Photograph: Adrian Lawrence; styling: Emily Kydd
The first move many make after a tough run is to flop on the sofa for several hours, ideally surrounded by a sackful of junk food. While no-one is saying you shouldn’t reward yourself with your favourite food after a run, it’s worth considering what the body needs to help it recover from the effort you’ve put in.
While weight training enthusiasts will typically mix up a protein shake to fuel muscle repair and growth after a workout, runners need to replenish the glycogen reserves sapped by their pavement-pounding. That means energy-rich carbohydrates, and plenty of them. Protein is still important, of course, and if you’re spending a lot of time in the great but freezing outdoors during your winter training, you’ll also want to stock up on the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay in tip-top condition.
This green recovery drink recipe is taken from The Runner’s Cookbook by registered nutritionist Anita Bean (RRP £14.99, Bloomsbury) and provides just what the body needs after a bout of intense cardio exercise. The spinach brings vitamin C, folate and omega 3 to the table, and when you blitz it up with the kiwi and banana you’re only going to taste the sweet stuff anyway, so even the most committed green leaf haters will be able to stomach the drink. And if you also add in the optional flaxseeds you get a further hit of omega 3, which helps reduce inflammation after a workout. What are you waiting for? Get blending.
Green Recovery Drink Recipe
Ingredients (makes one serving)
- 250ml almond milk or coconut water
- 2.5cm fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 kiwi fruit
- 1 banana
- 1tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)
- A few ice cubes
Blitz all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.
-of which saturates 1g
-of which sugars 35g
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.