What Kind Of Food Should You Eat After Running A 5k?

Believe it or not, what you eat after running a 5K is just as important as what you eat beforehand. That's because there are certain nutrients that are essential to your post-run recovery (via Insider). When considering what food to eat after a long run, it's important to know which types of nutrients will help refuel your body and which to avoid. Since your body relies on glycogen reserves stored in your muscles for fuel, you want to avoid anything that might hinder your ability to replenish these reserves.

This means staying away from foods that are processed or high in saturated fat. Depleting your glycogen reserves can also cause you to lose water and electrolytes when you sweat. That's why it's best not to drink alcohol for at least an hour after you've finished running. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it can contribute to water loss and cause you to become dehydrated.

That covers what not to eat — but what should you eat after running a 5K? 

Stick to protein and carbohydrates

After running, you can help replenish your lost fluids and glycogen reserves by drinking plenty of water. It's also important to eat a meal containing both protein and carbohydrates. According to experts at Byrdie, your post-run meal should consist of vegetables, grains, and lean proteins. Some examples of good post-run meals include a breakfast bowl with eggs, quinoa, kale, and avocado, or a turkey burger with sweet potatoes and veggie sticks.

Other important foods to fill up on after a long run include chicken, brown rice, salmon, tuna, black beans, peppers, and whole grain toast. Once you've given your body enough time to rest and digest your post-run snack, however, you can return to your normal meals. "Within two hours, aim to have one of your regularly scheduled balanced meals — breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on when you went for a run," Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietician nutritionist and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, told Byrdie.