When to Refuel

July 24, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Posted in General Health, Literature, Nutrition | 1 Comment

Today I had a long workout and breakfast was later than usual. My run ended around 7:30 AM, but then I stretched, lifted weights, drove home, rolled out my legs, and showered. I made oatmeal, but only had a few bites before I got a phone call that distracted me for a few minutes longer. By the time I finally got to refuel, I had been done running for over 2 hours and had been awake for almost 4. I was starving, and I’ve remained slightly hungry ever since, even after what should have been a satisfying breakfast of Baked Apple Oatmeal.

This is not the usual situation for me, so I’m not too worried, but it got me thinking about refueling. As someone who has suffered injury in the past, muscle-tissue repair is important to me. I’ve heard a few theories about refueling your glycogen stores after a run for maximum recovery, but they range from 30 minutes (which never happens for me) to just getting enough carbs in a 24 hour period. I looked through the running “literature” that I own:

  • Dagny Scott Barrios, author of the Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running, suggests a combination of carbs and protein within 30 minutes.
  • The Runner’s World Complete Book of Running (which I am now halfway through and still don’t like) says the exact same thing, which is not surprising since they are both from RW probably used the same research.
  • Tim Noakes, MD, Running Authority, and author of Lore of Running, lists studies done on glycogen stores and about replenishing them within 24 hours of a race, but doesn’t give me the information that I’m looking for. Or at least nothing I could find while wading through his massive volume.
  • This article gives me one hour, which is doable.

I know I could grab something small right after running, but I really enjoy breakfast and like to be showered and comfortable. Do any of you follow a refueling plan? What works for you?


1 Comment »

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  1. typically if i run in the morning, i eat a banana (or something similar) an hour or two after the run. in general, though, i don’t worry too much about refueling for runs that are 6 miles or less. i usually run at night before dinner anyway, so when i come home and cook that serves as refueling, as well.

    i always lift after running just because i can stand the boredom of lifting better when i have a little endorphin buzz!

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