Drink Smart & Recover

No matter the goal of your workout routine, whether it’s fat loss or muscle gain, you should be thinking about how you can make your recovery go quicker.

We’re going to look at how recovery drinks can help especially after a hard workout but before we do a quick 101 on recovery…

Defining Recovery

During exercise and weight training, your body is put under a lot of stress and there’s a lot of wear and tear on your muscles and joints.  As the elite athletes know, how you deal with this wear and tear can play a big role in your overall fitness.

Take weight training. Every time you lift a weight, you’re essentially stretching and tearing muscle tissue. When this tissue repairs itself, it grows in size, which is how you build muscle mass over time. There’s also a lot of pressure put on your joints. But you can speed up the repair process and prevent muscle soreness by focusing more on recovery. In fact, you can even get bigger gains from your workouts by including a calculated post-workout recovery drink within 30 minutes of finishing your training session.

Let’s take a look at some of the best workout recovery drinks…

How to Improve Post-Workout Recovery

All of these recovery drinks follow a few basic rules. First, you need some protein after a long hard workout to repair stretched and torn muscles. But even more importantly, you also need some carbohydrates – about 2 or 3 times the number of carbs compared to protein. The carbs help give your body a steady source of energy to recover, and to repair muscle tissue.

The Best Workout Recovery Drinks

Gold Award: Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are probably the most complete choice for expediting post-workout recovery. By adding a protein supplement to a shake or smoothie, you are not only supplying your muscles with the essential amino acids that they require but also a number of other minerals and vitamins that you couldn’t get without having to eat a large amount of natural foods.  That is why calorie for calorie it is the golden standard.

To get started, take a look at my list of Best Post Workout Proteins, and find a protein supplement that’s right for you. Whether it’s whey protein or veggie-based, it will help fuel and repair your muscles.

Here are two of my favorite recipes, but you can get a huge list of 50 shakes by singing up to the newsletter on the right hand side of this website if you haven’t done so or checking out this article; Protein Shake Recipes for a few other ideas.

Silver Award: Fruit Smoothie

Smoothies are another effective post-workout meal. Milk or some kind of milk alternative (such as almond or low fat coconut milk) can offer a small dose of protein, while the fruit will give you some healthy carbs. Adding in some superfoods like blueberries, kale, or spinach can totally enhance the nutritional support you receive, boosting recovery.

Bronze Award: Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt is a great post-workout snack, either on its own or blended into a smoothie. Greek yogurt is especially great because of its high protein content. The calcium is also helpful in keeping your bones strong.

Adding a little granola and some fresh berries completes this recovery meal, with some healthy carbohydrates for energy. Try to go with low-fat or fat-free yogurt when possible, and make sure you avoid the artificial sweeteners.

Looking for more ideas?

If you’re looking for more great ideas to improve your post-workout recovery (and see faster results), check out my article on Post Workout Recovery Supplements. There are a number of other simple and safe ways to stay fit and healthy!

Have any questions or feedback about The Best Workout Recovery Drinks? Please leave a comment below…