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9 The Best Hydrating and Nourishing Post Workout Drinks

9 The Best Hydrating and Nourishing Post Workout Drinks

Key points

  • Water is essential for keeping your body hydrated throughout the entire day, not just while working out. However, it doesn’t provide you with all essential nutrients and electrolytes, which is why it’s best to consume other post-workout drinks in addition to water.
  • The best post-workout drinks contain a combination of protein and carbohydrates. Some good refreshment options after exercising include chocolate milk, smoothies, fruit and vegetable juices, and protein shakes. 
  • Spirulina can be a great addition to your smoothies, juices, and protein shakes since it’s a nutrient-rich product that contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and electrolytes. 
  • Coconut water and plain green tea are also great post-workout drinks. Coconut water contains all the essential electrolytes, while green tea has potent antioxidative properties that reduce soreness and promote post-workout recovery.

It’s not a secret that proper nutrition is just as important as a good workout routine, and that includes giving your body the right nutrients after a workout. After exercising, our bodies need hydration and an extra boost of electrolytes. 

 

Electrolytes are minerals that help the body maintain homeostasis. Some of the most important electrolytes for humans include sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium. During an intense workout, these nutrients get drained out of the body with sweat, which can cause an electrolyte imbalance. This is why nutritionists recommend fueling the body with protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to two hours after a workout. This is necessary to ensure proper muscle repair and give your body a nutrient boost. Consuming proper post-workout drinks can also help you to avoid fatigue, soreness, and dehydration. 

 

Water is essential not only in the gym but in everyday life as well. It’s a must-have at the gym if you want to stay hydrated and successfully achieve your fitness goals. However, while both plain and mineral water contains some electrolytes and allows you to stay hydrated, it doesn’t provide all the necessary nutrients. This is where post-workout drinks step in! The market offers countless post-workout drink options, but most of them are artificially flavoured and contain a lot of sugar. However, you can find plenty of natural post-workout beverage options. In this article, we’ll go over the best natural and nutrient-rich drinks to have after your workout.

Chocolate Milk

Chocolate milk is one of the nutritionists’ favourites both as a pre-workout and post-workout drink. It contains high amounts of protein and carbohydrates, both of which help you to regain your energy after a workout. Chocolate milk is also rich in important electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium. 

 

Chocolate milk contains twice the carbohydrate content of plain milk. Consuming carbs after a workout is crucial since it restores glycogen, which the body lacks after working out. Chocolate milk also has high water content, so it’ll help you to keep your body hydrated. 

 

Scientific studies have found that chocolate milk can improve recovery after workouts as well as subsequent performance, especially in cyclists and runners.

Sparkling Spirulina Drink

Spirulina is a superfood revered for its impressive health benefits. Because of its antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties, it should become an essential part of any diet. Specifically, it can be used to make excellent post-workout drinks. 

 

Spirulina is rich in minerals and vital vitamins, and it’s also an excellent source of plant protein. Spirulina contains over 60% of protein by weight. Sure, it won’t cover your daily protein needs, but it’s worth including in your post-workout drinks. Additionally, spirulina contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies need.

 

You can consume spirulina by mixing spirulina powder with water or opt for delicious and healthy ready-made sparkling spirulina drinks by FUL®, which are an excellent option for post-workout hydration. These drinks are made with all-natural ingredients, and they don’t contain any additives, unlike most sports drinks. And you can pick from a variety of tasty flavours that hide spirulina’s taste. It’s a win-win: when you buy FUL®, you get a refreshing, delicious energy and nutrient booster with no need to worry about preparing the drink yourself.

Try Sparkling Spirulina Drink

Protein Shake

A protein shake is another great post-workout beverage that will refuel your body. When making protein shakes, it’s important to ensure that the beverage has all the necessary nutrients, including carbs, fat, and protein itself. It’s better to opt for homemade protein shakes because the store-bought ones usually contain a lot of added flavours and sugars. The basic ingredients for a homemade protein shake include milk, fat, fruits, ice, and high-quality protein powder.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a great alternative to water for hydration. Coconut water has potent antioxidative properties as well as high levels of essential electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium. However, if you do high-intensity workouts, coconut water may not be the best option for you because it’s low in sodium. You can also add coconut water to your protein shake or smoothie to get a refreshing drink full of protein, carbs, and electrolytes.

