Better, Faster, Stronger: Before & After Run Fuel

I felt unstoppable last night! Both J and I agreed that yesterday’s evening run was invigorating, fun and flew by, whereas last week was kind of “meh”. (I honestly think the thought of vegan chili bubbling away in my crock-pot was a compelling force to make my legs go faster).Β  I learned from my mistakes from last week: not properly fueling up beforehand and drinking enough water during the day. This time I chowed down on a Picky Bar while frantically whipping up my chili – I didn’t want to keep J waiting!

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My “Before” Running Snack

I am trying these bars out after reading about the 4:1 carbohydrate: protein ratio for properly refueling your body after long and vigorous endurance sports. They are touted to be good “before” and “after.” (I highly encourage everyone to do their own research and be informed, as I am not a sports nutritionist. Bottom line: 4:1 was found in at least one study to be an optimal ratio for replenishing the glycogen stores in your muscles after long, endurance exercise sessions. As I understand it, that ratio is a good place to start but not scientifically proven as “THE BEST” beyond a shadow of a doubt. I’m a big believer in “you do you”: do what’s right for YOUR body. Want more info? This article on Runner’s World is pretty helpful: http://m.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/is-chocolate-milk-really-best-for-recovery). All I know for sure about these bars is that they taste pretty great and have a fun name (which may or may not have been a factor in me purchasing them). Between the water, appropriate pre-run fuel and eating enough during the day, I felt like Hermes (or Mercury, or the dude with wings on his sandals in Greek Myth)!Β  Ba-bam!

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We had some pretty stellar views of both Boston and Cambridge as we ran along the Charles path.

After the run, I was expecting to walk into my abode and serve myself a pipin’ hot bowl of chili but alas – I had forgotten to turn the crock-pot on high, and the butternut squash was still pretty firm. Well, $*%@! To tide me over, I made a pretty basic but immensely tasty smoothie.

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My “After” Run Snack: Berry Booyah Smoothie

Berry Booyah Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 banana*

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

Enough almond milk to cover the fruit (You can change this based on how thick you prefer your smoothies, I like mine thick!)

Directions:

Blend until smooth.

It’s SOOOOOO good. I get excited on days I lift and get to “bro it up” with a protein smoothie after my workout. I used to be so weirded out by protein powder, but you can’t even tell it’s not just fruit and almond milk in there! Mmmm!

I hope you all get out there and enjoy your day and have the same “omg, my feet have wings!” feeling that I had yesterday. πŸ™‚

Happy Saturday!

*A note on bananas: I buy bananas every week, and as bananas do, they get all spotty and weird after awhile. I’m not a fan of mushy ones, so I began saving the spotty ones that I prefer not to eat fresh and freeze them. All you do is peel the banana and stick it in a ziploc freezer bag or airtight container and stick it in the freezer. Now you’ve got yourself a start to many delicious treats: vegan ice cream, smoothies, banana bread, pancakes…the list is endless. It saves me from throwing SO many bananas out every week and I’ve found they really do come in handy!

7 thoughts on “Better, Faster, Stronger: Before & After Run Fuel

  1. hahaha i love your note about freezing bananas….some people *ahem*cough* me need directions on that apparently…..i was rushing home from the gym/grocery store and just wanted to get dinner together because i was starrrrrving. So as I was unpacking my produce etc. i saw the stickers on the bananas that said “freeze” (i bought the double the amount that day for whatever reason, and the bananas now have freeze, blend stickers on them…). So i just THREW the bananas in the freezer..unpeeled. They are still sitting in there to this day as rocks..b/ ci’m a dum dumb πŸ™‚

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  2. Having my protein/fruit/chia/almond milk smoothies post work out is one of the culinary highlights of my day. I love it! I don’t eat meat except for the rare sashimi outing so protein powder is essential for me. Just don’t make the mistake of buying it in “mint chocolate”. Sounds good in concept. It is not. Then, as I did, you are forced to go through the whole 55 serving bucket of it before a more palatable flavor can be purchased. πŸ™‚

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