In order to gain the full benefits of protein, most experts recommend consuming between 10 and 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes after a run. This is when your muscles are the most responsive to a recovery boost from protein.
Experts believe that 10 grams is a baseline and 20 grams is the maximum amount of protein that you can take. Less or more than that will not do you any good. A study by the Journal of The American Dietetic Association in 2009 revealed that the consumption of more than 30 grams of protein in a single workout session did not help muscles to recover more than consuming moderate amounts.
The Harvard School of Public Health recommends beans, poultry and beans for runners to eat if they want to consume healthy protein. Steaks are not really good because they often come with lots of saturated fats. A 3-ounce of salmon serving can give you 17 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat and beans, such as lentils, are even better.
If you cannot find the time to cook a healthy protein meal, you can fuel your energy before a run with smoothies or protein shakes. Just make sure to watch out for protein amounts in those shakes because they can carry a huge amount in a small serving size. Remember, excessive protein will be converted into fat.
As we have said before, carbs and protein can work together to replenish your energy. Nutritionists say that you should aim for a 4:1 ratio for your post-run meals. The Running Times magazine has this good formula to determine how many carbs you should be consuming: divide your weight in half and you will find your carb number. From this, you can determine the amount of protein you should take by dividing your carb number by four.