When it comes to running carbs are king right? They're what's powering your legs to take that extra step when every part of you wants to stop. They're what we all know we need to load up on before we cross that start line. But what about once the race or training session has finished, what then?
Once you've done the hard work out on the trails or on the road you need to recover and make sure you're ready for your next session. This is where the power of protein really comes into play. Proteins are the little building blocks that pretty much everything in our body is made up of. These building blocks are responsible for building, maintaining, and replacing the damaged tissues in your muscles and organs. Which really is as important as it sounds, basically without protein your body can’t function let alone, properly rebuild itself after training.
We all know now that protein is super important for muscle replacement, recovery and keeping your energy/immune levels up then how much should you be eating?
Active folks like yourself who are running a couple of times a week and maybe getting in a cross training session in too, should be aiming to consume between 1.3 - 1.6g of protein per kilogram of body weight.
As an example if you weigh 80 kg - that would mean eating between 105 and 130 grams of protein throughout the day.
There's a stereotype of weightlifters and gym goers who are overly obsessed with making sure they have a protein shake as soon as they finish training. And while the obsession with a 'post workout window' can seem a little silly it can make a big difference. Especially for runners who've just completed a tough or long run, 20 grams of protein along with some carbs within twenty minutes of finishing, can make a huge difference to recovery.
Outside of that post run window, it is a great idea to include a serving of protein at every meal. Try to focus on eating as wide a variety of protein sources from beef and chicken to beans and cottage cheese.