There's no doubt the body craves nutrition after an intense workout! We discuss some of the best options to support your body's needs.
All the energy burned up during a sweaty session needs to be replaced, and the muscles need an extra boost while they’ve got that wobbly feeling.
While most people know about a post-workout meal or snack, there are actually a few different options for beverages which can really help with recovery.
Protein or BCAA Shake
Probably the most common thing to drink after a gym session, a protein shake is an easy and convenient way of supplying much-needed protein to those worn-out muscles.
It’s also possible to shake up an amino acid blend, using specific amino acid combinations for your needs. For example, leucine, lysine, and methionine are particularly good for muscle growth and repair. These are often sold as BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acid) Blends.
Protein Water is a relatively new and refreshing alternative to a protein shake. Many such drinks are much like sports drinks and are a clear and refreshing product infused with protein. These products can be formulated much like traditional sports drinks and help you fuel with essential amino acids as well as provide important electrolytes.
Well known for its electrolyte content, coconut water is a great natural alternative to some sports drinks. With a mild, sweet taste, this liquid fix is one of the best things to use to replace fluid and electrolytes lost when sweating.
SPORTS ELECTROLYTE DRINKS
Sweet and flavorsome, these drinks work in a similar way to coconut water.
Staying hydrated is super important for overall health as well as muscle recovery, and these sports drinks are available as mix powders or ready-to-drink bottles.
Do be sure to check the source of sweetener, as lots of sugar can actually be detrimental to your recovery.
FRESH FRUIT & VEGETABLE JUICE
Providing essential vitamins and minerals, a fresh juice derived from a range of colorful fruit and veg might be just what your body needs.
All that good nutrition can work wonders on your energy, and a juice is an easy way of digesting that nourishment.
A BIG SMOOTHIE
This is the cream on top of energy supplies. Depending on your needs and flavor choices, you can combine fruit, vegetables, protein and even coconut water into one big nourishing drink.
Try combinations such as:
Chocolate protein powder with banana, oats and milk or plant milk.
Vanilla protein powder with berries and milk or plant milk.
Berry amino acid powder with fresh strawberries and coconut water.
WHAT NOT TO DRINK!
When you’re craving energy and pouring sweat, it’s easy to reach for quick-fixes that may not be in your best interests. It might feel good at the time, but consuming these things might actually inhibit your recovery, and affect your performance in the long run:
While caffeine can assist with with workout energy, it can have a dehydrating effect and also increase cramping after exercise.
Sodas and drinks with added sugar don’t provide any nutrition, and although the sugar is quick energy, it can affect your metabolism and deplete your good nutrition stores.
Just in case you feel the need to celebrate a PB right after a workout - don’t. Alcohol has a negative effect on hydration, nutrition and recovery. Save it for another night out!
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