You’ve just completed your run and it’s time for a post-run recovery meal or snack. Protein is important to consume after a run because it helps repair and rebuild the muscles that have suffered microtears during the workout. Including protein sources that have branch chain amino acids is a double bonus. Branch chain amino acids are optimal for recovery because they bypass the liver and go directly to the muscles for faster repair. In addition, branch chain amino acids may help decrease muscle soreness and fatigue. But, those branch chain amino acids don’t have to come from meat! If you’re vegetarian or just looking for some non-meat protein options, there are plenty of alternative sources out there — like these!
- Greek yogurt
- Whey protein powder
Here are more vegetarian protein options that contain smaller amounts of branch chain amino acids.
- Legumes (like black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lentils)
But, some of these are a little boring on their own! Here are some suggestions for how to incorporate vegetarian protein options into a post-run snack or meal.
- Have a smoothie with Greek yogurt, milk, berries, and chia seeds
- Drink a whey protein powder shake
- Eat an egg and cheese wrap
- Enjoy a tofu scramble with tofu, black beans, salsa, and bell peppers
- Make a parfait with Greek yogurt, fruit, and nuts
- Snack on edamame and tangerines
- Munch on a quinoa bowl with quinoa, tempeh, pinto beans, vegetables, and sesame seeds
- Dip some veggies into hummus