After an intense day at the gym, it’s important to know your options for the best workout recovery drinks. Your body goes through a lot of wear and tear during a powerful workout and it’s important to repair it before any serious damage is done. But, with so many products available, it’s hard to know what’s good for you. Here are the seven best workout recovery drinks that will replenish, hydrate and repair your body post workout.
1. 1% Chocolate Milk
Surprised? Chocolate milk is actually one of the best workout recovery drinks to be had! Why? Chocolate milk can help to replenish muscles even faster than water because of the perfect amount of carbohydrates and proteins it contains. Also, the sugar helps your body to digest the protein from the milk even faster after a hard-core muscle building session. That same sugar gives the body a boost in insulin after an extraneous workout too!
2. Fruit & Veggie Smoothie
When made at home with fresh, authentic ingredients smoothies can be an excellent workout recovery drink – especially when you choose the right fruits and veggies! Homemade smoothies are a great post workout drink because they are low in sodium, cholesterol and calories but high in protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which are important when your body is trying to build itself up again!
3. Cherry Juice
Feeling a little sore after your workout? Try cherry juice! The antioxidants found in tart cherry juice help to decrease swollen and inflamed muscles and increase muscle recovery. In addition, cherry juice helps to reduce muscle damage from the strain of daily workouts. But, drink in moderation as cherry juice is high in sugar and calories!
4. Sport Drinks
Sports drinks are a tricky one! They are high in sugar and should not be consumed after a light workout such as a jog or yoga because they will do more damage than good. However, sport drinks are usually recommended after an intense workout. Since they are high in sugar and sodium they restore electrolytes which help your body absorb water easier therefore keeping you hydrated after a workout.
5. Protein Drink
After a workout, your body craves proteins and carbs in order to repair damaged tissue and muscle. With that being said, don’t munch on a burger after your workout. Instead, try a healthier alternative such as protein drinks. Adding yoghurt to your fruit smoothies is a delicious and a healthy way to add protein to your post-workout drink. For those of you who are lactose intolerant, adding sugar conscious protein powders, such as whey, to your smoothies will also suffice.
6. Non-alcoholic Beer
Emphasis on non-alcoholic! Beer with alcohol is chalk-full of empty calories. However, non-alcoholic beer, just like chocolate milk, has the right amount of proteins and carbs to help hydrate the body faster than water! Plus, just like cherry juice, non-alcoholic beer contains antioxidants to relieve muscle inflammation. Two birds, one stone.
The most obvious and most important workout recovery drink is water! It’s low in calories, sodium and sugar and is the most natural, healthy and safe way to hydrate the body. Our bodies crave hydration and water is the purest form of hydrating the body from the inside out. So, be good to yourself and keep a bottle of water nearby at all times!
Before starting a workout regime, talk to a doctor about your viable options when it comes to a safe and healthy diet. You’ll find your doctor, or trainer, will recommend pre-, during, and post workout snacks and drinks. All of the options listed above are great recovery drinks to help your body heal from your workout as well as prepare you for your next workout. What are your favorite workout recovery drinks?