5 drinks for runners and when to drink them

Runners report that drinks ranging from chocolate milk to coffee can help you achieve greater gains when you workout. Here are some drinks for runners to consider:

5 drinks for runners and when to drink them

1. Water

For short workouts, water is the right beverage to choose.

  • Sports drinks can help on longer runs, but after a run of 45 minutes, you probably haven't depleted enough electrolytes or glycogen stores to need the extra boost these drinks offer.
  • Water is likely already be a cornerstone of your daily diet. Drink it before, during, and after workouts.

2. Low-fat chocolate milk

Drinking low-fat chocolate milk after training runs provides your body with a ratio of carbohydrates to protein that helps encourage muscle recovery after stressful workouts.

  • Chocolate milk also contains high levels of Vitamin D and calcium.
  • As a bonus, chocolate milk is also much less expensive than sports drinks but has a similar level of effectiveness.
  • To incorporate chocolate milk in your diet, drink it immediately after a hard run of at least 60 minutes.
  • Limit your intake to approximately 8 to 12 ounces, unless you have higher calorie needs. You can also consider drinking milk after weight lifting to increase muscle formation.

3. Sports drinks

Sports drinks are specially formulated to encourage recovery and replenish electrolytes after you've had a hard and long workout.

  • They're also more stable and easy to transport than chocolate milk for long runs and races.
  • Sports drinks are also preferred by runners who are affected by lactose.
  • Sports drinks should be consumed after at least 60 minutes of intense exercise, or as a way to stay hydrated through long races.
  • However, if you're running for weight loss, you should carefully monitor your intake.

4. Coffee

Coffee consumption is a hotly contested topic, but research indicates that drinking some coffee before a workout can increase your performance.

  • Research published on April 3, 2013 by PLoS One called "The metabolic and performance effects of caffeine compared to coffee during endurance exercise," verified that both coffee and caffeine offer similar performance and endurance boosts.
  • However, unlike caffeine, coffee packs antioxidants and other nutrients that protects brain, liver and heart function.
  • If you do decide to add coffee to your diet, aim for approximately 350 milligrams before a big race. That's the equivalent of approximately three cups of drip coffee.

5. Iced green tea

Drinking green tea is a great way to rehydrate after runs less than 60 minutes.

  • Packed with antioxidants that may prevent cancer, unsweetened green tea is a smart drink to incorporate into your daily diet.
  • Plus if you run to lose weight you may be interested to know, Runner's World reports that green tea may reduce belly fat.
  • Add green tea to your diet by drinking it after runs and with meals. Be sure to skip tea with sugar, especially if you're trying to stay lean.

Additional resources

There you have it -- an extensive list of drinks directed towards runners and other athletes. Incorporate these drinks into your workout to feel better and maximize the impact exercise has on your body.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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