You’ve just finished an intense workout – what beverage do you reach for to restore your muscles? Filling up on water is great during exercise, but when you’re done, your body needs something a bit more substantial to recover from all of your hard work. Whether you ran on the treadmill, went to a yoga class or lifted weights, here are a few post-workout drinks that will give your body what it needs:
Low-fat chocolate milk
Feel free to indulge in a glass of frosty chocolate milk after finishing your workout. This tasty beverage has double the carbohydrates and protein content of regular milk, and the chocolate helps your body digest protein quickly. This means your muscles will be able to bounce back and be stronger than they were before.
Coconut water is best drank after light workouts like Pilates or yoga because it doesn’t have a high enough sodium content to support more intense workouts. Coconut water is great for keeping your body hydrated, and thanks to its high level of potassium it can ward off aches and cramps.
“Potassium works closely with sodium to maintain water balance and helps trigger muscles to contract and relax optimally,” Suzanne Girard Eberle, R.D., author of “Endurance Sports Nutrition” explained to Active.
You can drink this beverage right after a workout, or sip on it before exercising to help ward off cramps during your workout.
If you’re planning on running long distances, like a half-marathon or marathon, reach for cherry juice afterward. The beverage can help limit muscle damage and help with athletic recovery thanks to antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In preparation for your long-distance run, drink about two glasses per day for the five days before the event, then on the day of and the day after.