How to Fuel After A Workout

One of the questions that I think I get asked most often is “what do you eat after you run/workout?”.  I always hesitate to answer this question because I know better than anyone else that everyone has their own dietary restrictions.  

What works for one person, might not work for someone else.  So my diet and the way I refuel might not make sense for the next person.  Plus it also depends on the intensity and duration of the workout.  Maybe they can just ran 10 miles and can tolerate dairy.  In that case, something like chocolate milk might make sense.  Or maybe they just did a quick 2 mile recovery run, which would require little, if any replenishment. 

That being said, there is a general rule that should be followed.  For those more intense, longer lasting workouts, the 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is recommended.  So, with that in mind here are a few of my recipes and snacks of choice that fit the bill!

what to eat post run



Blueberry Breakfast Oatmeal Bake with Protein {gluten free, dairy free}

Oatmeal is a popular choice to fuel with after a long run or intense workout since it contains carbs and protein.  This particular Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bake recipe includes an extra scoop of protein and a topping of blueberries for some extra added flavor and nutrition. 

Almonds & Fruit

Honey and Sea Salt Roasted Almonds Recipe {Meatless Monday, Nektar Naturals, Gluten Free, Healthy Snack, Football Snack, Honey Crystals}

A handful of almonds and a piece of fruit like an apple make the perfect post run snack.  If you want to add a little flavor to otherwise raw almonds, make a batch of these Nektar Naturals Honey & Sea Salt Roasted Almonds recipe ahead of time.  Pack them in a bag along with some fruit and you’re good to go! :) 

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Eggs & Veggies

Meatless Monday: Spinach, Mushroom & Red Pepper Omelet Muffin {Gluten Free, Dairy Free}

If you’re not vegan or allergic, eggs are a great choice for post run food since they’re incredibly nutritious and have protein.  Mix them in with veggies like these Spinach, Mushroom & Red Pepper Omelet Muffins for on the go or make something like an Open Face Mexican Omelet with avocado for some extra healthy fat fuel. 


Foodie Friday: Berry Beetiful Smoothie Bowl {Berry Smoothie, Beet Smoothie, Healthy Skoop Sweet Beet, Pro Alpha Nutrition Vanilla Protein, Vegan, Gluten Free, Hemp Hearts, Cacao nibs, Goji Berries}

No time to whip something up? Smoothies are a great alternative for when you want to refuel properly but don’t have time to cook.  Something like this Berry Beetiful Smoothie Bowl is the perfect combination of carbs, protein and superfoods that will help you to refuel and recover faster.  Or you could also grab something like PlantFusions Ready to Drink Complete Plant Protein– just shake and go! 


FreshBar- gluten free, fresh ingredients

Another quick alternative would be to refuel with something like a protein bar.  Problem is, most of the protein bars are yucky and full of chemical crap when you should really be refueling with fresh, whole ingredients.  

Thankfully, such a grab’n’go protein bar exists and they’re called FreshBar!


These bars are made with simple, real food each with the base of gluten free oats.  All of the ingredients are gently baked together and are so fresh that they need to stay refrigerated! 

They are available in four different flavors: Pumpkin Carrot Pecan, Apple Almond Cinnamon, Cherry Pear Walnut and Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana.  

I was recently asked to give them a taste test and couldn’t resist! I was so excited to hear that they were fresh and gluten free that I failed to pay attention to the fact that they are made with dry milk and whey protein.  Typically I don’t eat dairy and while I can technically eat whey (I prefer plant protein) I couldn’t resist giving them a little nibble as soon as I saw how fresh they were! 

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Due to my allergy restrictions, I was only able to try the Pumpkin Carrot Pecan and the Apple Almond Cinnamon but honestly they were both amazing and tasted a lot like dessert- especially the Apple Almond Cinnamon which to me resembled the taste of apple crisp!

Since I couldn’t eat them all I even let my kids give them a try (I typically don’t share my protein bar stash) and they were both huge fans! 

