In my old office, I always laughed at people who went to the gym at lunch. If you’re able to sit upright after your workout, you’re not doing it right!
Even though it was always the fit types that went, the penny never dropped for me until much later.
It’s all about how you’re letting your body recover.
Best Recovery Drink After a Cardio Workout
Replace lost electrolytes.[a]
Electrolytes are important in energy generation, in muscle contraction, and in almost every major biochemical reaction in the body – and you sweat these out during intense exercise.
If you’re back in the office after drinking only water, expect to feel drained.
Best Recovery Drink: Energy Releasing Electrolyte Juice:
- 1 Beet
- 3 Carrots
- 3 Sticks Celery
- 1 Handful Spinach
- 1 Handful Kale
- Optional: 1 Orange, 1/2 Lemon (for flavour, Vitamin C and anti-bacterial qualities)
The spinach and kale additionally help you metabolize food more efficiently, making more energy available to you.
Juice lots of spinach and kale? These juicers will yield more than twice as much juice from leafy greens, saving you money daily.
Or if you’re on the go, grab some electrolyte rich coconut water (unsweetened).
Best Recovery Drink for Muscles
It’s possible to speed up muscle recovery. What’s unclear, however, is the effect it has on muscle growth.
If you’re bodybuilding, I’d recommend to stick with putting some protein powder into the electrolyte drink above.
You work your muscles to inflame and ‘destroy’ them. Your body then rebuilds them bigger and stronger to cope with such demand in the future.
This extends to increasing stamina and work capacity (fitness) – tissues become inflamed so that your body can refortify them, ready for future stresses.
Any anti-inflammatory foods you take will reduce the symptoms of inflammation, possibly affecting this re-fortification.
If you regularly work outdoors, or are competing in a particularly tough endurance event (like a half marathon or more), some powerful anti-inflammatory juices are tomato juice and tart cherry juice.
Tart cherry juice is the best recovery drink in this scenario because tart cherries have an additional bonus – they’re one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits around.
The extra oxygen used by your muscles makes them susceptible to attack from oxygen-derived free radicals. Antioxidants help reverse the effect of this damage.
Best Recovery Drink: Muscle Recipes
Tart Cherry Juice
Simply juice as many tart cherries as you need.
Cardio and Muscles Combined
Simply add 2 tomatoes to the Energy Releasing Electrolyte Juice.
Read Next: Performance Enhancing Juicing
[a] More on electrolytes here.