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after the marathon, what to feed the runner? [moved from Manhattan board]

All you serious runners out there, in salute to a friend who's doing the marathon for the 1st time, what would suggest I serve afterwards?

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  1. Ask your friend what he/she wants. Everyone's comfort or reward food is different.

    If you'd rather make it a surprise, or for some reason you don't want to ask, I'd say make something satisfying but healthy: your friend's stomach probably won't be up for anything really heavy or rich.

    After long runs, I usually go for brunchy foods like omelettes with potatoes. If that's not his/her style, maybe a lighter lasagna - this one's awesome: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

    1. Light, non rich carbs. Maybe a whole wheat angel hair with sauteed veggies. Some sort of tasty ,fruity drinks. Sliced fresh fruit over some fruit sorbet.

      1. Salty foods- when you sweat, you sweat out salts as well as water. Once I'm starting to feel rehydrated, I start to massively crave salt after a long run. You need a certain amount of salt to go with your fluids afterwards to keep your kidneys functioning properly.

        1. I just ran my first full marathon a couple weeks ago. I wasn't really hungry for a few hours afterwards (which is usual) so you just eat small snacky things for a while with water. I went out for a celebration dinner - Indian food - I loved it, but I did eat lighter than I normally would. You're more hungry 2 days later.
          So, if it's immediately after the race, bring some of her favourite snack foods. If it's dinner several hours afterwards, just pick one of her favourite foods but keep it simple and light.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pescatarian

            by snack foods, I meant yogurt, banana, pear, apple, etc. maybe part of a sports bar

          2. I think everyone is different.

            For me, after every event (be it a marathon or an OLY tri), I want one or all of the following:
            -banana
            -hot chocolate
            -PB&J
            -Granola
            -Egg McMuffin or Filet-O-Fish (yes, the ones from McDonald's)

            1. Ask, ask, ask. Don't assume it all needs to be healthy; this is the one day you real feel that you deserve to eat anything. Not everyone has a sensitive stomach after a race; find out if your friend does. I tend to eat something light soon after (as well as a bar, banana, etc.), like a bowl of pho. At night I'm very hungry again, and I eat whatever I dang well please. I like the Indian food suggestion; that would definitely hit the spot. And don't forget dessert, if he/she appreciates it at all. As a CH, I basically run so I can eat, and I sure ain't setting for WW pasta with grilled veggies and fruit for dessert after 26.2.

              1 Reply
              1. re: maestra

                After my first marathon, I went for all you can eat pancakes, followed by a trip to Wendys. Good times.

                But definitely have lots of water on hand, and maybe some advil and ice packs - your friend is probably gonna be tired and sore!

              2. For me, after any run longer than 20 miles, the first thing I put in me because it's all I can tolerate is a bottle of Isopure to put protein back in my body. As I begin to be able to stomach solid food, I'll throw in some simple sugars, sometimes fruit, sometimes even a bar, like the sugary Promax Cookies'n'Cream (which I normally don't eat due to high sugar content).

                Everyone's body is different, so I echo the suggestion of Ask!

                1. Completely agree with all the recommendations to ask. Right after Boston this year I had a granola bar and a banana, but I really wanted a bagel with cream cheese. Some champagne and a brownie, then a roasted duck dinner in Chinatown. Everyone's different!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gini

                    Agreed - plus, congrats on running Boston! I think I'll be 80 when I'll qualify :-)

                  2. Ditto on the notion that your friend may not be that hungry immediately after the marathon. Each time I have run one, I have not had much appetite that day. But the next day... watch out. So perhaps make something that will hold up well to have as leftovers the next day once the hunger (and soreness) sets in.

                    1. I work with a lot of marathon runners. Everybody is different and has different needs. But most people I know aren't too hungry right after a marathon.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        My pet theory is that moderate dehydration can kill a person's appetite until you get the fluid levels stabilized post-exercise.

                        Smoothies might be a good suggestion to get some calories and fluids coming back in. Though dairy can be iffy for some people after a big athletic effort.

                      2. Congrats in advance to your friend. Running a marathon is a life-time achievement they should be very proud of. Last year after the Long Beach marathon I was really craving bananas and oranges, because that is what I always ate after my runs. I find its better to stick to what you know your body will take. Its definitely a personal thing.

                        1. Pizza, chocolate and beer

                          1. After I ran a marathon last year, I just wanted good food. I went home and ate a lot of Filipino food and some jambalaya at the party my family threw me. I agree with what others have said - just ask your friend what they would want, and then you can't go wrong.

                            1. Bring snacks with you. NYC Marathon has a horrrible finish line, something like an apple and gatorade (and that's satisfying, how?). After I run a marathon, I always want potato chips, mostly because of the salt, grease and crunch factor. The last thing I want is yogurt or anything sweet. After all that gatorade and GU, my tummy is rebelling. Eggs with a little bit of bread, cheese and meat taste great post race. Your friend may not want to eat anything, but encourage her/him to take a couple of bites of something. This will keep the blood sugar flowing and really help recovery. Something with protein in it, even something as basic as a granola bar with nuts.

                              For dinner that night, I'm usually starving, but I can only eat about a quarter of my natural capacity. I want pure salty protein. Sashimi or beef. A half hamburger and french fries is always satisfying. I also love chinese seafood post race a la salted fried squid, steamed whole fish, you get the picture. Korean BBQ is also a great option post race.

                              I'm running the last 10 miles of NYC with a friend who is also doing her first. She's already said that she wants to get meat on sticks.

                              1. Are you talking about immediately after the marathon, or for dinner? The best refreshments I've had, after a triathlon, are peanut butter honey sandwiches. They really hit the spot. I think it all depends on the person, though. I'm usually cold after runs, really cold sometimes and anything hot feels good. After my last 10 miler, I stopped by a Starbucks for a cup of coffee. After I've recovered, I want red meat--like a great burger. But now that someone mentioned it above, Indian food sounds really good. I think I'll go for that after the marine corp this Sunday. Something to look forward to!

                                1. I always want meat after my marathons. my meal following every race has been good beer and a turkey burger. with an emphasis on the beer!

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: LAcupcake

                                    I've heard that beer is actually good for you and a common craving after finishing a marathon!

                                    1. re: SweetPea914

                                      Michelob is a sponsor of the Marine Corp Marathon but I'm thinking if I run that far, I want good beer!

                                      1. re: SweetPea914

                                        Both times I ran the Philly marathon there was a guy standing on the sidelines every few miles or so cheering on his buddy with a series of signs saying "XX miles until beer". It really did help!

                                        1. re: LAcupcake

                                          I ran a half marathon in Rio in June and a friend brought us caiparinias after the run - never thought I'd want alcohol at that moment, but it certainly hit the spot!

                                          1. re: pescatarian

                                            I can see it now ... Gatorade with a splash of vodka.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              Several years ago, Shiner Bock had a beer stand at mile 21 in the Austin Motorola (now AT&T) marathon. Even though it didn't sound too good at that exact point in the run, I grabbed a small cup and threw it back. How could I resist?