Woman drinking water after workout

Hydrating Post-Workout Drinks



Turns out a sports drink may not be the best drink to consume after your workout. Yes, they hydrate and replenish lost electrolytes, but they’re mainly developed for hardcore athletes and not the average person who exercises.

According to Consumer Reports, the amount of calories in sports drinks may even offset the calorie-burning benefits of exercise! So, while you may burn around 150 calories for a 30-minutes brisk walk, you’ll undo most of that hard work by downing a 16 ounce bottle of Gatorade (120 calories) in a few minutes. Not to mention that a 16 ounce drink also contains 26 grams of sugar, artificial sweeteners and food dyes.

Here are a few hydrating post-workout drinks that are better than a sports drink:

Coconut Water

Coconut water is the perfect drink to restore hydration and replenish lost electrolytes during a workout.

Sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium are all electrolytes. These minerals play an important role in various bodily functions. We get these minerals from the foods we eat and drink.

An electrolyte imbalance can cause many symptoms like irregular heartbeat, cramping, fatigue, and etc. When you exercise and sweat, you lose a high concentration of chloride and sodium. Studies show that coconut water is better than water at restoring hydration during exercise. The same studies also show that coconut water is as good at rehydrating the body as commercial sports drinks.

Cherry Juice

This tart drink may be the key to recovering from tired and achy muscles after a workout. Cherry juice contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can benefit muscle recovery.

A 2010 study showed that cherry juice was a viable means to help with muscle recovery after strenuous exercise. It helps with the recovery of muscle function by increasing total antioxidative capacity, reducing inflammation, and lipid peroxidation (the process where free radicals “steal” electrons from the lipids in cell membranes resulting in cell damage).

Another study found that strength loss and pain were significantly less in the group that consumed cherry juice versus the placebo group. The average strength loss in the placebo group over four days was around 22% while only 4% in the cherry juice group.

But beware of sweetened cherry juice. Extra sugar means extra calories! Read the label and go for all-natural and unsweetened.

Watermelon Juice

Watermelon juice isn’t just great on a hot summer day, it's great after a workout too! Watermelon juice is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline. The body converts L-citrulline into L-arginine and nitric oxide. These help improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure.

A 2013 study looked into the potential of watermelon juice for sore muscle relief in athletes. The researchers found that watermelon juice helped reduce recovery heart rate and muscle soreness after a 24 hour period.

Milk

Milk doesn’t just build strong bones; it also helps with muscle soreness and strength recovery after exercise.

A 2017 study found that milk reduces strength decline after exercise-induced muscle trauma. Additionally, milk can help reduce inflammation and promote muscle repair.

Simply Slender Master Cleanse

Simply Slender Master Cleanse contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from Noni, Acai, Mangosteen, and Goji Berry juice as well as Green Tea extracts. Simply Slender hydrates, lessens bloating and jumpstarts your metabolism. So grab a bottle at a store near you today!

Summary

Here are a few hydrating post-workout drinks that are better than a sports drink:

  • Coconut Water - Coconut water is better than water at restoring hydration during exercise. Studies show that coconut water is as good at rehydrating the body as commercial sports drinks.
  • Tart Cherry Juice – Cherry juice helps with the recovery of muscle function by increasing total antioxidative capacity, reducing inflammation, and lipid peroxidation.
  • Watermelon Juice - Watermelon juice is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline. This is converted to L-arginine and nitric oxide. These help improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Studies show that watermelon juice helps reduce recovery heart rate and muscle soreness after a 24 hour period.
  • Milk – A study found that milk reduced strength decline after exercise-induced muscle trauma.

 

References

"Gatorade Lemon Lime 16.9 oz" - Pepsico
 
"8 Science-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Water" - Healthline, September 6, 2018
 
"Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running." - PubMed, December 20, 2010
 
"Lipid peroxidation" - Wikipedia
 
"Hydrating, Post-Workout Drinks" - Healthline, September 6, 2017
 
"Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage" - BMJ Journals, June 21, 2006
 
"Watermelon Juice: Potential Functional Drink for Sore Muscle Relief in Athletes" - American Chemical Society, July 17, 2013
 
"L-Citrulline" - WebMD
 
"23 Things to Know About Acute and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness" - Healthline, June 26, 2018
 
"Protein ingestion preserves proteasome activity during intense aseptic inflammation and facilitates skeletal muscle recovery in humans" - British Journal of Nutrition, August 14, 2017
 
"What to Drink When You're Dehydrated" - Consumer Reports, July 20, 2019