Your first drink after a full workout should count for something and the more nutritious and effective you can make it the better. Your body craves certain nutrients after working out and others too are valuable for protecting your body from injury.
Here are four of the top choices for your post-workout drink:
Cherries are packed full of fantastic ingredients, natural antioxidants and nutrients which fight off muscle damage. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that participants who drank just 24oz of tart cherry juice a day experienced less soreness in their muscles and less strength loss after exercise. You need to buy fresh cherry juices and not those made from concentrates.
Green Tea provides that essential energy boost which is most needed after a good workout. It also has renowned fat burning properties as well as the ability to fight free radicals. Green tea includes powerful antioxidants which have the ability to metabolise fat and can also fight those exercise-driven free radicals that usually lea to muscle and tissue inflammation. Plan ahead and make up your green tea before you leave for the gym and enjoy it chilled on your return and if you struggle with the taste try ginger or mint infused versions.
You may feel a bit like a five year old but the benefits to your body make chocolate milk a fantastic choice for post-work out sipping. Chocolate milk is ideal if you’ve been hitting the weights hard and of course, we mean homemade versions not a processed carton from the supermarket.
Making up a batch is simple from home and you’ll benefit from the carbs, fluid, protein all mixed together. Researchers found that chocolate milk can actually restore the muscle glycogen and rehydrates the body just as well as sports drinks such as Gatorade.
If you’re making it at home you can also chuck in addition nutrients such as potassium rich banana for even more nutritional goodness.
There are thousands of post-workout shake recipes out there, but we’ve opted for one that has anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties as well as high levels of protein and a flavour which you’ll enjoy rather than just tolerate. The shake includes:
4 slices of fresh pineapple
1 stick of celery
1 small piece of ginger
200ml fresh water
30g whey protein powder (flavour-free / optional)
The pineapple includes a compound called bromelain which is naturally anti-inflammatory and has painkilling properties and the celery too is high in painkilling nutrients. Ginger is packed with anti-oxidants too and popping in the whey protein increases the protein content of your tasty shake.
Hydration is key after working out so keeping your water levels high is essential but adding in one of these post-workout drinks or even trialling them all on different days will soon deliver benefits for your body and its recovery after a big training session.
by Kath Webb
by Laura Briggs
by Kath Webb
by Kath Webb
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