Hopping out of bed, lacing up your running shoes and bounding out the door for a morning run can be an exciting way to start your day, especially if you're trying to shed a few pounds or keep an active body. The post-run energy crash you can experience, however, is enough to make you start hitting the "Snooze" button each morning instead. It's common to have your energy zapped after a run, but proper nutrition can help restore your take-on-the-world feeling.
Drink water during your run and in the hours that follow to hydrate your body and replenish the fluid you lost through sweat. Carrying a full water bottle and hydrating during your run is important to avoid dehydration. "Runner's World" recommends consuming between 5 and 12 ounces of water for every 15 to 20 minutes you run. After you're done with your workout, drink up to 24 ounces of water for every pound you lost during the run.
Consume a meal high in carbohydrates and protein to help replenish your body and give you a boost of energy. High-carb foods conducive to eating in the morning include bread, cereal and fresh fruit, while foods rich in protein include eggs, yogurt and nuts. If you don't have time to sit down for a proper breakfast, throw a container of nuts and an apple in your purse for your commute to work.
Take a short nap to rest your muscles if you find that napping typically energizes you. A nap won't always work if you're short on time in the morning, but if you have 15 to 30 minutes to lie down quietly, you can often feel rejuvenated when you get up to continue your day.
- Runner's World: Drink This
- Runner's World: RW's Complete Guide To Hydration
- Runner's World: Post-Run Recovery Tips
- Brown University: Sports Nutrition
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- Shape: The Best Way to Stretch Before and After a Workout
- Running several days a week is an easy way to meet the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week.
- It can be difficult to track the weight you lose during each run, but if you want to closely adhere to the "Runner's World" recommendation of up to 24 ounces of water per pound lost, weigh yourself in the nude before and after your run.
- "Runner's World" recommends consuming a sports drink during runs that last more than an hour, as sports drinks contain high levels of carbohydrates to fuel your body.
- Always spend a few minutes stretching before and after your run. "Shape" magazine recommends dynamic stretches before working out and static stretches during your cool-down period.
- Avoid running if you have pain in your muscles and joints.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.