We’re gearing up the #Gixo5k / #Gixo10K on Saturday (have you signed up yet? It’s free!) so our heads are very much focused on race day: how to prepare, how to do our best, and how to properly recover. Not least because this particular race is happening on cinco de mayo, and chances are more than a few of us have chips & guac & margarita plans for later in the day.
A HUGE component of race-day recovery has to do with hydration, and properly fueling with the right mix of carbs and protein after the race. These are our favorite ways to refuel after a race:
Research shows that drinking chocolate milk after a workout can be as effective, if not more effective, than some sports drinks in helping the body refuel, recover and rehydrate from exercise. (Plain milk is also a good choice.) Denise from Run DMT says, “After an intense work-out or a long distance run, your body becomes depleted of glycogens, therefore, it’s important to replenish those lost minerals with some carbs and proteins. The potassium, magnesium and calcium found in an 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk offers a substantial amount of minerals needed to rebuild tired muscles and offer some recovery. Water rehydrates while sports drinks replenish fluids and electrolytes, but chocolate milk rehydrates and rebuilds.”
Chocolate that’s good for you? We can get behind that.
This is a great way to help your muscles recover with some much-needed protein (20g in a can!), while also helping you rehydrate and get a nice little energy boost to top off your post-race endorphin high. Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile says, “I like it because it’s easy to pop one open for some extra protein in a refreshing sparkling water instead of making a big shake after a workout or eating a protein bar on-the-go. Obviously you should be trying to get lots of natural sources of protein but with a busy lifestyle, I find that some supplements and snacks can be helpful.”
Okay, okay, this isn’t truly post-race hydration, but many runners do enjoy a beer after their race. The good news is that according to a new study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, drinking a beer after your race doesn’t compromise your body’s hydration. And, in moderation, beer can actually help us female runners. Laura from This Runner’s Recipes says, “Studies have found that beer can strengthen bones, especially in women who are prone to osteoporosis. The B vitamin complex also plays a role in maintaining and building healthy bones. Beer contains the alcohol ethanol, which prevents bone loss…Since a high volume of training and many common medications such as the pill can increase our risk of osteopenia (the reduction of bone mass), a beer or two offers significant benefits for us female runners!”
What will you be hydrating and recovering with after the race this Saturday?