Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for athletes of all fitness levels—especially when it comes to training and fueling.
What are the best recovery foods for runners?
When it comes to recovery, the key is putting together a post-workout meal that includes carbs, fats and protein. Remember that carbs can come from grains or even fruits and vegetables. Look for whole-wheat options, and opt for whole grains like quinoa, whole-wheat bread and brown rice over white rice or white bread. When we talk about fats, we are talking about healthy fats—avoiding saturated fats and looking to foods like nuts, oils derived from nuts as well as olive oil, avocado and fish. These unsaturated fats help reduce inflammation as well as regulate heart rhythm and improve cholesterol levels. Protein can mean animal protein such as chicken, beef, fish or eggs but also can come from nuts and beans for those who are vegetarian. A big fan favorite is nut butter, as it does a great job of supplying protein and healthy fats. But make sure to put something together that tastes good too—after all, food is to be enjoyed!