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11 Post Run Breakfast Ideas for Optimal Recovery

Your post run breakfast does more than just provide a delicious reward at the end of a run. What you eat after running plays an important role in recovery, muscle growth, and fueling.

Not all post-run breakfasts are created equally. The type of food you eat for breakfast after running can either help speed up or slow down the recovery process. Some breakfasts are packed with nutrients that support muscle growth and cellular recovery, while others simply provide calories and a quick sugar spike.

What is a good post-run breakfast?

The best post run breakfast is one that contains a mix of protein and carbohydrates along with nutrient dense foods. Foods such as oatmeal, smoothies, or loaded toasts and muffins are some of the best post run breakfast options.

Do you need to eat breakfast after a run?

A full breakfast isn’t always needed after a run, but refueling to some extent is always necessary. The distance of your run, intensity and what you consumed prior to your run will all play a role in whether or not you need a full breakfast afterwards.

Most morning runners choose to consume a post run breakfast, as it is easier and much more convenient to eat later in the morning than before a pre-dawn run.

To optimize your health and training, try consuming Athletic Greens (AG1) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach before running. AG1 contains 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole-food sourced ingredients. It fills nutritional gaps to optimize cellular health and function, and its powder form is quick and easy to consume each morning. AG1 is the perfect addition to any runner’s diet and daily routine.

AG1 is a great way to start the day and stay healthy during training. After running, a simple snack or drink might be enough to refuel until the next meal time after a short, easy run. However, long runs, hard workouts, or runs that happen before consuming any food will require a post-run breakfast.

Benefits of a Post Run Breakfast

There are many benefits the come from eating breakfast after a run. Regardless of your fitness level or training goals, eating a post-run breakfast can help your body recover in various ways. Here are some of the benefits.

  • Replenishes glycogen stores that have been depleted from running
  • Prevents post-run energy dip from low sugar levels
  • Improves muscle recovery
  • Encourages muscle building and growth
  • Can help prevent muscle cramps and spasms
  • Protein consumed during the first 30 minutes post-run is used more optimally and immediately than any other time of day
These post run breakfasts will help you recover optimally. Try any of these nutrition-packed breakfasts after running to refuel with protein and carbohydrates.

11 Post Run Breakfast Ideas

Whether you’re hoping to optimize and improve your recovery, or simply wanting some more ideas to feed your hunger after running, these post run breakfasts are sure to get you excited. Here are some delicious breakfast options to try after running.

Post Run Breakfast: High Protein

Protein is necessary for muscle recovery and growth, making it a key component of just about any post run breakfast. These breakfasts are quick and easy to make, and can be made in bulk for simple food prep as well.

Protein Pancakes

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Scoop the batter out using ¼ cup and heat on a greased electric griddle or stovetop pan.

Green Protein Smoothie

  • 1 packed cup greens
  • 1 cup liquid
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup mango

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend and enjoy! Try using frozen fruit or less liquid to thicken the smoothie and make it into a bowl.

Tofu or Egg Scramble

  • 1 block tofu or 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp black salt (if using tofu)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ cup chopped veggies

Crack the eggs or crumple the tofu, and combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Sauté the mixture in a greased frying pan on medium heat until thickened and golden.

Yogurt Parfait

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup granola
  • ¼ cup fruit
  • 2 tbsp nut butter

Combine all ingredients in a jar and enjoy!

Post Run Breakfast: Carbohydrates

Most runners find great success and optimal recovery when consuming carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes after running. Carb heavy meals not only fuel the day and give you sustained energy, but help optimize the recovery process. Protein can be easily added to any of these post run breakfasts with the addition of protein powder, nut butters, chia or hemp seeds.

Vanilla Overnight Oats

  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp nut butter

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours prior to eating.

Chocolate Blended Oats

  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp oat flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 3 tbsp cacao
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Heat on low for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.

Baked Berry Oatmeal

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water
  • 2 cups mixed berries

Combine ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and then add in the flax and water mixture. Pour into a 9×11 baking dish. Refrigerate for 6 – 8 hours prior to baking for optimal thickness, or bake immediately for a softer bake. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

Sweet and Salty Toasts

Sweet toast

  • 1 slice sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsp nut butter
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ banana

Salty toast

  • 1 slice sourdough bread
  • 1 mashed avocado
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tomato
  • Fresh basil

Mix together the mashed avocado, nutritional yeast, Dijon, garlic and salt. Spread avocado mixture on one slice of bread and top with tomato, vinegar and basil. Spread nut butter on the other slice of bread and top with honey and banana.

Post Run Breakfast: Nutrient Dense

These breakfasts are power packed with nutrients for optimal recovery and sustained energy. Micronutrients and antioxidants fuel the cells with everything they need to prevent inflammation and stay optimally healthy. These post run breakfasts will help runners stay healthy and injury free during training.

Loaded Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 cup packed greens
  • 1/2 cup milk or water
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add extra water if necessary until it reaches your desired thickness. Pour into a bowl and add your toppings. Enjoy!

Toppings

  • Granola
  • Chia, flax or hemp seeds
  • Honey
  • Berries
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Nut butter

Loaded Oatmeal Bowl

  • ½ cup oat flour
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Stir together and let simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Add your toppings and enjoy!

Toppings

  • Nut butter
  • Chia, flax or hemp seeds
  • Frozen blueberries

Power Muffins

  • 3 mashed bananas
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup blueberries

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Preheat the oven to 350. Pour the mixture into a greased or lined muffin tray. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Post Run Breakfast: Hydrating Options

When it comes to running, hydration is even more important than fueling – and what better way to ensure you stay hydrated than to choose a hydrating breakfast. Many post run breakfasts can provide essential hydration as well. Choose any of the following and adapt them to make them your own for a nutrient dense, hydrating breakfast after running.

  • Smoothies
  • Smoothie Bowls
  • Oatmeal
  • Overnight Oats
  • Homemade juices

These post run breakfast ideas are just the start of so many options. Try different varieties of the smoothies, oatmeal, muffins or toasts. There are endless flavors and spices that can really change up the breakfast. And best of all, these breakfasts are all made with whole foods, providing you with long lasting energy all day after a run.

Finding a post run breakfast that you love, which also keeps you energized, helps optimize recovery and improve muscle growth will allow you to stay healthy and strong throughout any training season.

More post run fuel ideas: