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Healthy Weight Center > Experts > Christine Palumbo

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Question: What are the best foods to eat after a long run?
- Meredith, TX

Christine Palumbo, RD:
Refuel your body after a long run, or any other extended aerobic activity like biking, with carbohydrates, its main energy source. And the sooner, the better! Replenish what you’ve lost within the first hour or so with a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack. If you’re just lightly hungry, go for a bowl of cereal with milk, perhaps with some berries or half a banana added. An energy bar or half a sandwich will also work. For times when you’re quite hungry, a sandwich and piece of fruit, macaroni and cheese, plate of spaghetti, or stack of pancakes are good.

Your body will also need fluids -- and fast! A sports drink or diluted fruit juice will replenish fluids and give you some carbohydrates for your muscles. Weigh yourself prior to your run and weigh yourself afterwards to determine sweat loss. For every pound you lose, rehydrate with 3 - 8 ounce glasses of fluid. You may also need to drink extra throughout the day. You’ll know you’ve drunk enough when your urine is light in color.

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