The importance of having drinks after a workout cannot be emphasized enough. During intense exercise, you will lose many body fluids through sweat, and this loss needs to be replaced adequately to maintain optimum fitness. Many fitness experts recognize the significance of drinking right after a workout to make sure the body adapts to the physical toil it is put through.
Recovery drinks offer the body with required nutrients to start muscle healing, control inflammation and refuel muscle.
How long should you wait before drinking after a workout?
Many fitness experts and athletes believe that drinking protein shakes or water within 30 minutes of a workout will maximize results. This small window is referred to as the ‘protein window,’ ‘anabolic window’, or ‘metabolic window.’ It is a period after a workout in which nutrition can move the body from an anabolic to a catabolic state. The idea for this is that when you drink protein outside this window, it will not be utilized effectively or help build muscle.
However, some studies have suggested that the protein window is probably longer than just 30 minutes and may depend on the type of exercises you do.
This window also applies to water. In addition to the water you consume before and during the workout, you should again drink 8 ounces within 30 minutes after your session.
In terms of the quantity of your best post-workout protein shake, experts recommend that you consume between 0.14 to 0.23 grams per pound of your body weight.
Workout recovery drink
Port-workout drink is crucial for muscle recovery and maintaining body endurance. There are lots of drinks you can choose from to replace the lost fluids during exercise, in addition to water. Water is essential also, but you don’t have to stick to it all the time. With that in mind, here are the best post-workout drinks.
Coconut water has an array of benefits, including a high concentration of nutrients and antioxidants. Therefore, it is not hard to see why it makes such a great post-workout drink. Like popular sports beverages, coconut water is also packed with a high concentration of electrolytes like magnesium and potassium.
And studies now suggest that coconut water is just as good a post-workout recovery drink as sports beverages and the good ol’ water.
However, it would be best to be careful when consuming coconut water concentrate and coconut water as it could lead to stomach upset and bloating. For this reason, hydrate moderately.
Also, coconut water contains less sodium compared to sports beverages. Sodium is crucial for recovery after high-intensity workouts. With that in mind, coconut water is probably a great post-workout drink for lighter exercises.
2- Green and black tea
Experts have shown that black and green teas effectively break down fat into small molecules (fat oxidation) stored and used for fuel during post-workout recovery. Tea is also packed with antioxidants, which help relieve muscle soreness and aid in muscle recovery.
Studies have found that beer, which contains electrolytes and carbs, doesn’t affect your hydration after the workout if you enjoy some happy hour post-workout. Drinking beer can make you more active.
Nonalcoholic beer is also understood to reduce post-workout inflammation as well as prevent respiratory tract illness.
However, moderation is essential when using beer as your recovery drink as too much alcohol consumption can inhibit muscle protein oxidation, making it difficult to work out the next day.
Nevertheless, beer, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, has been found to replenish lost water during exercise.
4- Fitness water
Also known as enhanced or designer waters, fitness water is also an ideal recovery drink mainly because it is flavoured and tastes better than regular water, making it easier to drink as much as required to maintain hydration.
Enhanced water is a perfect option for casual exercisers and sometimes athletes, especially if you find the one that is added electrolytes.
You should drink enhanced water as you would typically water – 8 ounces within 30 minutes of workout in terms of quantity. But there is no harm in drinking more than 8 ounces.
A point to note, however, is that fitness water tends to have many calories. Some brands can have up to 120 calories in a single bottle, and therefore you will have to watch out for these additional calories and even added sugar if you are working out to lose weight.
5- Tart cherry juice
Many fitness coaches swear by tart cherry juice when it comes to helping muscle recovery. This juice contains high antioxidants, and research has found that it can help reduce muscle damage, heal muscle soreness, and relieve inflammation after training. It also has high levels of water, which help replenish lost moisture during workouts.
Studies have also shown that people who drink tart cherry juice post-workout tend to recover much quicker.
Just as with any recovery drink, make sure you drink your tar cherry juice within 30 minutes of your exercise.
Note that tart cherry juice contains almost 120 calories and around 30 grams of carbs for every serving.
6- Chocolate milk
Chocolate milk has been found to help with muscle recovery and rehydration after challenging exercise. This drink is rich in protein and carbs. Plain dairy can also be used for this purpose, but it usually has fewer carbs than chocolate milk.
Experts suggest that fat-free chocolate milk is more efficient compared to most post-workout drinks.
The presence of electrolytes and water content in chocolate milk help supply your body with water, while calcium, vitamins A & D, and magnesium support joints and bones.
Chocolate milk is a perfect option for people doing intense exercises that last more than an hour.
If you had a lighter workout or have a small body, you only need 8 ounces of chocolate milk, a standard quantity for post-workout recovery. But if you do some intense workouts, you may need 16 ounces and more.
However, note that chocolate milk has lots of sugar and even saturated fat, affecting your diet plan. Therefore, if chocolate milk is your choice, make sure you account for the additional calories it contains.
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