Fuel: Within 2 to 3 Hours of Finishing
If you can't quite stomach solid food right after the your race, don't worry. Your body is still in race-recovery mode several hours after crossing the finish line, and this is an important time to get those necessary nutrients.
"Going back to eating a regular healthy diet is important because your body is still healing and recovering," Hua says.
Now is the time to enjoy a full meal that's balanced with carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Focus on whole foods, which will also provide you with necessary vitamins and minerals.
"Try to get in about 30 grams of protein and about 50 to 100 grams of carbs," Freeman says.
However, for some people, 100 grams is more than they need. When filling your plate, consider when you ate breakfast. You might require more or less food depending on how fast you ran—higher intensity requires more fuel—and when you had your last meal.
Regardless of what you eat and drink, remember that race recovery is not one-size-fits all.
"Trust your gut; don't try to make something happen," Freeman says. Simply use these tips as a guide and focus on what's worked well in the past.
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