nutrition for Healthy Runners hosted by Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell.