Whether you’re about to start exercising or have just finished, it’s important to drink something to keep your body hydrated. Being well-hydrated helps in many ways: it cools down your body, lowers your heart rate, repairs muscles, reduces tiredness, keeps your joints moving smoothly, prevents muscle cramps, and helps with digestion. Plus, it stops you from getting dehydrated and the problems that come with it.
Drinks you have before working out, like those from a water bottle, can increase your energy and strength, helping you through a sweaty exercise session. Drinks after exercising help your body relax. Remember, it’s okay to drink while exercising, but choosing the right drinks is important.
If you’re searching for the best drinks before and after the workout, and also for during the workout, we have a list of homemade options for before, during, and after exercising. Take a look and find what works best for you…
What to drink before a workout? Pre-workout drink: 6 choices
These drinks are meant to be had 15-45 minutes before your workout. They have special ingredients to help you exercise harder and for longer. Here are some of the best pre-workout drinks:
1.Black coffee: Coffee is full of caffeine and boosts your energy. Drinking coffee before exercising can help you feel more energetic and less tired. If you have coffee 30 minutes before your workout, it can help burn more fat during exercise. It also keeps you alert and focused, and can even cause less muscle pain after intense exercise.
2. Banana smoothie: A banana smoothie, made with bananas, yogurt, and a touch of honey, is a great pre-workout drink. Bananas are full of carbohydrates and potassium, which fuel your body and help maintain muscle and nerve function during your workout.
3. Green tea: Green tea has caffeine and L-theanine, which help keep you alert and increase your energy. It’s also full of antioxidants. Drinking it about an hour before exercise can stop you from feeling tired and improve your performance by helping use fat in the body during exercise. It might also help burn more fat and reduce muscle damage.
4. Oranges with lime juice and grapes: Oranges and lime juice are great for Vitamin C, and grapes have natural sugars. A drink made with oranges, green grapes, lime juice, and a bit of roasted cumin seed powder can boost your performance. Having this fruity mix 30 to 60 minutes before the gym can help fix muscle damage and raise your body’s nitric oxide level, which is good for your muscles.
5. Almond milk with turmeric: Mixing almond milk with a pinch of turmeric and honey creates a drink rich in proteins and antioxidants. This drink can enhance endurance and reduce inflammation, making it an ideal choice before starting your exercise.
6. Beetroot juice with lime and Himalayan salt: Beetroot is a very healthy vegetable full of nutrients. It has nitrate, which helps improve exercise performance. Nitrates make your blood vessels wider, help muscles contract, and improve blood flow. Drinking beetroot juice with lime before exercising can help blood and oxygen reach your tired muscles, increasing your stamina so you can exercise longer.
What to drink after a workout? Post-workout drink: 6 choices
It’s essential to drink and rehydrate after exercising, especially if it is intense or makes you sweat a lot. Here are some good drinks to have post-workout recovery drinks:
7. Post-workout protein shake: A protein shake, especially one made with whey or plant-based protein, can be a great post-workout drink. It helps muscle recovery and growth, especially after strength training or intense workouts.
8. Chia berry juice: This juice is made with strawberries, blueberries, mint leaves, honey, and chia seeds. It’s full of antioxidants and natural sugars. Blueberries help reduce muscle tiredness after exercise. Chia seeds are great for fiber and protein. You can carry this juice in an insulated bottle and drink it after your workouts. Berries are great for protecting your cells from damage.
9. Tart cherry juice: Tart cherry juice is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Drinking this after a workout can reduce muscle soreness and help in quicker recovery.
10. Coconut water: Coconut water is like a natural drink full of electrolytes that can replace the salts you lose during a workout and keep your body’s electrolyte levels balanced. It’s high in potassium and magnesium, which are good for recovery after exercising. It also has vitamins that help with recovery and boost your immune system, and folate to help your body make new cells.
11. Watermelon drink: A drink made with watermelon is great after a workout. It’s full of natural sugars, vitamins, and other helpful compounds. It works as an electrolyte balancer, boosts endurance, and gives you energy. Watermelon has an amino acid called I-citrulline that helps lessen muscle soreness after intense exercise. It’s a simple and effective way to rehydrate.
12. Chocolate milk: Cocoa, used in chocolate milk, has antioxidants and a compound called epicatechin that helps improve blood flow. Chocolate milk is great for rebuilding muscles after a hard workout. It’s a good source of protein and carbs. Fat-free chocolate milk helps refill glycogen in your muscles, and its high water content rehydrates you. It also has calcium, vitamins A and D, and magnesium, which are good for your joints and bones.
What to drink during a workout? Drinks during workout: 4 choices
It’s not just before and after your workout that you need to drink fluids, but also during your exercise session. Here are the best drinks to have while you’re working out:
13. Lemon juice: Adding a bit of lemon juice to your water can do wonders. Lemon helps your body absorb vitamin C quickly and gets rid of extra acids. This simple mix keeps you well hydrated while you’re burning calories, and it gives you important minerals without any extra calories. It also boosts your immunity and helps your body use iron better, so you don’t run out of energy.
