Every runner knows there’s no reward quite so, well, rewarding as a post-race finish line treat–and every race director should know it, too. Energized by endorphins and triumphantly sweat-drenched, your participants are looking forward to wrapping up their race experience with a post-race indulgence.
Serve up one of these cool finish line treats to ensure a refreshingly memorable event.
A big bite of cold, juicy watermelon is perfection on a hot day. The crisp fruit’s high water content makes it a fantastic thirst-quencher after a run, helping replenish fluid and electrolytes depleted through perspiration. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, and its shareable size comes in handy when you’re serving a crowd. You could also keep some salt shakers on hand to help participants replenish their sodium levels.
With a carbohydrate-to-protein ration between 3-to-1 and 4-to-1, chocolate milk has been shown to be just as effective a recovery beverage as specially-formulated sports drinks. This delicious treat also provides key nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, along with the carbohydrates and protein that runners’ bodies need to refuel their muscles.
If chocolate milk is a great recovery beverage, surely chocolate ice cream is, too? With similar nutritional profiles, the two are both sources of carbohydrates and protein, though ice cream does contain significantly more fat. Since much of recovery involves fluid replenishment as well, chocolate milk may nudge out its frozen cousin. However, there’s no denying that a cone with sprinkles will bring a smile to any runner’s face and inspire plenty of social media shares.
Snow Cones & Ice Pops
Sweet treats like snow cones, popsicles, slushies and ice pops put the “cool” in cool down. Those made with real fruit juice can provide a nutrient boost, too. Whether you’re serving up pre-made pops or hosting a DIY snow cone bar, this unique option is sure to give runners yet another fun incentive to mark their calendars for your next event.
Runners love the nutrient-packed goodness of bananas. Fat-free and sodium free, they provide potassium, vitamin B-6, vitamin C and fiber. And when they’re frozen, dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts, they also make an Instagram-worthy post-run reward.
Finally, many runners list a cold brew as their favorite post-run treat–but drinking beer immediately after a run may not be the best choice. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing dehydration and interference with your muscles’ post-workout rebuilding process. So serve up the suds along with plenty of water and a recovery meal rich in carbohydrates and protein.
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