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The post-workout recovery routine is perhaps just as important as the workout itself. Contrary to popular belief, drinking anything other than water will not necessarily be detrimental to your weight loss efforts. The truth is that replenishing yourself with the proper post-workout drinks can actually be beneficial to your health, fitness, and weight loss goals.
The following discussion outlines some of the best workout beverages you can drink to speed up your post workout recovery times.
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1. Coconut Water
Coconut water helps to naturally replace electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, which are lost during a workout.
For runs that are less than half an hour, be sure to check that your coconut water has no added sugars. Many brands contain up to 20 grams of sugar in a single serving – which is more than half that of a regular can of soda.
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2. Sports Drinks
There has been a lot of scientific analysis into determining the best nutrients for inclusion in some of the better quality sports drinks on the market. Sports drinks are an excellent alternative to plain water as they help replace a lot of the sodium lost through workout induced sweat. Salt is a vital component to maintain healthy nerves and keep your muscles working.
It’s important to know that if your workouts last under an hour, then you will likely not derive any benefit from a sports drink. It takes more than an hour of intensive training to sufficiently deplete your electrolyte and glycogen stores to warrant the consumption of a sports drink.
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3. Green Tea
Green tea provides a few health benefits as a post-workout beverage and not just as an aid against cancer and heart disease. It contains lots of antioxidants and catechins, which help reduce the damage an intense workout can do to the muscles.
You also get the added benefit of green tea’s properties for speeding up weight loss. Best results are achieved by drinking green tea without sweeteners or milk.
4. Low-Fat Chocolate Milk
You drank it as a kid mainly for the taste of it but the fact of the matter is that low-fat chocolate milk has just the right protein and carbohydrate ratio (a 4:1 ratio) to restore muscle glycogen. It is perfect for a quick recovery after a vigorous training session.
Of course, the fact that it also has calcium is another health benefit for strong bones and muscles.
For routines that last less than an hour then a cool glass of water is all you need for a fast recovery – plus there’s also zero calories.
You can calculate how much water you need to replace by weighing yourself before and after the routine. Each pound you notice missing on the scales from your pre-workout weight to your post-workout weight is equal to 16-20 ounces of water.
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