Like I said at the beginning, just because I refrain from certain foods doesn’t mean that someone else should too so these are a fantastic option for anyone who is looking for a gluten free, fresh-as-you-can-buy protein bar straight from the store! 

Let’s chat!

What foods do you fuel with post-run?

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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!


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Reply January 12, 2016

Great choices! I typically go with a smoothie (with some oats in it for staying power) or eggs w/veggies.
Marcia recently posted...I had a dream. A weird one.My Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Love oats in smoothies!

Susie @ SuzLyfe
Reply January 12, 2016

Post run nutrition, especially for women, is something that can take your recovery, and thus your training, to a whole nother level. So many people don't know or understand what to eat!
Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted...A Year of Establishing Priorities vs Setting GoalsMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    So true!

Crystal Renaud
Reply January 12, 2016

Great choices girl! That oatmeal bake looks awesome! I will have to try that out and I am a sucker for blueberries.
I tend to make a smoothie if it is on the weekends. If I do an afternoon run I am soon eating dinner so it cover my recovery food :)
Crystal Renaud recently posted...The Power Of One Word; My Word Of The YearMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    I WISH I could run in the afternoon- most of the time I am running at 5AM so refueling with chicken or fish (which are also good choices) is out :(

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply January 12, 2016

Great items! I used to really enjoy a small package of low-fat cottage cheese and fruit! Protein and carbs :-)
Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted...Skinny Vegetarian Baked PenneMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Mmm that sounds good too!

Kimberly G
Reply January 12, 2016

My go-to post run snack is a green smoothie, but I really like the combo of nuts + fruit that you suggested!

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Green smoothies are great too!

Jen @ Pretty Little Grub
Reply January 12, 2016

Smoothies are my favourite post run recovery. I am often dreaming of my smoothies during my run.
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted...Accepting Your Right Now – The Key to Positive Body ImageMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Me too!!! :P

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
Reply January 12, 2016

Oatmeal is my favorite post-run meal! I like to make mine without milk and with blackstrap molasses to also give my body some iron for after a run.
Laura @ This Runner's Recipes recently posted...5 Tips for Bringing Balance to Your RunningMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Oh man I have never thought of adding molasses- I am going to give that a try!

Alex - Funky Jungle
Reply January 12, 2016

All great choices. Just tonight after karate I ate a huge bowl of oatmeal with fruit and topped off with a protein bar ;-) But I also like eggs & spinach or arugula.
Alex - Funky Jungle recently posted...The Capsule Wardrobe Experiment #2 - In the CItyMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    That sounds pretty amazing too!

Reply January 13, 2016

Thanks for the tips! I love my chocolate milk after long runs, and have been craving eggs after them too! It's hard to find something that works for you and refuels your body, especially when pizza and burgers exist :)
Kristen recently posted...Goal Setting 101My Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Haha yes, junk food does make it hard especially when you're rungry! :P

Jess @hellotofit
Reply January 13, 2016

Most of my runs are done in the morning, and I like following them with a smoothie or some sort of egg breakfast :) great list!!
Jess @hellotofit recently posted...A Day in a Personal Trainer’s ShoesMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Me too- sometimes I get real crazy and have a smoothie AND eggs! ;)

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply January 13, 2016

I'm all about the post workout smoothie, but with Paleo I'm going to try a sweet potato apple sauce and either deli meat or jerky :)
Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted...Dopey Challenge Race Recap, Part 1My Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Sweet potato apple sauce, eh? Might have to give that a try!

dixya @ food, pleasure, and health
Reply January 14, 2016

I usually go for nuts and fruits; its easy and i always have it available. i also like energy bites when i have them.
dixya @ food, pleasure, and health recently posted...Chicken and Chickpea SoupMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Mmmm energy bites sound yummy!

Reply January 14, 2016

These are all excellent ideas and some I use quite frequently. I really need to get my hand on one of those bars, they sound delicious.
Ivanna recently posted...Why I Decided to Stop Trying to Grow my Instagram FollowingMy Profile

    Reply January 14, 2016

    Thanks! The bars are definitely worth a try! :)

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