14. Cucumber-infused water: Infusing water with cucumber slices can be refreshing and hydrating. Cucumbers have a high water content and provide essential minerals, making this a perfect drink to keep you hydrated during your workout.
15. Herbal tea (Cooled): A lightly brewed herbal tea, cooled to room temperature, can be a soothing and hydrating option during your workout. Herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint are caffeine-free and can help keep you calm and focused during your session.
16. Water: It might seem obvious, but water is the best choice when you’re exercising. Our body is about 60% water, and drinking it is a great way to stay hydrated during a workout. Water helps speed up your metabolism and it doesn’t have any calories. It’s an easy way to keep your body hydrated. Always keep a reminder water bottle close by while you exercise.
Drinking before you start exercising helps you make the most of your workout, and having a drink afterward helps your body relax. When you exercise, you sweat, and this means you’re losing body fluids. It’s important to drink enough when you’re sweating to lower the chance of overheating and to keep your body working properly.
What you choose to drink depends on your workout type and your health. It’s a good idea to talk to your nutritionist or trainer to figure out the best drink for your workout. Getting a bit of advice can help.
These resources provide a well-rounded perspective on the best drink choices for different stages of a workout, catering to various needs and intensities. For further details on each drink type and their specific benefits for your workout routine, you are encouraged to delve deeper into these sources.
Michael Kummer’s article “What to Drink Before, During and After a Workout” provides detailed insights into various beverages suitable for different phases of a workout. The article discusses the benefits of caffeine, typically found in coffee and green tea, for pre-workout energy and stamina. It also emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated with water and electrolytes during a workout and the role of post-workout drinks in maximizing recovery and gains. Click here. Last updated: Jun 17, 2023. ✔️
Verywell Fit offers extensive information on the best pre-workout and post-workout drinks. They discuss various options for post-exercise hydration, including their effectiveness and nutritional content. Recovery drinks should include protein and carbohydrates to repair muscle and provide energy. Click here. Last updated on May 17, 2023. ✔️
ACTIVE’s guide on “How to Hydrate Before, During, and After a Workout” provides practical advice on hydration strategies for athletes. It covers the importance of pre-workout hydration, suggests measuring sweat loss for optimal hydration during exercise, and offers guidelines for post-workout hydration to compensate for fluid loss during physical activity. Click here. Last updated on May 17, 2023. ✔️
FULFoods’ article on “9 Post-Workout Drinks To Give You a Nutrient Boost” discusses various hydrating and nourishing drinks ideal for post-workout consumption. The article covers options like protein shakes, coconut water, orange juice, vegetable juice, smoothies, cherry juice, and green tea, explaining their benefits and nutritional properties. Click here. Last updated on April 29, 2022. ✔️
Note: References marked with ✔️ indicate information sourced from trusted and reputable outlets.
FAQs for workout
Here are some common questions about workouts, know more information below:
Q: Can I just drink water, or do I need sports drinks?
A: For most moderate exercise, water is sufficient for hydration. However, for extended or high-intensity workouts, especially in hot and humid conditions, sports drinks can be beneficial as they replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.
Q: Is it okay to drink coffee before working out?
A: Yes, coffee can be a good pre-workout drink as it enhances performance, increases alertness, and can improve concentration during workouts.
Q: What are natural drink options for workouts?
A: Natural drink options include water, homemade fruit juices (like orange or watermelon juice), herbal teas, and coconut water. These provide hydration and essential nutrients without added sugars or artificial ingredients.
Q: When should I drink a protein shake during my workout?
A: Protein shakes are often consumed post-workout to aid in muscle recovery and growth. However, having a protein shake before or even during the workout can also be beneficial, depending on your fitness goals and dietary needs.
Q: Should you drink protein shakes before or after a workout?
A: Pre-workout protein shakes and post-workout protein shakes can be effective depending on your workout regimen and what feels best for your body. Before a workout: To fuel your body and prevent muscle breakdown during exercise. After a workout: To aid in muscle recovery and growth.
Q: What should you eat before a workout?
A: It’s generally recommended to eat a balanced meal with a good mix of carbohydrates (for energy), proteins (for muscle support), and fats (for endurance), about 2-3 hours before exercising. Quick snacks like a banana, a granola bar, or a yogurt can also be effective if eaten closer to your workout time.
Q: What to do after a workout?
A: After a workout, it’s important to cool down with light stretching or a slow walk to help your body transition to a resting state.
Rehydrate with water or a post-workout drink, and eat a meal rich in proteins and carbohydrates within two hours to aid in muscle recovery and replenish energy stores. Also, consider taking time for muscle relaxation techniques like foam rolling or a warm bath to aid recovery.