Orange Juice

While many people think of orange juice as a breakfast drink, it’s also a great beverage to have after a workout. It will not only boost your immune system but also provide your body with plenty of potassium. Additionally, orange juice contains quick-digesting carbohydrates, so it can definitely be an excellent addition to your post-workout smoothie or protein shake.

Vegetable Juice

Vegetables are great nutrient-rich products that make up a majority of any healthy and well-balanced diet, but you can also squeeze them to make an excellent post-workout drink! Vegetable juice will restock your body with vital minerals (including electrolytes) and vitamins, as well as antioxidants. It will also keep you well-hydrated. 

 

Leafy greens, carrots, and beets are excellent options if you want to make vegetable juice. For example, beet juice is rich in potassium, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, and sodium. Research also suggests that consuming beetroot juice can potentially increase nitrate levels in the plasma and improve your overall physical performance. 

Smoothies

Smoothies are traditional go-to pre and post-workout beverages. They provide an excellent combination of nutrients and protein in one glass. Just blend some fruits or vegetables (or both) with protein powder and some liquid such as coconut water, yoghurt, or milk. And voilà! Your delicious, nutrient-rich post-workout drink is ready. This beverage will work perfectly for those who tend to lose appetite after exercising, as it’s easy on the digestive system.

Cherry Juice

Drinking cherry juice as a post-workout beverage can bring huge benefits to your health. According to scientific research, cherry juice can help our bodies recover after intense exercise as well as decrease inflammation and lipid peroxidation, and minimise muscle damage. 

 

One study has found that besides lowering muscle damage, cherry juice can also prevent strength loss. Plus, it’s an excellent antioxidant too! So if you’re looking for an option to diversify your post-workout drinks, cherry juice is definitely worth grabbing. Try to opt for an unsweetened version to avoid all the unnecessary additives and extra calories.

Green Tea

Green tea is a classic drink to help with muscle relaxation after intense workouts. Research has found that both green and black tea aid in lipid oxidation, meaning they help the body break down fat and use it for energy. Not to mention that green tea is high in antioxidants, which can relieve muscle pain and speed up the recovery process. Tea’s antioxidative properties also help our bodies fight free radicals and prevent cell degeneration. One of the main compounds found in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and studies have shown that it can help with certain chronic inflammatory conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.

FAQ

What is the best drink for recovery after exercise?

Nutritionists recommend mixing protein and carbohydrates in your post-workout drinks. Sparkling spirulina drinks by FUL® offer an excellent combination of electrolytes, vitamins, and antioxidants in one drink! Spirulina is the best plant-based protein source which will refuel your body after intense exercise.

How important is a recovery drink after a workout?

Fueling your body properly after working out is just as important as the workout itself. By consuming the right foods and beverages, you can significantly improve your progress and relieve muscle pain and fatigue. Post-workout beverages can speed up the recovery time, decrease muscle soreness, and prevent dehydration. Studies have even found that some post-workout drinks can improve body composition and exercise performance.

Can I drink protein shakes after a workout?

Yes, you should drink protein shakes after a workout. Protein is vital for muscle repair, and it’s also great to have a protein drink if you lose appetite after your workouts. However, protein shakes are not the only way to get your daily protein. FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks are an excellent refreshing beverage option that combines all the essential nutrients from spirulina extract and plant protein.

What juice is good for muscle recovery?

Tart cherry juice or orange juice are the best fruit juices to have after a workout. Tart cherry juice promotes muscle recovery and alleviates muscle soreness after the workout. Orange juice is full of vitamin C and other antioxidants.

Are protein drinks good for recovery?

Yes, protein drinks are essential for quick muscle recovery. Researchers have found that consuming protein-rich drinks after workouts can alleviate soreness, improve recovery, and help with muscle repair.

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