This past weekend, in preparation for my long run, I picked up a chocolate milk at the grocery store. With eight miles on the schedule, I really craved the comfort of a good recovery drink, and chocolate milk always does the trick for me.
Today, let’s talk about the best recovery drinks for runners.
First and foremost, we have good ol’ H20. If you read my blog, you probably know that I loathe plain water, but honestly, it’s just good for you. Water rehydrates you after exercise and exertion. It also helps flush out toxins that can lead to soreness. It’s your first defense in the recovery battle, and runners are well-served making use of this tool in their arsenal.
Next up, we have water’s big sister, coconut water. Coconut water has a very distinctive flavor, but it also packs a bit more of a punch than water. It’s all natural and has the same rehydrating power as water, but it also has plenty of electrolytes, potassium, and magnesium. These attributes make it enormously helpful to recovery after workouts.
Nuun Sport is the sports drink/electrolyte replacer I always turn to when I need a little bit more than hydration. It’s fizzy, it’s flavorful, and it comes packed with the minerals you need to recover. There’s also a little bit of sodium in there, which is great for replacing the salt athletes lose when they sweat. That sodium depletion is what leads to cramps, so replacing that loss is extra important.
Funny story. I have never liked chocolate milk. Once I reached adulthood, I never drank any kind of milk, other than in cereal or coffee. In fact, one of the tells I was pregnant was a sudden, insatiable need for milk. Once A was born, it went right back to being disgusting. However, someone suggested chocolate milk after at the end of a half marathon (which I initially thought sounded vile on all counts), but man, was it the answer to a prayer. Chocolate milk (post-run) is cold, creamy, delicious, and full of calcium and carbs to help build up and restore those tired muscles.
Which brings us to beer. So many races, from 5Ks to ultras, offer a celebratory beer at the finish line. Sure, it’s part of a social celebration, and it’s fun to toss back a cold one, but beer also has some restorative properties that are great for post-run recovery. While alcohol can lead to dehydration, beers with lower alcohol content shouldn’t negatively effect you too badly. They also have some electrolytes and some carbs, both of which are essential to recovery. Cheers!
What’s your favorite recovery drink?
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